Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Using Customer Research Panels and Mobile Research to Keep Conversations Alive

Over the past weekend, I took a really interesting communications course.  We were exploring the nature of conversations.  I won’t get into the details, but one concept that really made my light bulb flash was this idea that we treat conversations (the words we say to each other) as if they were physical objects.  And they are not.

Conversations use words – and words are not objects, words are invisible and as soon as you say them,. they disappear.  While objects take up physical space.

Do this experiment — pick up an object – any object; pen, cup, phone — any object will do.  Place it down on the table, then walk away.  Then come back.  Assuming that no one has moved it, it will still be there.  It’s an object – it doesn’t just walk away or disappear on its own.

Now – hold your hand in front of your face and say “Hey all you customers, click on this link, walk through my door and buy something!”

Did you SEE anything come out of your mouth?  Did people suddenly come walking through your door?  NO – because words are invisible.  They are not objects.

So here is the problem — we THINK that when we say something or have a conversation that it’s just going to be there — like that cup.  And guess what?  It isn’t.  We forget.  We forget most conversations in the instant that they come out of our mouths.

This is the reason we forget people’s names so quickly – they are usually SAID in a conversation.  That’s why the best way to remember a name is to attach it to a visual object.  Because we are wired to relate to the world that way.  Just saying a name doesn’t necessarily make it stick.

THIS IS WHY ADVERTISING MUST BE REPEATED

Until I had this communication session, I only understood that advertising had to be repeated because people didn’t remember it — because I knew that.  I was taught that, I could see that people forgot.  But I didn’t know WHY we forgot.

We don’t forget because we’re stupid, and your customer don’t forget because they aren’t interested — advertising messages are forgotten because they are a communication and part of a conversation — so they just disappear.

Now that you know that — you can really begin to see new and creative ways that you can get your messages across in ways that people will remember.

How This Works in The World of Research

With more complexity and distraction in our lives it stands to reason that we will be PULLED away from the conversations that we are in.   The same is true for our customers and communities.

And the best way to make sure that the engagement with our customers is relevant is to make sure that we engage them as close to the product and service experience as possible.

This is where mobile surveys become so critical.  And this is why they've been such a hot topic of conversation around the mobile research community.

Creating a mobile customer research panel will require some time, effort and organization on your part, but the work will be worth it.  Here are some tips and strategies you can use to build your mobile customer research panel.

  1. Get to know and understand the SurveySwipe application.  This is Survey Analytics mobile research application that is ridiculously easy to use and understand.  Get your feet wet with the Instant Connect option.  You'll get to ask 25 panel members 10 questions.  This will give you an excellent start in understanding how survey panels work.  Your next step will be to create your own customer panel.  If you're selling to small business, you can also become part of the SmallBizOpinions.com panel (this is our beta test) and a great way to see what it's like to be part of a small business panel.  It's not pretty, but you'll really get a sense for the interaction and information that's available for you.

  2. Create a relevant customer profile.  Profiling your customers in a relevant way is extremely important.  Think of the profile in terms of how you'd like to group, choose or segment people.  Focus on demographic variables  or variables that are relatively constant.  For example, location, brand of computer, etc.  Opinions or elements that might change within a 12 month period are best left for surveys.

  3. Create short 1 - 5 question surveys.  Now you can create short surveys that take less than 30 seconds to complete.  The Survey Analytics platform's ability to use advanced question types and sophisticated branching and looping will make this so much easier than you imagined.

  4. Launch surveys regularly.  Keep conversations alive with your customers and prospects by asking them questions regularly.  Get them used to the fact that it will only take 10-30 seconds to respond, and you will see response rates go through the roof.  Also make sure that you have a digital space where these customers can hang out and have conversations about your products and services -- this could be a blog or you can use IdeaScale .


There are three important concepts to remember;



  1. Conversations that are NOT important to your customer will evaporate over time.

  2. Keeping those conversations engaging and alive is up to YOU.

  3. Survey Analytics has the tools that you can use to manage all of these conversations in one place.





Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sleep With iPhone - Good For Research?



