By Alice Jackson, Business Manager

So how did I do?
“Well that was absolutely rubbish” … is what I really hope you’re not thinking by the time you (hopefully are engaged long enough to) reach the end of my blog. But if you do (think it is rubbish) then that’s ok too, and if anyone would like to provide feedback, I’d love to hear it.

To set the scene, as the business manager for ECP I am the only team member that isn’t out there almost every day, delivering our training across the country to all our clients who work with children, students, families and vulnerable adults.  I on the other hand fulfil my role from our office base, and so see their world through a slightly different lens.

Since starting my role only a few months ago at the beginning of November I have been immersing myself (somewhat vicariously) in what our business delivers to our customers. I hear the training consultants debriefing and feeding back, and I hear from our valued returning and also new customers. As many of you reading this are our clients, I hope a lot of what you are about to read is relatable!

I’ve been there before, as I’m sure you have, sat in some training I HAVE to attend to meet compliance standards where sometimes you’re wondering if the trainer even wants to be there?… Do they know this is how they come across? Do they want to make changes but their feedback hasn’t been heard by the company they work for?
What’s great is when these questions don’t even cross your mind. A training day flies by, you feel like you’ve done something valuable that day and you feel better equipped, more confident and even inspired to leave and get some of the actions you jotted down done. These are the kind of days we as a company are trying to ensure happens every day. And for us to know this is what we are providing you with is only proven when you tell us!

We all do things on a daily basis that we wonder how it went, and for me trying to make sure you get what you want, when you want and need it is something I always try to do the best I can with.
The tiny little things that indicate that you’ve had a positive experience start off with the simple “Thanks for the quick reply!”, “Thanks so much for the training!”

And for the ECP training consultants who stand, present and engage with you sometimes for 7 or 12 hours in a day there are obvious indicators as to how it’s going!
  • Are they engaging/ are they asleep?!
  • There is obviously something way more interesting going on outside the window.
  •   Oh my goodness they’re asking so many questions about this topic, which is so  great but I need to move on to the next section soon or they will not be happy when we run over our timings.
  •  Technology has failed me, but actually no one seems to mind as they’re still on this journey with me.
  •  When that person comes up to you at the end of the day to say they got a lot of out of it.
  • And we all know that the training we deliver has some sensitive and difficult topics involved and that sometimes its not personal if someone has left the training room, or doesn’t have what you’d call a happy face and we completely understand this.
Although we have our portfolio of training that we delivery it is very rare that one session is ever identical to another as the delegate engagement, the questions you have, and your experiences really do shape each day, and our consultants thrive off this.
We all get out what we put in, trainers and delegates so we should all ask ourselves ‘How did I do?’  and the reflection may provide you with some interesting food for thought.

You’ve got to check this out!
We all know how important feedback and reputation is, whether we’re booking another trip to our favourite cinema because they have those seats that are that little bit nicer than the other one nearby, a hotel that no one has anything bad to say about it, or we’re ordering a new piece of equipment online and just need to see what other people thought.
These days we’re also being made more aware of those fake reviews that are out there and how to spot them.
There are also those amazing statistics we see about things and just have to get involved if it’s really as great as it says it is!

We all have to put that thought as professionals in to how we measure the impact of what we’re doing, and  then deciding what we need to change or what is specifically going really well.
Isn’t it funny that to quantitively measure how well we’re doing we need to collect qualitative feedback in a format that let’s us put numbers against it?
 And how much do we consider where those numbers we read come from; how are they quality checking their feedback? What are they not including in a data set? What are the thresholds they are using?

Currently the main way ECP receives feedback is through our customers organically and voluntarily providing this to us. I have been pleasantly surprised by how often this happens without us even asking for it! And it’s so great! We are currently considering how we move forwards to be able to effectively collect and measure our feedback to continue to make sure we are always considering how we can change and progress to maintain our reputation that has been built since ECPs beginnings.

The survey says…
Having worked previously in a role in which one of my business aims was to increase the quality and volume of useable data sets to measure impact I understand that how data is collected and where it is being input doesn’t always translate from reality to feedback form.
All it takes is for one question on that page to have someone not tick the box but instead write a comment explaining how their answers doesn’t fit into that box, that the person inputting then cannot submit the answer as they can’t guess which box the person would have ticked. An incomplete data set.
The feedback we’d want to give the person who completed the form would be “please just tick the relevant box” so I can do my job in putting it into the system that will measure it.

I have had my experience in talking to customers who do not want to fill in paperwork and provide feedback, and don’t see why they have to do it.  And also people who you know have put answers that are not accurate, based on how they’ve answered the previous question, but if they wrote it…that’s the data we will analyse. Data in-putters are not decision makers!
Having this as part of my professional role has definitely given me compassion in the way I respond to any feedback I’m completing in my personal life;
·         I write very neatly!
·          I read the instructions about whether it is a tick or a cross. A blue or black pen.
·         I answer all the questions.

Personally, do I give customer feedback? The honest answer is not always and probably only if it ticks one of the below prerequisites:
  •  If I have to as a requirement.
  •  If I have had a very good or very negative experience. 
  • Somewhat dependent on my mood!
  • If I have the time.
  • If I know it’s going to make a difference or have an impact.
Feedback is valuable, but only as valuable as the thought of the person who is giving it… even if this is on a tick box form!

If the questions have an optional free text box to include any other feedback; if someone has taken the time to fill this in does that mean they care more about the feedback they’re giving than someone who doesn’t? Or is it just that the person who didn’t, thinks that the multiple choice options has allowed them to fully give their opinion and experience?

Why do I care what you think?
“You can’t please everyone” -Is an important bit of life advice but also important when considering what you are trying to objectively do with feedback collection.  If this is the audience that you do want to please then you want to know how you can please them more!

The nature of the training ECP provides is that it is a necessity to many of the companies and staff we deliver training to and best practice to others. Since starting in my role I have started to look at what feedback we’re receiving, how we receive it and how we could hear from more of you about how we’re doing, from both a customer experience and training content perspective.

Nice to see you again
We get a lot of rebookings and a lot of our new business comes from places that have heard good things from others.  This is really positive and really shows how experience and reputation do have a real impact.

For us here at ECP it is so great we have this relationship with so many of you. This has been built over time, and something we really value. The challenge I have is trying to learn about all of you and gain as much insight as possible to maintain and push our standards even further.

Getting feedback, especially the compliments, is a lovely thing to receive. It makes us know were achieving the expectation of what you were hoping to get from us.
It is though also comments, questions and the enquires we receive that challenge us to help decide how we move to the future and where sometime we can make a small change that has quite a large impact.

Until we meet again
So the stark reality is that even though I absolutely love it when I get feedback about a training session we’ve delivered (I share it with the team and we all give ourselves what I imagine as a virtual high five and nod of the head that we’ve done good) but if I suddenly start receiving constant feedback, I would probably start to see some of the other areas of my job decline in efficiency as I just wouldn’t have the time to respond and action everything coming in! So that is my challenge for this next quarter… to plan how we, ECP can most effectively collate and use all the comments, compliments and feedback we get in the most organic, sincere way we can to reflect how you all think we’re doing!

Who knows, maybe I’ll ask for some feedback on how you think we should do this. Feedback about feedback! An interesting idea! But please do watch the space and you may see some changes coming soon.

In the meantime; Engage with us! Talk to us! Comment and like those social media posts… pop a comment on my blog. We’ll be there and we’ll reply because we want to hear what you have to say. We need to! To know we’re doing the best job we can do.

By Alice Jackson, Business Manager


Popular Posts