You’ve spent weeks framing the course, writing the course notes, building PowerPoint slides, booking just the right venue.
Now the course is over you want to know what the attendees thought of it.
Was it any good? Would they buy another course from you? Do you need to re-write parts of it?
Without the right training feedback form questions, you’ll never know.
Over the years I’ve analysed literally tens of thousands of responses from hundreds of training feedback surveys. In that analysis, I found that there are only six training survey questions that you need to ask.
In this post I cover each question, the training evaluation questions you should exclude and when to run your survey.
- The 6 Key Training Survey Questions
- Training Survey Questions to Exclude
- Conducting Your Survey
- Training Survey FAQ
The 6 Key Training Survey Questions
1. Net Promoter Score (or Customer Satisfaction)
The first question you need is an Outcome question. This question tells you overall how happy your customer was with the training that you delivered. It should also tell you how loyal that customer will be for future training.
This question has been proven to predict future customer loyalty in many settings and has a great track record.
2. Text or Qualitative Feedback
You should only use one text based question in your course feedback form. Including more makes it more difficult for the student and doesn’t add more information to your analysis process.
But don’t miss it entirely. This question is critical because it will tell you what course attendees liked and/or disliked the most about your course.
Put it straight after the Net Promoter Score question and phrase it like this:
3. Is the content what was promised?
Over the last 15 years we’ve discovered that “do what you say you will do” is one of the three most important drivers of customer loyalty. When it comes to training it’s no different – you need to deliver what you promised.
When you don’t deliver what is promised, customers feel short-changed so you really need to understand how good that match is.
You can do that with this question:
4. Did you learn something new?
Part of evaluating training is understanding how much new information the person received. If everything in the course was already known to them, the value of the course will be quite low.
To evaluate this aspect, use a question like this:
5. How actionable is the information?
People don’t attend training sessions for the great food and personality of the course leader. They want to learn new things they can use in their life after the course.
So, while new information is important it also needs to be usable by the attendee after the course.
6. Rating the Presenter
In single presenter training courses, the attendee’s perception of the course will be heavily influenced by the presenter and how they deliver the content.
Great content delivered in a dull monotone will give the low training evaluation scores. On the other hand, average content delivered well, will increase ratings.
Thus rating the presenter is important but is a little difficult. We have tried several versions of the question over the years, and this version works the best.
Training Survey Questions to Exclude
Some of the things you probably stress over in your training are much less important than you think.
The following areas are service hygiene factors. That means, as long as you provide an adequate service in these areas, it will not affect customer loyalty one way or the other.
- Customer service before and during the course
- Ability to see presentations clearly
- Ability to hear presentation clearly
- The overall venue
- Food and refreshments
- Room and table layout.
Here are a couple of examples of what I mean by hygiene factors:
- Food and refreshments: Providing silver service dining at lunch will not give you great customer loyalty but not proving a vegetarian option when you know you have vegetarians attending will be an issue.
- The overall venue: Delivering your training in a room with no heating in the middle of winter will depress loyalty but delivering it in a 5 Star hotel will not give you great loyalty.
However, you will definitely find customers complaining about these areas:
…the coffee was terrible…
…the decor in the room was boring… (The is a real comment)
But this is only because they are easiest things to pick on when they make comments. They are not real drivers of customer loyalty.
Conducting Your Survey
Your course feedback survey needs to adhere to all the elements of a good customer feedback form. That incudes having well written questions, timing the invite correctly and avoiding back practices.
However, if you just use the questions that we have provided here you will know they abide by the best practices.
When to survey
The customer’s memory of the training course fades quickly, so you want to make sure you capture the information as soon as possible after the course.
Often the simplest approach is to send all attendees an email invite to a web-based survey immediately after the course, but no later than 24 hours later.
That way the information will be fresh in their mind, and you will get the most accurate feedback.
How to Survey: Paper Vs On-line
Hopefully the days of paper “course feedback” questionnaires handed to students at the end of the course a long gone in your organisation.
The problems with papers surveys are many: they get lost, are hard to read, need to be manually data entered, etc.
Training Survey FAQ
Writing a training survey question requires the same approach and skill as writing all other customer feedback questions. You need to avoid common survey errors and include questions about what is important to training respondents.
Originally posted: 28 Nov 2016, Last Update 28 June 2021