According to a recently released article by the Associated Press, 2/3 of all smartphone owners sleep with their phones right next to the bed. While the article also talks about some worrisome trends including increasing anti-social behavior -  I believe that such usage will reach an equilibrium after the novelty factors wear out in a few years. In the meantime, I want to focus on what this means for market research.

I have noticed that after purchasing my iPhone almost 3 years ago, I have stopped using my desktop and notebook computers for casual usage. Here is why I think my behavior changed - my phone is my address book, email client, Facebook interface, alarm clock, camera, navigation system (GPS), music player, casual gaming console, and even the web browser. As I think through, I don't think it's merely because these features exist  - it's because it just works, has amazing user experience and is incredibly accessible anytime, anywhere. I have at multiple occasions stopped my car on the side of the road to respond to emails. At one specific occasion I was able to program a survey right from my phone and send it out to SurveySwipe community members on the way to Mt. Rainier.



Market research starts with data collection. Most service providers and researchers know that it has been increasingly difficult to improve or maintain good response rates via online samples. Additionally, if increasing number of research studies validate the theory that people are using their smartphones in more ways than they ever used their computers - by not performing mobile research you are simply excluding 1/3 of the population. You don't need to be a statistician to understand that it is a big problem. In addition to being inclusive, smartphones offer several unprecedented opportunities for data collection. Here are some examples:

  • Ability to popup surveys when smartphone owner is in close proximity to an entity of interest - Starbucks, Walmart etc.

  • Validating stated from observed behavior (photos, videos)

  • Qualitative studies where people record their thoughts as they go their shopping experience


Incredulously, we are still at the tip of the iceberg in terms of what will be possible. Good or bad aside, I think we should acknowledge that unprecedented ability to reach people via their smartphones will change everything - not just market research.

P.S: I really wonder about Apple's Net Promoter Score (NPS).

Monday, July 25, 2011

How to Use Research to Discover Your Value to Customers

In a recent article over at Marketing Experiments, Daniel Burstein makes the distinction between discovering the value that you give to your customers and dictating that value.  In this particular article, he goes into how to use social media to get at that value.  But I'd like to explore other methods as well.

Use Nimble to focus social media conversations.  A few weeks ago, I was introduced to Nimble; a new social CRM (Customer Relationship Management ) tool developed Jon Ferrara, the creator of Goldmine.  He realized that relationships were starting as social media conversations but were really falling through the cracks as people struggled to manage them via traditional tools.  The concept is simple.  Nimble integrates your email with your social media accounts and then allows you to link those virtual connections with tasks and projects.  In the future, the idea is to run your whole sales and marketing communications from one screen.  Definitely something worth exploring.

I mentioned Nimble because it's a tool that brings conversations together in a way that will allow you to see patterns and actually have conversations about the value that you bring.  This isn't an activity that you would outsource to a market research firm, it's an activity for your sales, marketing or executive groups.  But it's information that will save you market research money and allow you to focus your research on better quantifying and defining this value.

Drive customers to crowd sourcing.  A couple of years ago, crowd sourcing was a trendy topic.  Everyone was talking about it and trying it.  But now, it doesn't seem to be as much a part of the research conversation.  Just because some other shiny new object might have taken it's place in the conversation, doesn't make it less valuable as a tool.  Tools like IdeaScale are still an excellent resource for companies who don't have BIG "chatworthy" brands on social media.

Your customers and potential customers aren't going to magically find your crowd sourcing space, you will have to send them there and remind them that it's there.  You will have to make it part of your conversation and have that web site listed prominently everywhere.  Crowd sourcing will only help you define value if you use it.

Customer research panels.  This is probably the shiny new trend of the market research world.  And when you pair this up with mobile market research, you've got yourself one of the most popular topics in research today.  This is another way to collect and listen to what your customers value without necessarily using social media tools.

Survey Analytics' SurveySwipe application takes your customer research panel mobile and this gives companies advantages besides the obvious one of reaching customers where they are.  It gives you the advantage of better quality responses because their the technology of the mobile phone allows for location-based functions that can trigger surveys as close to the customer response as possible.

