Collecting and acting on feedback is important for any company since it helps to improve your daily work, your products and services. Additionally, incorporating feedback strengthens your relationships with employees and customers.
For efficiency’s sake, it should be easy for employees and customers to submit their feedback, and it should be easy for you to collect and evaluate the received feedback. The best way to achieve this is implementing a company-wide feedback system that can be adapted for different feedback flows. In the following article, we show you exactly how this can be done.
What Is a Feedback Cycle?
There are two main types of feedback cycles that can be implemented in your business setting – positive and negative feedback loops.
It’s important to note that negative feedback loops are in no way bad. The name does not indicate that the cycle is less effective or disruptive. Instead, negative feedback loops refer to collecting feedback from a different audience.
While a positive feedback loop can be defined as a process of receiving comments from employees, a negative feedback loop focuses on customer feedback on the company’s products or services.
Positive feedback loops
In the positive feedback loop, managers consider the issues that employees have reported and then introduce changes to resolve the matter. The loop is created by the ongoing process of taking in employee feedback, making necessary changes, then asking for further thoughts.
Therefore, this feedback cycle helps to improve internal processes, daily work and the whole workplace.
Negative feedback loops
A negative feedback loop optimizes a company’s product or service based on customer feedback. Therefore, complaints, ideas and feedback from customers are taken into account when redesigning or inventing a new product. But the process doesn’t stop here. After each iteration, customers are asked to give feedback again. That’s why it’s called a feedback cycle.
The job of these feedback loops is to provide companies with a clear, routine process for taking in responses. This ensures that feedback is received in an organized manner and that it is carefully processed and thoughtfully considered by higher management.
What Are the Steps of a Feedback Loop?
Companies need to recognize the drastic importance of feedback – you’d be crazy not to! Each criticism and complaint (or piece of praise) that is received should be considered, as it may just well contain the key to advancing your business.
Let’s take a closer look at the steps of a feedback loop.
1. Ask for feedback.
Share a request for feedback from invested parties. You can use Filestage to collect feedback on content like images, videos, texts or audio files. Alternatively, if you’re looking for consumer feedback about a product or service, you can use a survey, a client feedback form, or a questionnaire.
2. Receive feedback.
Now it’s time to collect and evaluate the responses that you have received from employees or customers. A feedback tool like Filestage makes it easy for your colleagues to leave precise feedback on files and even discuss content with each other. Also, you have all comments in one single place.
For collecting responses from customers, you can collect, sort and evaluate the feedback directly in your survey tool, or you can display the results in tables or graphs that highlight the main responses.
3. Implement feedback.
After reviewing all of the received feedback, it’s time to decide how to implement the feedback. It’s likely that you can’t implement every single piece of feedback, but you should consider each comment and what can be learned. In general, changes that are requested several times by different people should have more impact on your next decision.
In regards to positive feedback loops where you have received feedback from employees, it’s always good to discuss elements that are unclear before making any adjustments.
If the feedback came from customers, it makes sense to have an internal meeting with stakeholders from the customer success, product and marketing teams to discuss the results and decide how to implement feedback in your products and services.
4. Another feedback round or receive approval.
Once you have completed the revision based on your decision in the previous steps, you can conduct another round of feedback collection to see whether employees or customers are satisfied with the changes.
Plus, by showing your team and customers (depending on the type of feedback cycle used) how you have acted upon their ideas, you can demonstrate the company’s positive approach to feedback.
5. Complete the feedback loop.
When the majority of the responses to the changes made in the previous steps are positive, you can mark this feedback loop as completed.
It may sound simple, but feedback loops can get tricky when you’re constantly receiving a lot of feedback. So, we recommend enlisting the assistance of specialized feedback software. We’ll cover software options in more detail in a later section.
The Benefits of Having an Established Feedback Process
It is vital that companies demonstrate that they value everyone who contributes to their operations. CEOs, directors and managers need to demonstrate humility in the face of feedback. By making it clear that you respect and are willing to act on the suggestions given, you are far more likely to create a positive impression of your company.
This applies to the customers who shop with you, and it also goes for the employees who work for you. Feedback is most likely to come from these two groups.
By showing that you value their thoughts and opinions – regardless of their position in your business or how much they spend with you – you are far more likely to build up a strong community of loyal supporters.
With this in mind, these are the top benefits that can be gained by implementing a solid feedback process:
- Make it easy and hassle-free to collect feedback.
- Sort, evaluate and act on feedback in a structured way.
- Get valuable input from employees and customers.
- Improve your work and work environment based on employee feedback.
- Improve your products and services based on customer feedback.
- Build strong relationships with your employees and customers.
Why Should You Use a Professional Feedback Tool?
Feedback loops are not always easy to implement in a business setting as you are likely to be dealing with hundreds (possibly thousands) of responses. That’s why professional feedback tools are such a useful addition.
Here are some ways that a professional feedback tool can positively impact your feedback flow:
- The tool helps users to manage a large volume of comments.
- The software promotes a more routine, consistent system of feedback loops across the company.
- This online management solution will ensure that no feedback gets lost or ignored.
- It makes collaborative working – including sharing thoughts and discussing potential changes – far quicker and easier.
- It keeps the entire feedback cycle all in one, formal, centralized location.
- Through the use of cloud-based software, external stakeholders and managers across teams can also get involved in the feedback cycle.
