Tip 15 – ask the right questions in your feedback form
Every time we run a session, face-to-face or online, we need to know how it’s gone so we can improve. In Webinars, it’s all about learning from feedback how to improve our use of tools or hosting techniques to better serve our audience and the purpose of the session.
I spoke in Webinar Quick Tips 9 about when and how to present your feedback form to your audience but this tip is about what to ask and how to ask it.
Statistics generated from feedback forms can be very useful for Webinar hosts but are also loved by managers who are always keen to have ways to prove the effectiveness of Webinars in terms of return on investment, value for money etc. However, two mistakes often mean that it is not possible to get the most out of the stats:
- feedback forms contain the wrong questions
- questions are not kept consitent between Webinar so can’t data can’t be directly compared over time
After I had been plagued with requests from managers to change the questions I was asking at the end of Webinars, I decided that the only way to make the data useful was to put a lot of effort into designing questions first, then refuse to change them – at least for a particular series of Webinars.
So I met with everyone I could think of who should be involved at the start – managers, marketers, commercial teams and anyone who might want to use stats.
We collaboratively designed the feedback questions and they were officially signed off.
Using two of the pillars of Webinar Quick Tips 4 pillars – Audience and Purpose, we worked out what we needed to know from the audience. We answered the question, “How can we get a reliable rating of how successfully the Webinar supported the audience and served its purpose?”
I’m no data analyst or research methods guru but I have picked up a couple of tips on asking questions in feedback forms over the years:
- I prefer to have written statements for audience to rate their agreement/disagreement against. Something like – ‘How far do you agree or disagree with the following statements?’
- I prefer to have no mid point to encourage audience to make a definite choice e.g. Strongly agree – agree – disagree – strongly disagree
- I always include free text boxes for comments or elaboration. These qualitative responsives can be used for different purposes like testimonials
- I always make the feedback anonymous unless the participant wants me to get in touch after the session
- I always include a rating of the host
Depending on your specific audience and purpose, you will need to choose what to ask and how to ask it but the most important factor is to remain consistent –
ask the same questions each time so you can use the data effectively
If the questions change over time, you can’t compare the results.
Put as much time and effort as you can into the preparation of the feedback form and you will reap the benefits.
If the questions are right and kept consistent, you can react to the feedback to improve sessions. This then means you can create return attenders to your Webinar because when their feedback is valued, your audience feel valued they become fans.
Happy audiences mean happy managers who can see the effectiveness of what you are doing and that’s what we all want isn’t it?
Creative Commons image credit: fin5bjh | Copyright music credit (used by permission): Mike Murphy
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