At a time when doing market research was a proposition far beyond the small business budget, it was understandable why so many of us were simply deciding on the value that we offered and telling our customer about it.

Believe it or not, THAT is the more expensive option today.  Use the new tools that are available to really engage and talk to your customers about the ways in which they experience your product, then promote that value to other customers who match their profile.

This is not only a sound strategy, but one that will pay off in profitability and customer satisfaction.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Does Influence Really Matter?

This article originally appeared on the AMEX Open Forum blog --  I wrote it to get people to seriously think about authority and influence.

Currently, Small Business Trends is running the SMBInfluencer's Award; for which Survey Analytics has been nominated as an SMBInfluencer -- you can see their nomination here and vote for them as well as any other gurus, companies and media organizations.

I’ve been thinking a lot about influence lately.  It seems that I’m not the only one.  Influence isn’t just for celebrities any more.  Small business has gotten into the game as well.  Mike Michalowicz wrote an article that talked about how you can grow your business by connecting with influencers.  And Guy Kawasaki gives us a real life example of  how you can create a path for influencing behavior by setting up an environment for easy compliance.

Why Influencers Matter to Small Business?

Influencers matter to your small business in the same way that segmentation matters to your marketing message – they simplify and cut the cost of communicating to large groups of people.

We’ve been conditioned to think of celebrities as influencers because a single mention from them can set product sales soaring.  During the times of network media domination, small businesses rarely got to participate in this kind of promotion.  But the advent of new media with its wide reaching social networks has suddenly made it possible (even easy) for small businesses to reach their target audience by investing their time rather than money.

Move Over Oprah!

Social networks have made it possible for experts in any area of industry to have their voices heard and to gain a loyal and responsive audience.  I’m specifically talking about people like John Jantsch, the author of Duct Tape Marketing, Robert Scoble, a technology evangelist from Microsoft and publisher of the Scobleizer blog and Anita Campbell, who reaches over 2,000,000 small business owners with her award winning publication Small Business Trends and is launching the first Small Business Influencer event for 2011 this summer!

The rise of the “Internet Influencer” has been both a blessing and a curse for those of us looking for good advice.  On the one hand, there is no shortage of expert small business advice.  And on the other hand, there are so many people in so many areas, that it’s hard to find the people who can help you the most.  So where is a small business owner supposed to go to figure out who the real movers and shakers of business are?

How to Find Your Best Influencers

In a previous post here on Open Forum, I discussed how influence measuring apps are helping small business owners filter through the plethora of experts on any given topic.  You can use apps like Mixtent or Klout to get you started in finding those people who are most active in their industries.  But that’s just the start.

Finding and building real relationships with influencers requires time, patience and effort.

  • Read and comment on their content.

  • Find out what their marketing and promotional goals are and look for ways to help them out.

  • Contribute relevant, high quality guest post articles.

  • Promote their content to your network.

  • Partner with them on a mutually beneficial project that will build THEIR audience as well as yours.

  • If they are an author; read and review their books on blogs and on Amazon.


This is just a short list that’s only limited by your imagination and creativity.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

SurveySwipe Launches Mobile Research Communities Pilot Program

Survey Analytics Offers Companies Three Months of Free Beta Testing

 

Seattle, July 19 2011 – SurveySwipe, a subsidiary of Survey Analytics is introducing a free three-month demo of the Mobile Research Communities pilot program to companies who sign-up for beta testing on the SurveySwipe website. SurveySwipe Mobile Research Communities allows companies to reach out to specific audiences with questions relevant to their brand and to receive feedback from that audience in real-time - via smart phones.

SurveySwipe serves as both a social and a business application. Users who download the app can earn points for answering questions related to their particular communities and those points can then be redeemed for various kinds of prizes like iPhone applications, gift cards, and other deals. The information obtained from SurveySwipe Mobile Research Communities is highly targeted, hyper-local, and easily obtained from users who are incentivized to respond in a convenient manner.

Like other Survey Analytics solutions, SurveySwipe is accessible and developed to be user-friendly. Companies can easily adapt each survey to their research needs and create a branded survey experience for subjects. SurveySwipe is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad devices as well as being the only app to support all four major phone platforms.