- The software keeps each suggestion that you’ve received safe and secure. Not only does this significantly decrease the likelihood that you will lose valuable information, but it also helps you to keep data secure. This is vital for adhering to data protection requirement
7 Software Solutions to Simplify Your Feedback Cycles
In this section, we’ve listed 5 of the top feedback cycle software solutions available on the market. These tools can be used throughout your feedback process, including in the collecting of responses, processing the information, and managing your response plan.
As a result, software can keep your entire feedback loop clear, simple and well-managed.
Filestage is a cloud-based review and approval tool that makes it easy to share, discuss and approve files with colleagues and partners. The platform keeps all files, data and information in a secure location. Filestage is also known for its intuitive interface which makes it easy to implement in your workflows.
With the automation and collaboration features, users can save a lot of time in their daily work while reducing misunderstandings and increasing productivity. The main dashboard allows users to track the progress of each feedback loop, keep track of important deadlines, and get notified when a feedback cycle has been completed.
With Typeform you can create visually appealing surveys, polls, quizzes and forms to collect feedback from your employees or customers on any topic. You can also customize the layout and template of your survey to adapt to your brand’s design. To make your survey more engaging or give people more information you can add images or videos to questions. By setting up a conditional logic your participants are asked the right follow-up questions – based on their previous answers – and can skip the rest.
SurveyMonkey is a survey tool that helps you collect feedback from employees or customers. Therefore SurveyMonkey offers different survey types e.g. surveys about customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, employee engagement, job satisfaction or HR surveys. Furthermore you can also create market research surveys to see if potential and existing customers like your new product idea. Every survey template and question can be easily adapted to your specific needs and the layout of your survey can be customized with your logo and brand colors.
ReviewStudio is a proofing platform that enables team collaboration in a centralized online location. It provides detailed individual user dashboards which contain key information about deadlines, the status of different feedback cycles, and notifications of completed projects. With this software, users can upload feedback as it is received, add it to a well-managed system of folders, and then develop an efficient and effective response plan.
WebProof is a specialized piece of online proofing software. It’s a popular tool amongst businesses from a wide variety of different creative industries including graphic design firms, agencies, magazines and newspapers.
This intelligent tool is designed to make feedback easier to both collect and implement. With a number of specialized collaborative features, WebProof allows teams to discuss potential changes. Then, they can implement them through the software in a way that utilizes the strengths and knowledge of the entire team.
ProofHub can be utilized by organizations of almost any scale and industry. This SaaS-based project management software is designed to help teams make collaborative changes to a product or document based on the feedback that they have ascertained.
It boasts a number of intuitive communication features, including an integrated group chat space, individual workflows and team project boards. ProofHub is designed to make task management more uniform across the board, which is especially useful if you are incorporating a number of different pieces of feedback into your product.
Aproove is a specialized task management tool. This software is designed to take collaborative work online, thereby making it more efficient. Plus, its centralized system and streamlined workflow make it easy to understand all of the feedback gathered.
Approve operates by creating a cloud-based hub for all of your team’s workflows. Then, users can build personalized and intelligent online workflows. Features include the ability to incorporate feedback through forms, metadata, feedback issued when proofing into the workflow. As such, it makes task and file management easier to achieve.
6 Tips for Implementing Feedback Loops in Your Workflow
As you incorporate your positive and negative feedback cycles into your company operations, there are still some key details to keep in mind.
In order to help ensure this step is a success, we’ve outlined our 6 top tips for implementing feedback loops.
1. Make submitting feedback easy.
It’s crucial that submitting feedback is easy for both employees and customers. Otherwise, they are unlikely to bother. Furthermore, a difficult process can give the impression that contributions are unwelcome, which is certainly not the case.
2. Keep discussions of feedback positive.
Maintain a positive tone when responding to feedback. Make it clear that you are eager to take on suggestions. This is also particularly important for the second feedback round. The main thing here is to not make it look as though you are offended or irritated by anyone’s comments.
3. Organize the feedback that you receive.
If you do not manage your feedback well, it can quickly become overwhelming. That’s why you should avoid receiving feedback in single messages that are spread across different channels and platforms.
We recommend that you group feedback into separate categories as soon as you receive it. That’s where feedback software is a great help with internal comments. Also, if you use a survey tool to collect responses from customers, then you can easily organize them there.
4. Communicate how your company has acted on the feedback.
By communicating about improvements made based on the feedback, you can ensure that your employees and customers feel valued. It also helps create a more supportive work environment and positive branding for your company.
Internally, you can present results in your next team meeting or post a message in your team’s Slack channel. To inform your customers of changes, you can mention them in email communications about the new/ redesigned product.
5. Encourage employees and customers to leave feedback.
Make it clear that they have nothing to fear by sharing their thoughts with you. While in some cases it can be beneficial to collect feedback anonymously, in others it may be helpful to talk with individuals directly.
Either way, and whether their responses are negative or positive, let your customers and employees know that you want to hear what they have to say. This will mean that you gain more feedback that is likely to be more detailed, too.
6. Use the right software to support your feedback loops.
The right choice of software is an invaluable tool to assist with both your positive and negative feedback mechanisms.
With Filestage, your team can carefully collect and organize the feedback that you receive. Furthermore, the tool provides a sophisticated collaboration platform. This means that you can work together to implement feedback and revise projects in the most effective ways. Then, you can use Filestage to formally, and officially, close the feedback cycle.
Now that you understand feedback loops and the perks they provide, as well as the right software to help you get started, you’re all set to introduce this strategy into your business.
With a feedback cycle in place, you can keep your company’s offerings in line with the needs of your staff and customers. It’s a simple yet highly effective way to keep all those who are invested in your company – at all levels – happy and loyal to your brand.