David Housman

Feedback done Wrong


When website visitors leave feedback, they’re giving you gold nuggets in the form of opportunities to improve. You can return the favor by going out of your way to make the feedback process as painless as possible.

Short and Sweet

To collect as much feedback from as many people as possible, you should make your feedback form or intercept short and sweet. Think of it as a seamless extension of your site’s user experience and don’t ask needless questions. Why? Because although a visitor may be eager to give you feedback, they won’t wait around to answer unnecessary questions.

Now, in the next post I’ll tell you how you can create feedback forms that move the needle. But in this post, let’s talk a bit about what NOT to do.

Don’t Interrupt the Experience

While some visitors to your website may be looking for an opportunity to offer their opinion, others might not be ready to share at all. In fact, you can do more damage than good by asking for feedback too early. Avoid interrupting website visitors that have just landed on your site. Instead, strategically place your feedback requests. The results will be worth the wait.

Why? Because a visitor leaving feedback may not be ready to tell you about their visit or answer Net Promoter questions. Just like you can’t write a book report until after you’ve finished reading the book, only ask questions that the respondent can answer, when they’re prepared to answer them. Otherwise you’ll just create confusion- both for the respondent, and in your data.

Don’t be a Misfit

Remember, to gather the most relevant feedback it’s important to think about how you’re delivering your questions, and how intercepts and question types can help you gather the best insights. Try these options:

  • Question types matter. With a little thought, a drop down selector can become a free text paragraph. A horizontal scale might be a better fit for your specific question. Don’t ask a question in a complex way if a simple question can meet your needs.
  • Intercept with options. Feedback links are only one of several kinds of intercepts available. Other options include sliders, popovers, infobars and popunders. Again, be thoughtful in your approach. Keep your intercepts subtle, yet noticeable. Your visitors and stakeholders will be thankful that you did.
  • Should you use an intercept? A website intercept isn’t right for all questions. Panels and email invitations are also great ways to distribute a questionnaire. It pays to think about the best, most impactful way to survey your audience.

In business, it’s important to be right. Ask the right questions, at the right time and in the right way and you’ll get actionable insight that will move the needle for your organization.

Leave a Reply