What is important at this time?
- Safety and Security – Feeling safe and not at further risk.
- Responsiveness – The willingness and capacity to meet immediate needs.
- Access – How easy is the service to find and attend, what mechanisms are in place – online, phone, location etc.
What tools might be suitable?
Face to face - Individual
It may be important at this time to ask just a few simple questions. This may be better done in a conversational manner. This can be done via a paper form or could be done with an online survey that the worker can access via an iPad or phone app. This can be done by setting up a standard survey systems or feedback form and have the worker ask the questions and record the answers.
There are many online survey forms that you can use to connect directly with customers. Start by thinking about the needs of your service or organisation.
If the people you want to get feedback from are “in crisis” you won’t want to engage them in anything lengthy – rather, you would likely want to ask them one or two yes no questions, or one or two questions with a rating scale for answers.
If you’re looking for a quick, short survey, one that may have a just a few questions to use with customers in crisis, one of the free or low cost tools may suit your needs. In fact, a more sophisticated survey package is likely to just be considerably more difficult to use, so for ease and accessibility, keeping it simple may be very important.
Alternatively, if there are others to consider:
- Typeform There are some useful features in the free version, especially the unlimited questions and answers.
- Super Simple Survey lets you use a variety of icons that may be suitable to use (with support) with people with impaired capacity.
- Survey Monkey is one of the most well-known tools, however you must have a paid account if you want to export your data.
- Client Heartbeat is a paid version that offers some much more advanced reporting features.
Keep in mind that no survey tools will do the design work to ensure the survey will collect effective, high quality data. It’s important to think about the questions that will capture the information you want about the customer’s experience. Ensure the determiners are considered when designing survey questions.
Gathering feedback over time
It can be very informative to ask for feedback immediately after a significant intervention in a customer’s life, and then returning a month or six weeks later to ask more formally about their experiences. This provides information about the initial experience, but also allows customers to reflect on what has happened and provide a more considered response.
It’s important to remember that what may seem like the ‘right’ time for the service or worker may not be right for the customer. Give customers the option of providing feedback at the time or later, and be sensitive to the non-verbal and well as verbal messages received about whether ‘now’ is the right time to talk. Remember workers are often in a position of power and it may feel difficult for the customer to say ‘no’ Where the customer is happy to talk to you straight after response to a crisis situation has happened, it can be very informative.