If you asked me how the French Onion Soup that I just ate was, I could tell you that it initially burned my mouth, that the crunch in the bread roll was satisfying, that I was extremely hungry and enjoyed it more than I would have on another day, or that I felt it lacked the amount of cheese I would have liked. If you ask me again in a week or a month’s time, it will be much less memorable as the details begin to fade. In turn, the further I get from this moment, the more the quality of my feedback will decrease.

So when is the best time to ask for feedback? When do people tend to give their most honest considerations? It’s true that most people will offer feedback when they’re frustrated with a situation. This tends to be something an individual feels requires immediacy as their frustration and dissatisfaction seems best conveyed by the honesty of their anger. An individual will rarely race to give negative feedback after a large amount of time has passed. The same can be said for positive feedback. The reason for this is because of the connection to an emotional response only contained within that moment; a connection that simmers down and dissipates as time passes. Immediate feedback in this sense catches the purest of responses, the most honest feedback due to the freshness of the human experience, unprocessed by the passing of time.

As we continue our transition into the digital age, some aspects and habits struggle to catch up. Feedback is an area that falls woefully behind as technology continues in leaps and bounds, quicker than our businesses and institutions are able to keep up. Feedback is traditionally received in anticipation of potential change or as a means to survey what has already happened, yet we live in an age of connectivity where this needn’t be the case. With ntropy, the ability to trigger and receive immediate feedback across a range of channels; SMS, Email, Widget and Mobile App, enable access to real-time feedback directly from the moment of experience.

Time is an incredibly important consideration when requesting feedback from an audience. That is not to say that you should interrupt me for updates whilst I’m famished and enjoying my soup, however, from my angry grunting at your interruption, you could infer that I am enjoying it in the moment. If you asked me immediately after eating, you may learn of the fact that the burns on the roof of my mouth were not worth the impatience of my hunger. If you asked me as it was still cooking, you would hear of my anticipation and excitement. When you choose to ask a question will determine the answer. There is no correct or incorrect time to survey an audience, but considering the context created by the timing of your question will render the results more useful.

ntropy’s data shows that, when using our platform to engage with an individual or group in the moment (whether during an event or through real-time updates from the user-base) you are likely to receive as much as 10 times more feedback with far richer details and insights than the traditional approach of asking for feedback in anticipation of, or after, the moment has already passed.

Leo Tolstoy wrote that now is the most important time “because it is the only time when we have any power.” So, consider your feedback strategies. Ask yourself if the results are truly optimal, and if you’re empowering your audience to give honest feedback in the moment. If you’re not, speak with the ntropy team today to find out how you can start driving benefit through continuous feedback.