“SurveySwipe gave our conference the ability to garner immediate feedback in real-time,” says Brian Dowdy, Director of Research, PSAMA. “Through their comprehensive reporting mechanism, we were able to quickly identify the pulse of the conference and adjust resources appropriately. SurveySwipe is the premier choice when building private communities for real-time.”

“As the industry continues to trend more and more towards mobile interaction, it is essential to gather feedback from this source,” said Vivek Bhaskaran, President and CEO of Survey Analytics. “SurveySwipe offers companies unlimited surveys and responses, full control of users and data, customizable points and rewards systems, and 10,000 users from a variety of communities that reflect the needs of diverse target audiences. But because of our commitment to innovation, we will continue to add more features and augment the already-successful program as we move forward.”

Survey Analytics is working on several other new products, including SurveyPocket, developed for the iPad platform. Companies wishing to sign up for the SurveySwipe Mobile Research Communities demo, should visit or click on the SurveySwipe Logo below.

http://surveyswipe.com/application/surveyswipe/mobile-research-communities.html



Link to SurveySwipe Press Release: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/surveyswipe-launches-mobile-research-communities-pilot-program-125821118.html

The 5 Myths of Selling to Small Business

Instead of telling you HOW to do research, today, I'm going to give you the results from some research.

Ivy Worldwide conducted a survey of small- and medium-sized business owners/operators this year through a network of independent bloggers to determine what factors influence their purchasing decisions.

The survey has identified five misconceptions that most marketers have when selling their product or services to SMBs.  The goal is to help marketers make their messages more effective so they can tap the viable market that is SMB.


Ivy worldwide ~ SMB purchasing decisions survey[slideshare id=8307762&w=425&h=355&sc=no]


Myth 1: Communication on the C-Level is effective.

Though positioning, sales relationships and ROI is important, most SMBs still give more importance on reviews from trusted sources, quality promises and enhanced features.

Based on the survey, businesses said a detailed review from a trusted source that illustrated the pros and cons of the product/service is they highest factor they consider before getting on board.

Marketers should, therefore, make use of the correct channels that SMBs find to be a reliable source of information.  Reliable sources can be third party organizations, news source or key opinion leaders in the industry.

Myth 2: It's always good to go green.

The truth is environmentally friendly messages is not really that important for SMBs.  In fact, they ranked being green second to the last among factors that will affect their purchase of a product/service.

Unless your product has specific and discrete environmental benefits, don’t jump on this trend green trend.  Since being green is not top-of-mind for SMB purchasers, there is really no point to put too much effort in the trend.

Myth 3: Tried and tested marketing efforts should be employed.

The survey showed that advertising and other traditional media sources ranked far below web forums and independent bloggers as key sources of product and service information.

The trick here is to ensure that you’re engaging your audiences via the communications channels that they actually use.   New marketing can be coursed through niche blogs or social networking sites.  Not only are they popular these generation, but they are also more cost-effective the traditional advertising.

Myth 4: All sales should be treated the same.

For smaller purchase amounts, less effort is required from the seller as they are generally made on a need basis and are rather immediate.  Large purchases, on the other hand, require more research (i.e. comparing prices, test -driving the product, reading reviews and asking for recommendations)

Also, for small purchases, SMBs prefer that products that they can be picked up from a nearby location to allow person-to-person support on the product.

The key is that marketers know how your customers are buying and which channels they prefer.

Myth 5: Transactions are done after payments are received.

For SMB purchasers, service and support terms are more important than payment terms. In fact, service and support are key to the final decision and should be marketed as assertively as product benefits themselves.

SMBs would like to be assured that they can rely on someone in case there is product/service defect.  Be a smart marketer and don’t miss the opportunity to tout service and support terms to your customers.

The Real Deal

It’s always easy to get complacent and put undue confidence in trends, buzzwords and mass-marketing techniques.  Marketers should fight complacency and instead strive for a true understanding of what compels SMB owner/operators to purchase their product.


