Recent news headlines have made it clear that consumers aren’t shy when it comes to voicing their opinions about changes to a favorite brand’s product or service offering. Social media has made it easy for anyone with a smartphone or an internet connection to express their opinions and find an audience for their point of view.  It’s more important now than ever for brands to ensure they’re incorporating consumer feedback. A continuous feedback loop helps companies anticipate the reactions of their user base and act accordingly.

At Ask, we use a variety of approaches to stay connected with our users and make product innovation a truly co-creative process. Each month, thousands of Ask.com users complete our site satisfaction survey, provide suggestions for improvement in our Q&A community and in our footer Feedback link, visit our Facebook and Twitter pages, and participate in usability testing. When more than 60 million people rely on your brand each month, there really is no such thing as too much feedback.

One of the newest feedback initiatives we’ve launched is the Ask.com User Advisory Panel. Over 300 Ask users from across our website, Q&A community, and mobile apps agreed to participate in a private, online research community to provide input on Ask.com initiatives over several months. User panels like ours are unique in that they allow a space for good ideas to both emerge and be refined over time. To date, our Advisory Panel has helped us optimize our site design, get ideas for brand advertising, and communicate our most important deliverable – great answers – in a way that’s universally understood.

 

Like all good research projects, our Advisory Panel has also brought forward some surprises. Specifically, how much our panelists appreciate the opportunity to provide feedback that can help Ask improve and that their respect for Ask has increased because we consider user input to be a critical aspect of our decision-making process. For our part, we’re thrilled that so many of our users are willing to have a meaningful conversation with us and we’re working hard to ensure that Ask stays on their favorite brands list!

Ann Semeraro, Director, Consumer and Market Insight