Timing is an important consideration when seeking feedback about your service. Especially if it involves seeking feedback from people me may speak to once or twice, or who may be anonyms in seeking services.
If we want to evaluate whether finds the service helpful, when do you ask? Would we ask them after their first meeting? Their third? After two months? There is no set answer to this question, but it's important to remember we are gathering different information depending on the timing, and we have to be specific about this when discussing findings.
Consideration for the feelings of our clients or customers must also be part of the decision-making process. Programs that serve women who are in crisis, for example, would want to minimize the number and types of questions they ask. This is one reason programs find it difficult to imagine how they might evaluate their 24-hour crisis line[i].
However, some questions can be asked that can be used to evaluate a 24-hour crisis line programs; these questions must be asked only when appropriate, and should be asked in a conversational way. Examples of such questions might include:
“Was this helpful for you?”
“Did you get what you needed?”
“Is there any other information you need?”
[i] Sullivan, C. 2001 Evaluating the outcomes of domestic violence service programs: some practical considerations and strategies. National Electronic Network on Violence Against Women