SurveySwipe Launches Mobile Research Communities Pilot Program

Survey Analytics Offers Companies Three Months of Free Beta Testing



Seattle, July 19 2011 – SurveySwipe, a subsidiary of Survey Analytics is introducing a free three-month demo of the Mobile Research Communities pilot program to companies who sign-up for beta testing on the SurveySwipe website. SurveySwipe Mobile Research Communities allows companies to reach out to specific audiences with questions relevant to their brand and to receive feedback from that audience in real-time - via smart phones.

SurveySwipe serves as both a social and a business application. Users who download the app can earn points for answering questions related to their particular communities and those points can then be redeemed for various kinds of prizes like iPhone applications, gift cards, and other deals. The information obtained from SurveySwipe Mobile Research Communities is highly targeted, hyper-local, and easily obtained from users who are incentivized to respond in a convenient manner.

Like other Survey Analytics solutions, SurveySwipe is accessible and developed to be user-friendly. Companies can easily adapt each survey to their research needs and create a branded survey experience for subjects. SurveySwipe is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad devices as well as being the only app to support all four major phone platforms.

“SurveySwipe gave our conference the ability to garner immediate feedback in real-time,” says Brian Dowdy, Director of Research, PSAMA. “Through their comprehensive reporting mechanism, we were able to quickly identify the pulse of the conference and adjust resources appropriately. SurveySwipe is the premier choice when building private communities for real-time.”

“As the industry continues to trend more and more towards mobile interaction, it is essential to gather feedback from this source,” said Vivek Bhaskaran, President and CEO of Survey Analytics. “SurveySwipe offers companies unlimited surveys and responses, full control of users and data, customizable points and rewards systems, and 10,000 users from a variety of communities that reflect the needs of diverse target audiences. But because of our commitment to innovation, we will continue to add more features and augment the already-successful program as we move forward.”

Survey Analytics is working on several other new products, including SurveyPocket, developed for the iPad platform. Companies wishing to sign up for the SurveySwipe Mobile Research Communities demo, should visit or click on the SurveySwipe Logo below.

http://surveyswipe.com/application/surveyswipe/mobile-research-communities.html



Link to SurveySwipe Press Release: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/surveyswipe-launches-mobile-research-communities-pilot-program-125821118.html

SurveySwipe Launches Mobile Research Communities Pilot Program

Survey Analytics Offers Companies Three Months of Free Beta Testing

Seattle, July 19 2011 – SurveySwipe, a subsidiary of Survey Analytics is introducing a free three-month demo of the Mobile Research Communities pilot program to companies who sign-up for beta testing on the SurveySwipe website. SurveySwipe Mobile Research Communities allows companies to reach out to specific audiences with questions relevant to their brand and to receive feedback from that audience in real-time - via smart phones.

SurveySwipe serves as both a social and a business application. Users who download the app can earn points for answering questions related to their particular communities and those points can then be redeemed for various kinds of prizes like iPhone applications, gift cards, and other deals. The information obtained from SurveySwipe Mobile Research Communities is highly targeted, hyper-local, and easily obtained from users who are incentivized to respond in a convenient manner.

Like other Survey Analytics solutions, SurveySwipe is accessible and developed to be user-friendly. Companies can easily adapt each survey to their research needs and create a branded survey experience for subjects. SurveySwipe is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad devices as well as being the only app to support all four major phone platforms.

“SurveySwipe gave our conference the ability to garner immediate feedback in real-time,” says Brian Dowdy, Director of Research, PSAMA. “Through their comprehensive reporting mechanism, we were able to quickly identify the pulse of the conference and adjust resources appropriately. SurveySwipe is the premier choice when building private communities for real-time.”

“As the industry continues to trend more and more towards mobile interaction, it is essential to gather feedback from this source,” said Vivek Bhaskaran, President and CEO of Survey Analytics. “SurveySwipe offers companies unlimited surveys and responses, full control of users and data, customizable points and rewards systems, and 10,000 users from a variety of communities that reflect the needs of diverse target audiences. But because of our commitment to innovation, we will continue to add more features and augment the already-successful program as we move forward.”

