It was a treat chatting with John Coleman on Agility feedback on a recent edition of his Agility podcast.
John is Founder and CEO of Orderly Disruption. He provides consulting for many businesses, specifically on Agility and Scrum Training – an innovative way to manage projects. Feedback is critical for any project management technique hence our inclusion. Anyhow, the podcast is terrific and focuses discussions with leaders from different industries. Well worth listening to. John’s summary of it is:
John interviews leading executives and top folks from agility. The truth is that agility can’t be bought in a box. Take the hard road, be the best, not the rest. Try “re-wilded” Product Management, DevOps, Lean/Agile for the c-suite.
By the way, for those who want more on Agile and Scrum – check out the definitions below helping to define this Lean Approach:
- Kanban – a strategy to optimize the flow of value through a pull-based system, where flow signals are noticeable and accessible. It can and should operate at many levels.
- Lean Startup – based on validated learning; based on the premise that one can’t define quality if one still needs to learn who the customer is.
- Lean UX – a blend of design thinking, UX design/research, Lean Startup, and agility based on the Lean UX Canvas.
- Scrum – self-managing teams with the skills to solve complex problems and deliver a high-quality product increment towards a goal to maximize value. Scrum has a rhythm of equal-length sprints. It has a Scrum Team with a Scrum Master, one owner for the product (even if there are multiple teams on the product), and people who do the work called Developers, regardless of skill set.
- Scrum with Kanban – fully implemented Scrum combined with fully implemented Kanban.
- Scrum with Lean UX – fully implemented Scrum with Lean UX.
So what did we talk about? AND do the lessons of customer feedback apply in the arena of project management?
The bottom line…..mostly ‘Yes’ – so read on.
There were four main questions:
- The use of touchscreens post COVID and whether they are effective?
- How to best ask for customer feedback that elicits a response?
- How to make a connection with an unhappy customer?
- How Opiniator help in the process of product development?
Question1 : Are touchscreens effective for customer feedback?
COVID has made the general public more hygiene aware, and more hygiene concerned. This for very good reason. Several studies have shown the massive quantity of bacteria present on these devices – like this one from Electron Specifier:
The risk that touchscreens may aid the spread harmful microbes has been publicized in the media even prior to the current pandemic: a report several months ago showed that some self-service screens in fast-food outlets had faecal matter and E. coli present, whilst other studies have shown that way-finders in major airports harbored as much as ten times the number of colony-forming bacteria as are found in the average kitchen sink.
In addition – there are at least 4 other hygiene concerns:
- Viruses: Touchscreens can also harbor viruses, including the flu virus and the norovirus. These viruses can survive on surfaces for several hours and can spread easily from person to person.
- Smudges and Fingerprints: Touchscreens can accumulate smudges, fingerprints, and other debris from our fingers, which can make the screen difficult to read and use.
- Allergies: Some people may have an allergic reaction to the materials used in touchscreens, such as the adhesives or coatings.
- Eye Strain: Poorly designed touchscreens can cause eye strain, leading to headaches and other problems.
This means that any third party device that has to be touched is scrutinized more than before.
Added to which a business has the capital and operating cost of these devices – so it is by no means clear that touchscreens are an effective feedback capture method. By contrast we think that going ‘Touchless’ is the way to go as it overcomes these problems. Moreover we produced a handy guide to Touchless Feedback.
Question 2 : How better to ask for customer feedback that elicits a response?
Lets get back to basics here. Some of the tenets are:
- The most effective, actionable feedback is at the point experience.
- The feedback will always be more accurate. Put another way – the greater the delay from the experience the more inaccurate the data received will be
- It allows immediate action to be taken – to dix the issue and recover the customer
So what are the top tips?
- Let them give feedback on their terms – their device, their input preference and their language.
- Keep the feedback short….really short. In fact never go over two minutes to complete – and make sure the customer knows this duration – hence knows their commitment
- Allow an anonymous option – this always increases response rate AND still provides data the business can use (much more on the benefits of anonymous feedback here)
- Only request information that you don’t possess and significant enough for it to make a difference.
- Don’t make feedback continuous as this tends to confuse and dilute.
Question 3 : How to Make Connection with an Unhappy Customer
There are a couple of basic principles here:
- Request connection – don’t expect it
- If you do request, and they agree, then you MUST follow through
- Agile feedback is no exception
One easy, low friction method is to use something like:
If your feedback highlights any issues, may we contact you?
Would you like us to contact you about you feedback?
Either way – you now have permission, so it is imperative to make contact, and make it quickly. This means within minutes.
In summary, feedback is a necessary component of every business process including Scrum and Agile. It was a pleasure talkin to John and finding out more about Scrum and Agile and, hopefully inserting where feedback adds value.
To John and his process, we know that there are at least 12 basic feedback rules that will help.