Continuous measurement of intranet user satisfaction – Can it be done?

Measurement and user satisfaction is something that all intranet people think about now and again me included. I have been running satisfaction surveys for a couple of years and although these big, annual surveys have produced very useful results I have thinking about a more continuous measurement of your intranet and how this can be done. I was introduced to the idea of Net Promoter Score which inspired me to think whether it was possible to create something similar for intranets. To explore this further I posted the following question in three LinkedIn groups.

“How do you continuously measure intranet satisfaction?”

I got some very good and insightful feedback from the group members and I will try to summarize and conclude in the following.

First of all the concept of Net Promoter Score where you ask users one and the same question will not work well for intranets. Firstly, the people in your target group are left with little choice where to go for information. You may have a fragmented digital workplace but the employees are still ‘forced’ to use what’s put in front of them. Secondly, you will be asking the same people the same question over and over expecting different results and that’s not very likely to happen.

Several contributors pointed out that people are fed up with surveys and pop-ups. I even blogged about what I have dubbed ‘survey fatigue’ so I cannot agree more but if we don’t ask, we won’t know.

After reading through the discussions I have discerned two themes which could be relevant for continuous measurement.

1. KPI Quesions
The key is to make these relevant to the organisation and to the purpose of your intranet. If you have an intranet strategy and/or purpose in place, this should be fairly easy and this sbould also enable you to find the Critical Business Requirements which you can base your questions around.

2. Feedback analysis
This obviously requires a structured method for collecting feedback. A great way to do this could be to team up with your helpdesk. This will allow you to create a sentiment analysis of the incoming feedback which will provide an insight into the atitude towards intranet and it may even tell you something about the organizational mood at any given time.

Inspired by the omnipresent feedback tabs on websites the two mentioned above could be combined in a quick questionnaire like the one below where I have assumed that the Critical Business Requirements are to be able to find up-to-date information quickly and easily, and of course that the intranet is relevant for the employees:

The obvious downside of the KPI measurement is that does not give you any pointers as to what areas you specifically need to address if you need to improve. I have some concerns that a generic satisfaction KPI will be just ‘for show’. It doesn’t provide anything but small clues as to what to change in order to improve, and it does little to justify why and where you need to invest time and/or money in developing your intranet. That said, I also believe that if you have a professional intranet team they are very likely to know exactly what levers to pull and buttons to push in order to improve, and by running the continuous analysis you will not have to wait for the annual survey to adjust your efforts.

In addition to this, I can’t help but think that if the Intranet community could agree on three benchmark questions we would have a way of comparing what we do. Intranets are sufficiently similar when it comes to the purpose of having one, yet different enough to create a need for bigger surveys and benchmark studies like they do at IBF or WIC. You still need those to get specific details on WHAT and HOW to improve your intranet, but for a quick comparison, the concept of an “Intranet Satisfaction Score” could still be useful.

What do you think? Will it make sense – let alone be possible – to have this kind of metric?

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A special thank you to Martin White, Nigel Williams, William Amurgis, Nicolas Lethbridge, and many more for sharing insights thoughts and resources in the LinkedIn discussions. Among these resources I’d like to mention two in particular: A Metric Model For Intranet Portal Business Requirements and the Intranet Management Handbook

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One thought on “Continuous measurement of intranet user satisfaction – Can it be done?

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