Survey Analytics is working on several other new products, including SurveyPocket, developed for the iPad platform. Companies wishing to sign up for the SurveySwipe Mobile Research Communities demo, should visit or click on the SurveySwipe Logo below.

http://surveyswipe.com/application/surveyswipe/mobile-research-communities.html



 

Link to SurveySwipe Press Release: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/surveyswipe-launches-mobile-research-communities-pilot-program-125821118.html

Monday, July 18, 2011

SurveyPocket Backs Up Your Survey Data With Every Synchronization!



What a relief it is to know that my synchronized data is also being stored directly on my device! Yet another advantage in innovation SurveyPocket has created for itself. No more worrying that the data you synchronized disappeared into the ether!

How do I retrieve backed up data directly off of my iOS device?

The logging ability allows you to have a backup of survey data taken from SurveyPocket. AFTER SYNCHRONIZATION between SurveyPocket and your online Survey Analytics account, a data file is created and stored within your device. *By having access to this data, your customer representative is able to retrieve data that may not have appropriately synchronized.

For Macintosh users, in order to look inside of your device’s files, you will need to first acquire a third party application called “PhoneView” (this works for all iOS devices). You can download a demo version of this application here http://www.ecamm.com/mac/phoneview/.

For Windows users, according to the PhoneView website’s FAQ: “At this time, PhoneView is Mac-only. We recommend TouchCopy for Windows users.” We encourage you to explore this application, as it is very similar to PhoneView.

First off, download the appropriate third party application. We will be using PhoneView for this demo.



When you first open the PhoneView application, you will see this view:



Now, connect your iOS device to your computer. You will see that your device is connected:



Open PhoneView -> Preferences:



Inside of Preferences, click on “Show Entire Disk (Advanced Mode)



Once you’ve turned on the ability to “Show Entire Disk”, you’re now able to look inside of your device’s documents.



To see your logging file, go to Apps/SurveyPocket/Documents/SurveyLogs/



You will now see folders named with the customer ID associated with each device key used. The file is named with the customer ID, the date, and the time the synchronization occurred. Send this file to your customer service representative and that’s it!

*Please Note: Corrupt or unsupported question

Friday, July 15, 2011

If You're Not Using Mobile Research Panels -- You're Missing Out

There has been a tremendous amount written about mobile surveys over the last few months -- and there is a reason. If you aren't at least planning on transitioning to a mobile platform for at least some of your research, I'm here to tell you that you will be missing out on reaching your quality respondents.

True story -- I do phone interviews for clients. I suppose you can call them in-depth-interviews. I used to be able to complete an average of 10 30-45 minute conversations a day -- with just an office contact number and an extension. That was about a year ago. About two months ago, I called upwards of 20 to 30 people a day and was lucky to connect with five respondents.

As if YOU didn't know -- people don't sit at their desks or at home all day. They are out and about, working off site and their one constant connection to their business and their life is their mobile device.

The line between consumer and industrial respondent is blurring and the mobile device is just one of the contributors to this merge.

Another component that's driving quality of responses is this idea of community. LinkedIn Groups, Facebook Fans and now Google+ Circles is all entered around the concept of community, group or segment if you will.

Splashing an undefined audience with an online survey that takes 15 minutes just isn't going to work anymore.

You need a mobile resaerch panel -- and it's easier and more cost effective than ever to build one using SurveySwipe (sorry blatant pitch, but I can't help myself when it's true) -- Here's Why:

  1. Mobile gets you closer to the point of experience. When you reach out to a panel community via mobile device - you are getting their attention. They get a gentle email push reminder that there is a survey for which they are qualified. They check their email, they check their survey notice. You're getting them where they are at the moment.

  2. Less than 25% drop out. If you're getting them where they are with a 30 second survey -- you're going to get compliance and very few will drop out. They won't drop out because they know several things before they ever take the survey; first, they know it will take no time at all to fill it out. second, it's going to be an interesting topic that might actually be fun and provide some needed brain drain and finally, they will be rewarded with points to stuff they like and want - amazon points, iphone apps, etc. They just don't drop out.

