Surveys: Tell Me What You REALLY Think!

Survey Results

Survey Results

Surveys are notorious, from both sides of the subject… 

As someone who gets at least a survey per week in my mail, I respond to very few of them. Sometimes it’s because I’m just plain busy when I first see it, and it feels like a drag on my time (the DELETE key is so very tempting…). Other times it comes from a source I almost never hear from, so I wonder why (s)he wants me to give them input now, when I’ve gotten so little from them of value to date. However, when I do respond, it is usually to a person or organization from whom I’ve gotten some kind of value over time, it is tightly proscribed (that is, won’t take longer than a couple of minutes to complete….), and concerns topics that I care about.

As a business owner and blogger, I take these motivations and concerns into account when creating surveys. During the month of November I ran a survey for those who subscribe to my newsletter and regularly read my blog. The single question was:

What are the topics you wish to learn more about to help you in your business? 

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What Do Your Customers Think?

Happy Customers

Happy Customers!

Got customers?

Then you are interested in what they think of you, since that will drive not only whether they purchase your product or service, but other things, too. Like:
  • What do think of your product  / service?
  • Will they buy again?
  • How will you know what they think unless they tell you?
  • What kind of review will they give you (on-line or off-line)?
  • What kind of influence will their experience have on how others think of you?

The basic ideas behind Customer Experience (or CX as it has come to be known) have been around for awhile. Think about when you walk into an office or a store of some kind. The initial impression of location, attractiveness, and the employees’ attitude towards you all contribute to the CX. It could be all over the place as to your experience, but that was, and is, a huge part of it In Real Life (IRL, for those of you who like acronyms…).

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Keeping Up With The Raging Stream of Content

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Raging Stream of Content

A Raging Stream….of Content!

How can you possibly keep up with the constant stream of content you need to publish so you can attract new visitors and satiate the the existing ones? Oh, and it has to be really valuable, interesting, entertaining, and, you hope, draws them to you in a way that leads them to hire you or buy your stuff eventually.

First, have a strategy and plan.

How much content do you actually require to meet your business and marketing goals? That depends…..typical answer, but it’s true. Here are some sample goals you might have:

  • Raise awareness for your business
  • Increase sales or leads
  • Establish and maintain professional credibility with your audience
  • Provide helpful “How-To” content to your audience

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Personas Are NOT the Audience!

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Personas

Personas

I read an exceptional article by Mitch Joel recently entitled The Audience (formerly known as the Audience). In it he writes about how perceptions and standard audience research (that leads to the creation of personas or avatars for marketing purposes…) are actually quite flawed. The challenge to fixing this or working through it, is in the ways they are flawed.

Here’s a scenario:

You are developing a new product for your client base that is aimed at stay-at-home moms. Immediately, a persona of the stay-at-home mom is put together in your mind’s eye…

  • Female
  • early 30s – early 40s
  • Spouse / Partner works out of the home, 9-5.
  • Wears casual / workout clothing for comfort and ease of care (the kids are ALWAYS spilling things…)
  • Drinks a LOT of coffee
  • Perpetually exhausted with too much to do
  • Drives a “family” vehicle (mini-van / SUV) that is full of child-related stuff
  • Gets together with friends regularly (with children) to chat and commiserate.
Do you see this stay-at-home mom persona in your mind’s eye? 

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How Can Responsiveness Keep You Out of Trouble?

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Facebook Business Responsiveness

Facebook Business Responsiveness

Responsiveness is critical to customer experience. If you get an email or see a post to your company Facebook page with a request or comment from a customer (or potential customer…), letting it go for awhile (or altogether…) is a recipe for TROUBLE! The speed by which you respond not only convinces that person that you’re listening, but that you actually care what they are bringing to you. However, there’s a lot more to this than speed…

How you respond and your tone prove how you treat this as an opportunity. You can not only build a better relationship with this person, but provide an online record of how professional and customer-centric your company is. I’ve written a lot about your VACC (Visitors/Audience/Customers/Community) and how your conversation with each differs and builds toward the kind of relationship that benefits all parties. Defined as “fair exchange“, this is a great relationship, as both parties derive immense value from the framework, and all work done on it only serves to strengthen it. The stronger the foundation, the easier it can be to get past the niceties of the regular communications and unveil greater authenticity and transparency. This is particularly true of bad news you need to deliver.

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Best of November: TOP POSTS – No Turkeys Here!

Can you believe it? Thanksgiving is past and we are all on the short countdown to Christmas!? Well, while you were trying to finish off the Halloween candy AND putting together the grocery list for Thanksgiving, there have been a LOT of article published that deserve your attention…..I’ve gone through them and cherry-picked the most relevant ones for you!

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Fall Reading List

Fall Reading List

One of my favorite sites to read, Conversation Agent by Valeria Maltoni, posted the seasonal reading list. I know your reading list is already pretty long, as is mine, but her recommendations always lead to revisit and lengthen mine. I’m sure this list will do the same for you!

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What’s the Best Social Media Channel for my Business?

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Which Social Media Channels?

Which Social Media Channels?

A small business owner asked me this question recently: Does it matter which social media channels my business focuses on?

This is a great question!
It does matter from a couple of angles:
  • You need to be where your customers are.
  • Focus is crucial, since each additional channel requires resources.
Let me elaborate….

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