Over the last two weeks I attended two major conferences: ETech in San Diego and SXSW Interactive here in Austin. Both conferences tried their best to gather feedback on the sessions, panels, and overall experience.
ETech blanketed the keynote ballroom with legal sized feedback forms. Lots of questions and lots of paper.
SXSW Interactive passed out small postcard size “Instant Panel Feedback” cards in their panels. These cards had 2 questions where you could rate the panel and presenters on a scale of 1 to 5. There was also room to enter your comments. Short, concise, and easy to fill out.
Short and Sweet
The shorter a survey, the more likely people will take the time to respond. If you overwhelm them, they may just give up and you’ll get no feedback. Be sure to ask quality questions.
You need to gather feedback as soon as possible following the event you’re surveying. When your customer is fresh in the moment, they’ll give you more accurate and meaningful responses. If you wait for a follow-up phone call or email, the details you ask about will have been obscured by time. Gather feedback right away!
Both of these conferences let attendees take the surveys on paper or on the conference website. By giving a choice of survey-taking venues, people are more likely respond via the most comfortable and convenient means for them.
ETech feedback forms asked for your email address so you could be entered in a drawing for fabulous prizes. Some people will answer surveys just for the chance of winning something. Be careful with these types of incentives as people may fill out gibberish just to try and win something. You may be better off ditching incentives and relying on the good will of individuals who care enough to respond.
After gathering feedback from customers, it will be time to act. You’ll see recurring themes in feedback that will guide you to obvious improvements. There are numerous ways to analyze customer feedback that we’ll have to discuss later. For now, be sure to collect customer feedback “in the heat of the moment” so that you have a true feel of your customers’ emotions and experience.