  3. Increases point of contact with customers. People who choose SurveySwipe consistently say that it's just one more way to engage and connect with customers. Obviously the more ways you have to connect, the higher likelihood of getting responses and engagement. AND if the way you connect is less irritating and actually rewards them -- they won't drop out.

  4. Optimized privacy. THIS is the mother of features and no one can deliver on it like SurveySwipe. Because it's a mobile panel -- you as the administrator will KNOW who your respondents are. Not only will you know who they are, but you will know things about them their friends and family probably don't know -- simply by the way they answer their questions. And the best part is -- you will only know what you need to know. Their privacy such as their GPS location data that everyone is all up in arms about -- is SECURE. You will only know what you need to know for them to fill out the survey -- you will not get any potentially sticky information that you don't want and they don't want to share. BRILLIANT.

  5. Confirmed Identity. And speaking of privacy -- we all know that panels are just a little TOO private in terms of the fact that you often don't know if the person who answered your survey is a 16-year old female who likes Lady GaGa or a 45 year-old man filling out surveys for money. Mobile surveys increase your quality assurance quotient by a mile.


You will not be able to avoid the trend of mobile research panel communities. It's happening now and if you don't get in on it -- your audience will be saturated and filling out panel surveys for someone else.

I'm wondering if this sounds like fear mongering? If it does -- sorry. But we've made a commitment here to keep you on top of what's happening in research and THIS is one of those things that's happening.

The weather is changing -- get ready to dress for it.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Results of the Presidential Job Index Survey (week ending 7/8/2010)


Quick update on the results for the presidential job index survey for the week ending 7/8/2011. As a reminder this is a weekly survey that we conduct and we publish the results for the survey every Friday. To participate in this week's survey, please download the SurveySwipe application and take the survey.

Remember, you get points that you can redeem for various rewards when you take our surveys. We have already distributed several paid apps like Angry Birds for free.

Highlights

  • 53% vs 52% last week of the respondents approve of the job that President Obama is doing.

  • Respondents included 30% Democrats (28% last week), 21% Republicans (22% last week), 23% independents (24%) last week and 2% with the Green Party (2% last week).




You can view the reports here or directly on your phone.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

How to Control Your Customer Satisfaction Scores

We tend to measure customer satisfaction after the customer experience has already happened.  But that isn't when the opinion about the experience is really created.


Customer experiences are actually created long before your customer ever reaches your doorstep.  They often start with impressions and perceptions created when your potential customer interacts with friends and colleagues who may tell them about your company, or they search online and find articles and reviews about your business.

This is the moment when expectations are created based on what messages are currently active about your business and the customer experience.  While you can't control others -- you can control and design a customer experience.

  1. Profile Your Customer.  I know I say this all the time, but if you want to control a customer experience, the first thing you must do is be clear on what kind of customer you'd like to attract and then create a customer experience targeted toward them.  Here's an example.  If you have a hair salon business and you decide to target people who are on a busy schedule.  You might design an experience that guarantees that your customer will start their appointment on time and end their appointment on time -- every time.  If you were targeting people who wanted to go to a salon for a spa experience and who looked at that experience as entertainment, rather than a task -- those people would feel rushed, hurried and unappreciated.  So first decide on WHO your customer is and what's important and then start designing a customer experience around that.

  2. Map out your experience process.  The best experiences are really staged, orchestrated and managed.  Customers appreciate the thought put into it and are willing to pay a higher price and give great reviews to the companies that deliver .  To design a great process, you'll need to map out exactly what your process looks like TODAY.  This way you can manage and measure the effectiveness of the changes you're making.  At each stage of the process, outline exactly what your desired action or outcome is and then work backwards to make sure that it's achieved.  For example, if your customer is a busy person who wants to receive service within 5 minutes of walking in, you may decide to have them schedule an appointment in advance so that their slot is guaranteed.

