An important part of the Specialised Marketing Assessment is the ‘Key Areas for Improvement’ piece. This is the part of the quiz where quiz takers receive personalised feedback and advice based on their quiz results.
The Key Areas for Improvement are equally, if not more important than the quiz questions. In fact, sometimes, we write this part before we tackle the questions or even the title. Why? Because feedback is a gift, it enables people to learn and improve. People crave feedback, they want to know about themselves, how they’re doing, what they’re getting right and how they can do better.
The best type of feedback is undoubtedly instant feedback, and when your prospects and clients take your bespoke quiz, that’s exactly what they will get.
In this article we’ll take a look at what feedback is and why it’s so important. We’ll explain the characteristics of effective feedback and then we’ll outline how you can incorporate those characteristics into the Key Areas for Improvement of your own Specialised Marketing Assessment.
Why give feedback?
We all know how important it is for businesses to get feedback from their customers. But why should businesses provide feedback to their clients and prospects? Most businesses are there to solve a problem, but they can’t help someone if that person doesn’t know what that problem is or how it affects them. Giving feedback not only identifies and articulates the challenges a person might be facing, but it also improves their confidence and gives them motivation to learn more and take action.
What is instant feedback and why is it important?
Feedback is defined as “information provided by an agent regarding aspects of one’s performance or understanding”. It aims to engage, inform, and increase knowledge by reducing “discrepancies between current understandings and performance, and a goal”.
We mentioned ‘instant feedback’ at the top of the article. This is when information is provided “on-demand”, in immediate response to a person’s action.
As the most tantalizing part of an online quiz, instant feedback helps the quiz taker deepen their understanding. After they have given their responses to the quiz questions, instant feedback serves to reinforce what they have learned about themselves by correcting mistakes, affirming competence, or exposing misconceptions on the topic.
When an interaction with a prospect or client, such as a quiz, is followed up with immediate feedback, it allows them to take a moment to engage and modify their own behaviour, right there in the moment. Giving feedback instantly makes an experience active rather than passive, which in turn places the quiz taker in a state of mind where they are more likely to convert.
What does effective feedback look like?
So, what sets good feedback apart from bad feedback? Here are six best practices for effective feedback:
- It’s timely. Feedback should be instant in all scenarios, not just a quiz. This way, it is more relevant and can be acted on straight away. It also solidifies what the recipient has learned during the experience
- It’s ongoing. This means incorporating feedback into all the content you produce and all your interactions with a client or prospect. A bespoke quiz can help with this. The data you gather can expose common challenges your audience may be facing. You can then create content around these specific challenges. You can continue providing relevant feedback to a quiz taker in your follow up interactions with them, be it nurture email, sales call, or social media exchanges
- It’s relevant. If the feedback is not specific to the recipient, it risks becoming vague and ineffective. It loses its power of embedding the topic in the person’s mind, if the topic is you and your business, that’s not good
- It includes positive reinforcement. Reinforcement is not the same as feedback. Reinforcement incentivizes the recipient of the feedback to do better or repeat the things they’re doing well. Effective feedback must be encouraging, constructive, and it must positively reinforce people, so that they are motivated to try something new and to make a positive change, rather than give up in frustration
- It’s structured. All learning experiences should have clear outcomes set out at the start. In the context of a quiz, the outcome is usually stated in the title or subtitle. All feedback should be structured so that it compares the desired outcome to the actual outcome. It should then provide guidance and positive reinforcement to bridge the gap between actual performance and desired outcome
- It’s a two-way street. Receiving feedback is just as important as giving feedback, it can improve performance and help you improve your content by tweaking it to include what your audience needs to know. A great way to engage with your audience is to ask them what they think of your content. Knowing you value their opinion will incentivise them to engage and you will gather valuable information that will help you make your content even more powerful
What are the Key Areas for Improvement and how do I write them?
Key Areas for Improvement refer to the specific feedback that relates to your quiz topics. The Key Areas for Improvement that are most relevant to the quiz taker’s answers are revealed on the quiz results page. They are also included in the PDF results report that is instantly emailed to the quiz taker upon completion of the quiz.
This feedback section doesn’t actually have to be titled ‘Key Areas for Improvement’, that might not be relevant to the theme of your quiz. In fact, this part of the quiz can be called anything you like, as long as it accurately describes the type of feedback you want to provide, whether that’s where the quiz taker needs the most help or where they are currently doing really well.
Some example alternatives include ‘Key transferable skills’ and ‘Key areas where you’re killing it and how to leverage that’.
How do we incorporate all the characteristics of effective feedback that we’ve covered into our Key Areas for Improvement? Follow these best practices to help you create valuable, effective Key Area feedback that your clients and prospects will love:
- When feedback is timely, it allows people to act on it there and then. This is why we encourage our clients to include practical tips in their Key Areas for Improvement feedback, little wins that can be incorporated into the quiz taker’s day to day instantly
- If their responses indicate that they are already smashing it, instant feedback is still valuable. It reinforces why they are doing things right and motivates them to do even better. Use this feedback as an opportunity to put their responses in context and give them meaning
- The feedback must be specific to the quiz taker’s responses. A Specialised Marketing Assessment is comprised of many different versions of the Key Areas for Improvement feedback that are tailored to every possible quiz outcome. So, whatever responses the quiz taker gives, they will receive relevant feedback
- Use positive language, be sure to highlight what they are doing well alongside your suggestions for improvements. Letting them know that they’re not alone in the challenges they face and backing that up with some statistics can help to reassure them. It will prevent them from feeling alienated and will build confidence and trust
- Give your Key Areas for Improvement structure by referring to the quiz title. Explain what the key area in question actually means in the context of the aim of the quiz. For example, if your quiz is titled ‘What’s actually stopping you from growing your business?’ and the key area for improvement is ‘Setting goals’, explain how setting goals will impact their potential for growth. Then go on to describe the ways they can improve their goal setting and what sort of results they might expect.
The golden rule
The main thing to remember when creating any type of feedback is to keep it focused on the recipient. It can be tempting to launch into a pitch, but trust us, that’s more likely to lose their trust than covert them. Stay authentic and offer genuine, helpful feedback and advice, this is the best way to turn a prospect into a loyal, longstanding client.
When people receive constructive feedback, it motivates them to set higher goals for themselves and improve their performance. If you are the person providing that feedback, you are already firmly positioned in their minds as the trusted advisor who can help them progress and reach new heights.