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What You Really Need to Look for in a DIY Survey Tool

Tobias Rosenfeld | Global Presales and Enablement
5 min read
What You Really Need to Look for in a DIY Survey Tool

The rise of Do it Yourself (DIY) feedback solutions and the democratization of feedback have made it easier for organizations and individuals to listen to their customers, employees, and the wider market. They have given everyone the power to quickly work with feedback at a low cost without requiring any training. Managers anywhere within an organization can easily find out answers to questions such as: Is my team happy? What products are missing from our range? How satisfied are my customers?

Common challenges with DIY survey tools

In the case of DIY feedback, these tools often only go so far. They collect feedback. They let you ask questions but don’t always provide the opportunity to quickly learn and then engage with your communities (be those customers or employees). Managers may be provided with survey results, but these reports are typically static spreadsheets that give data, not insight. For example, you can see if your people are unhappy, but not necessarily why – or gain any insight on how to fix the problem. Often, they fail to close the loop or share information. This can mean the real insight that feedback provides is not maximized across the organization because it gets stuck in departmental or team silos. Also, some tools might give you limited control over your data, design, or reporting, meaning you are forced to fit in with a limited number of options provided by your survey software provider.

Why you need a different approach to DIY

Today, employees and customers demand the ability to give feedback. Whether it is online reviews, sharing experiences on social media, or more formal exercises, they want their voices to be listened to. For example, 84% of UK consumers want to give feedback to their bank while 66% of retail customers wish there were given more opportunities to share feedback with brands.

Whether it is within an organization or when talking to consumers, there’s a clear link between listening and loyalty. However, this only applies if businesses act on the feedback they’ve been given. The only thing worse than not asking for feedback is asking for it and not then acting on it. This is guaranteed not only to annoy respondents but also make them feel that you don’t care about what they are saying.

Reaping the rewards with DIY is as easy as 1,2,3

DIY feedback can be worth its weight in gold, but to realize its value, you need to go beyond the simple feedback collection provided by most DIY tools. I’d argue that to drive results, you need a fresh and integrated approach, which consists of these three stages: Listen, Learn and Engage.

1. Listen

Working out what questions to ask in any survey is just the starting point. But for it to be an effective listening tool, you also need to consider a couple of crucial questions. 

Firstly, is your solution a flexible one that covers all types of feedback – continuous, scheduled, and ad-hoc? It needs to be usable across the organization with minimal training while still being powerful. And, secondly, does it already provide in-built best-practice templates, which make it easy for non-specialists to create an effective survey? Delivering a generic experience won’t engage or entice respondents to participate. It could even put them off, so make sure your tool is customizable to your needs and provides an intuitive, mobile-friendly experience.

2. Learn

Most DIY tools only let you ask questions. However, you need to be able to share insights with the right people as quickly as possible so that you and your colleagues and teams can make changes based on that learning. Learning has to be a seamless part of your tool embedded in your workflows, so look for a solution that lets you customize reports and visualize data in the ways that best suit your business. For example, through real-time online reports and dashboards linked to business metrics. Only if you learn from feedback will you be able to improve the employee experience and customer experience.

3. Engage

At Questback, we passionately believe that feedback matters.

Listening and learning go only so far. Engaging with the respondent using their feedback creates a two-way dialogue that allows you and the organization to innovate and to improve. Your feedback solution has to support this. Look for the survey capability to ‘drill-down’ into datasets and to follow-up with particular respondents, both automatically and manually. Otherwise, you’re just skimming the surface of feedback. For example, take a survey of 500 customers that shows that 450 are positive about your brand. Overall, that sounds great – 90% are happy! But the real value is being able to drill down into the ’50’ to engage with them, find out why they are not satisfied and use that insight to solve their issues. That benefits everyone and helps you outpace the competition. Or you can close the loop by solving a customer problem flagged in a survey and then use the feedback to drive more extensive changes that prevent the issue affecting others. That’s the power of engagement in enabling a two-way dialogue for your business.

The need for control

Just because DIY feedback tools are often low-cost, that doesn’t mean you should accept low standards and a loss of control. They need to be easy to use, with minimal onboarding and flexible when it comes to templates and branding. Most importantly, the tool needs to give you control and ownership over your data. You’re dealing with employee and consumer information, meaning you must mandate the highest levels of security, data protection, and GDPR compliance. Yet, some free or freemium tools do the opposite. They take ownership of your data and then anonymize it for their commercial use. It is your data. So be sure to keep control of it!

Taking the next step in DIY

DIY tools have made feedback available for a broad audience and made it much easier for organizations and individuals to listen to their customers, prospects, and employees. This has opened up the potential for feedback within every organization. However, learning and engagement are crucial to driving business improvements, innovation, and employee and customer satisfaction. Therefore, when you are looking for a feedback tool, make sure you choose one that puts you in control and covers the full range of ‘listen, learn, and engage’ in delivering valuable and tangible benefits. And finally: just because it is DIY, it does not mean that you need to do only by yourself. Feedback is teamwork and your feedback tool has to support this!


About the Author    

 Tobias Rosenfeld | Global Presales and Enablement, Questback 

Tobias Rosenfeld is a feedback veteran with 10+ years of experience in working with international business development, partners, and enablement at Questback. He combines a strong academic background with a major in political science and international relations with extensive work experience in multinational teams and in-depth expertise about Questback’s offering, to offer customers and colleagues the best possible advice on how to get most out their work with feedback.


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