  3. Create opportunities for feedback.  Don't wait to ask for feedback!  Survey Analytics' SurveySwipe application has some terrific features that can push surveys out to your customers based on when they enter your store.  Or, you can post QR codes at different stations around your location and give customers the opportunity to give you a "thumbs up" or a "thumbs down" at that specific station.  It not only increases customer engagement, it allows you to control that experience in real time and make improvements immediately before a bad impression is created.  Here's some more information on the SurveySwipe Instant Feedback Product

  4. Change it up for the better.  If you're receiving input and feedback, make those changes and publicize them.  If a customer made a request for something that turned into an improvement to your system - let everyone know.  If it's appropriate for your business, acknowledge them there or why not send them a letter or note about the change you made with a special free gift to come back and experience their idea in action.


With today's interactive technology, there is no reason to wait for customer satisfaction feedback -- get the feedback as soon as possible so that you can control the quality of that experience.  This will not only improve your customer satisfaction ratings, but will improve profitability, loyalty and customer engagement.



Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How Social Media and Mobile Devices Have Changed the Way We Segment

About six years ago I saw a demographer speak at a conference for natural food retailers and producers.   He was trying to explain how traditional demographics did very little to explain actual buying and spending behavior.

Instead, he posited the idea that people participate in "worlds" or interest areas -- one of which might include "natural or organic food" or "cycling" or "hiking" for that matter.

He wasn't saying that interest areas weren't around before, he was saying that there were better ways of grouping people on the horizon.  Well, the horizon he was talking about is here and in full swing.

A recent Mashable article proclaimed the "End of Demographics" and extolled the virtues of psychographics.  This isn't new to researchers, but what is new is the myriad ways that we can now collect this very powerful information.

Mobile Profiles and Panels -   You can buy a panel or you can create and build your own.  If you can build a community via Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, you can build your own panel and start profiling them.  If you already have a rather large community, then you can use companies like GraphEffect to mine that data.  There are free options as well for data mining.  Survey Analytics recommends DiscoverText as a tool to analyze social media chatter.

Behavioral Information:   It's no secret that past behavior predicts future behavior.  That's why gathering behavioral based data as soon as close to the actual behavior is such a powerful predictor.  Use a mobile survey platform like SurveySwipe to see your audience in action.  With it's location-based features, you can push a survey out to your audience when they enter a specific location.  And your audience doesn't have to worry about privacy because our unique technology keeps it all under wraps.  Another great behavior based feature that the SurveySwipe mobile platform has is the ability for your audience to take and send pictures!  You wouldn't think the response rate would be high, but it is!  Respondents love to take pictures and share how they are interacting with products.

Customer Life Style and Life Cycle Information - Demographic information might tell you if someone has children, but not how many and their ages.  Even more, it won't update this information over time.  Social Media psychographic analysis can give you this kind of information that runs deeper than just age or assumptions about age.

Why Psychographic Information is So Powerful

Psychographic information that's gleaned from social media channels or mobile devices is valuable because it speaks more directly to behaviors that are relevant both to the person and to the researcher.

For example, people who purchase high-end cycling equipment can span all levels of the income, education and location spectrum.  But what holds them together is their love of cycling or the fact that they cycle at least ten miles per day.  It's their behavior that will ultimately drive their purchasing.

If you're still gathering psychographic information the old fashioned way, take the time to take a fresh look at exactly what type of information is available and what where this information is.  It is available to you at a lower cost and effort than you'd imagine.


Monday, July 4, 2011

Results of the Presidential Job Index Survey (week ending 7/1/2010)


Quick update on the results for the presidential job index survey for the week ending 7/1/2011. As a reminder this is a weekly survey that we conduct and we publish the results for the survey every Friday. To participate in this week's survey, please download the SurveySwipe application and take the survey.

Remember, you get points that you can redeem for various rewards when you take our surveys. We have already distributed several paid apps like Angry Birds for free.

Highlights

  • Almost 900 respondents took the survey.

  • 52% vs 53% last week of the respondents approve of the job that President Obama is doing.

  • Respondents included 28% Democrats (31% last week), 25% Republicans (22% last week), 24% independents (27%) last week and 2% with the Green Party (3% last week).




You can view the reports here or directly on your phone.

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