Sometimes service designers poke at new ideas by asking user groups about their lifestyles, beliefs and trends. These can turn out well, but there are other sources for ideas. Yet when it comes to finding out how users are getting along with a service experience, there’s only feedback.

User feedback helps designers uncover user motivations, aspirations, determination, and  barriers or obstacles to service outcomes. It’s also used to meet service specifications and ultimately, from wasting resources.

  • Positive feedback is often used to discover loyalists,
  • Negative feedback generally helps improve a service

The feedback process includes fielding a survey (response mechanism), gathering results, and   . . . making sense of them.  The focus is figuring out what’s worth learning, what to ask and how to ask. To prepare, create a feedback plan.

Best Practices for Gathering Feedback

  • Feedback should be an ongoing process.
  • For demographic questions, assume all responses are anonymous, but consider offering respondents an option to self-identify.
  • Make rating scales consistent throughout.
  • Note opportunities to observe users interacting with a service, in an actual use environment, which can oftentimes provide more useful feedback than respondents can offer.
  • Strive for shorter, concise responses. That means using open-ended questions sparingly. Open-ended questions are more difficult to categorize for analysis,
  • Avoid asking respondents to answer more than 10 questions since that’s about the ideal length before respondents abandon the request for their input. Be prepared that users may need reminding.
  • Ask a single question at a time.
  • Avoid asking respondents more than a total 10 questions. Much more tends to cause respondent fatigue.
  • Be prepared that users may need reminding to provide their feedback.
  • Use open-ended questions sparingly; be wise in how they are worded to help ensure useful responses. Strive for shorter, concise responses, and avoid leading or loaded questions.
  • Service designers also must consider whether responses can be acted upon toward their goal. And how users will come across feedback mechanisms and how those will be communicated back to service designers.
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