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Improving how the CFPB gathers feedback

At the CFPB, we are committed to delivering trustworthy, impartial, accurate and timely information to the people we serve. To maintain this commitment we provide clear, impartial answers to hundreds of financial questions on Ask CFPB. Ask CFPB offers information you can use to make more informed choices about your money. Ask CFPB helps more than 6 million people do so each year and has helped more than 43 million lifetime users.

What we’ve learned in gathering feedback from real people

To ensure we’re delivering the best quality information to the people that visit our website, we have been gathering real-time insights and feedback on Ask CFPB questions since 2012 through the CFPB’s helpfulness module where people can share a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” response to the prompt, “Was this answer helpful to you?”

In the past, website visitors had the option to add a response in an open field text box.

Over time we’ve learned that despite the large number of visitors to Ask CFPB each year, only 0.04% of people seeking out answers to their financial questions on Ask CFPB responded to this prompt. The module’s open form field also provided an option for consumers to provide direct feedback on their onsite experience. Visitors sometimes misunderstood this open field as a place to share a complaint about a financial product or service. The CFPB has a consumer complaint function, which is central to the organization’s mission, and we do not want our interest in gathering consumer satisfaction insights to get in the way of consumers getting timely help with their complaints.

What we’re doing to help

To ensure that people using the CFPB website can get the help they need, we have removed the helpfulness module across our site and have made the path to submit a complaint easier to navigate. Our hope is that visitors who have a problem with consumer financial products or services will be able to more easily find where they can submit a complaint to get a timely and substantive response from a company. As an organization that strives to be nimble and responsive to changing needs, we believe our website is never really done. We are committed to improving our website by understanding the experience of the people we aim to serve. We strive to do this through various methods of quantitative and qualitative user research, including usability testing, surveys, and data analysis.

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