Listening to the boss

Every comment helps

Every comment helps

If you’ve visited the Money Advice Service website you might be aware of the exit poll. It’s a small box that pops up after you’ve spent some time on the site and it’s one of the ways the business collects feedback from users.

In this piece I’d like to explain a bit about how these comments are used to improve the website.

A version of this article first appeared on Making Money Advice Service.

Constructive criticism

Each month thousands of users complete exit polls and a large percentage say they are happy with the service provided.  A smaller group point out the difficulties they experienced using the website. These comments range from design issues (“search facility needs improving”), all the way to personal queries (“more information for self-employed mothers”).

The Insight team shares these comments and I categorise them for the editorial team. Common themes include consumers asking for more ‘real life’ examples and complaints about articles being too complicated.

The initial scope of the project was very broad and looked at comments from across the entire website. For example, a frequent criticism is the use of too much jargon. This claim has been levelled across most of the content, however, breaking these comments down highlighted that the issue was much greater in some areas of the website.

Having a better understanding of users’ needs across the different sections means more effectively prioritising the areas which need to be improved. In this case, the long-term solution was to add a glossary function to the website, but the priority is to do so in the areas where jargon is most frequently described as a problem.

A segmented approach to improvement

This layered approach also means feedback can be assessed in relation to individual articles. For example, one piece received a relatively high number of comments from users saying they couldn’t find the Retirement Adviser Directory (RAD). There was already a link to this content in the article, but it clearly wasn’t visible enough.

To help users find what they were looking for, an extra link to the RAD was added higher up the page, as well as an internal menu. The latter shows users exactly what’s in the article and lets them skip to the section they’re interested in. After just a few weeks of monitoring it became clear the experiment was a success, with the majority of users interacting with the new menu or clicking through to the RAD.

This type of quick win enables the content team to drive the business case for larger scale improvements, such as the aforementioned glossary.

Building on success

Finally, although each comment is valuable, it’s worth pointing out that changes aren’t made solely based on customer feedback. Each request or comment is analysed and assessed as part of the overall content strategy before it is or isn’t actioned.

It’s easy to get carried away when implementing feedback, but it’s important to remember that the Money Advice Service’s content strategy is built on several pillars.

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