feedback-formsDeciding to capture patient or customer feedback can be a bit like thrusting your hand into a nest full of angry hornets. Feedback forms can open up your study to timewasters, trolls, the uninterested and the openly hostile alike. However, feedback forms can also be extremely useful – how else could you capture sentiment data regarding your services, or make informed planning decisions in a business? More often than not, issuing a successful feedback form means striking the balance between two oppositional ideas: honesty and legibility…



Honesty is vital when it comes to sentiment data, but it’s notoriously difficult to encourage. You could issue a series of print or online forms to fill in, with a series of multiple choice or graded intensity questions offering respondents a limited number of answers to choose from. By doing so, you’ll end up with a data set that’s very legible, very easy to digitise and thus incredibly useful, but unfortunately, it’s likely to be lacking in honesty and any real insight. When faced with a series of multiple choice questions, human respondents will tend to get bored very quickly, answering flippantly and at random or otherwise failing to engage with the study at all. If your audience isn’t responding honestly and from the heart, you may as well have just chosen your study’s answers at random.



The advantage of multiple choice feedback forms is that they’re eminently legible and easily digitised, saving you time and money when it comes to your studies. As this method is lacking in honesty and veracity, however, you may wish to take a different approach in order to improve the quality of your study. Rather than multiple choice questions, you may decide to opt for long-form written responses instead, giving respondents the chance to express their feelings about your business, service or study in their own words. If you’re looking for honest, genuine responses to your study, this approach is far more likely to pay dividends, but at the end of it, you’ll be left with reams of written responses that can take an age to decipher and digitise into a more practical, useable format without a form of automated text analysis. It seems like whatever you do, you’re going to have to compromise at some stage.


Here at Document Capture Co, we don’t believe in compromise, and if you make use of our range of automated data capture solutions, you won’t have to compromise on your feedback forms ever again. Our text analysis and natural language processing services will allow you to automatically glean meaning from even the densest handwritten responses, while kiosk and mobile data capture solutions give you the immediacy you need to encourage a more natural, honest range of responses. Contact us to arrange a free, no obligation workshop and see how you can benefit from our services this year!