Improving Customer Surveys: Do They Really Help?

- - Business

Everywhere you turn, there’s some type of customer survey that companies want you to take. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve just stopped at your local fast-food restaurant, or whether you’ve paid a bill over the phone, you just can’t seem to escape the obligatory customer survey. They attempt to draw you in with promises of winning some type of prize or a free meal for answering a few, simple questions, or they promise that your next experience is sure to be better if you just stop to tell the company how things went this time around. The question is, do all of these customer surveys really accomplish anything, or are they an annoyance that just won’t go away?


In Judith Martin’s Miss Manners column released in January, she writes, “They are violating the first rule of business: Don’t annoy the customer. It is a little bit like having someone around whom you may really like, but the person says, ‘Do you really like me? Do you like me? Are you sure you like me? Really? Do you like me?’ ” Martin states. “And after a while you want to say, ‘No! Go away!’” Even so, despite the annoyances hat customer surveys sometimes bring, many people will still choose to take them if they’re about something that they think is important.


For example, Penfield, NY resident, Heather Williams, is one of the people that usually doesn’t take customer surveys because she feels that companies weren’t paying attention to anything she had to say. This changed when her daughter recently applied to Brigham Young University through the college’s website. After they completed the application, they received a survey request through the mail. Williams states, “It was nice to have someone ask my opinion on the process, which can be very daunting, and I will admit, it was nice to be able to get a free sweatshirt.”


Even though many consumers find customer surveys to be annoying, businesses still have an incentive to keep using them. Demographic and purchase data tells companies who is buying their items, what they’re buying, when they’re buying it, and where they’re buying it from, but it fails to tell why they’re making their purchases, which can be valuable information for a company. Professor Eric Bradlow of marketing, statistics and education at the Wharton School says, “You’re always going to want to understand the consumer psychology: why are people doing what they’re doing.” He believes that surveys, especially the electronic variety, help companies to fix product defects, or they can help to identify rude employees that are driving away customers.


Customer surveys can even be a form of advertising due to something called the mere-measurement effect. Bradlow states, “If I ask you, ‘When’s the last time you bought a taco at Taco Bell?’… you’re more likely to buy a taco at Taco Bell after asking you the survey.” These surveys also work for companies because they are cheap to make, and they essentially put the customer to work gathering the information that companies need. Thanks to the internet, getting surveys to consumers is also quick and easy.


About the Author


Hi, my name is Blair Thomas and I’m a passionate electronics payment expert who started in 2011. My company helps high risk businesses lock down the high risk merchant account they need to do business. Check out the eMerchantBroker YouTube Channel for more info on their services.


How to Make the Most of Social Media

- - Marketing

Some studies have suggested that in the US, about 90 percent of companies use social media, and in Europe, that number is probably similar. Social media has become a part of marketing and is here to stay. In fact, a whole new field of study has opened up, and social media analytics and social marketing techniques are rapidly evolving.

Understanding your customers

To use social media for marketing techniques, you have to ask yourself some important questions. A good understanding of your potential customers and how they use social media is key. Do your customers use Facebook to connect with family and friends, or do they prefer Twitter, for instance? Both are different media and are used in different ways, requiring different strategies.

021 300x225 How to Make the Most of Social Media

Understanding the prevailing culture on these media is also important. Some products seem to do much better than others. Perfect examples include electronic devices and gadgets – customers tend to buy these when they receive positive reviews or have been recommended these products on Facebook and Twitter. Do-it-yourself items, on the other hand, fare better on other networks, such as Pinterest – as do home decorations, and arts and crafts.

Aggression doesn’t necessarily pay

There are many ways to get your message across, but being aggressive in your marketing efforts is not always productive. In fact, it often repels potential customers rather than attracting them. Screaming headlines that encourage customers to “Buy This” or “Check Our New Offers” remind them that it’s all about the money and they may feel that they are getting pushed.

Creating a club or close community of ‘insiders’ is a smarter way of handling it – making customers feel more comfortable about engaging with the business on a regular basis. Consider the teenage clothing company that promotes new hangouts or gives information on where the cool concerts are. The coffee shop that keeps customers informed about upcoming events and new promotions creates a following of people who like to be in-the-know, and this technique is much more powerful than shouting discount prices off the rooftops.

Free stuff sells

Another way of creating a following is by giving stuff away for free. This may seem counter-productive – after all, a business is supposed to make money, not give things away. However, everybody loves free stuff, and an amazing number of people sign up and participate in raffles or contests for the chance of gaining something for nothing.

Incentives to “like” or follow your business are popular and create a valuable buzz. It’s a great way to create leads and build up a database for further marketing efforts. Imagine the Facebook user who contacts your site to guess how many chocolates are in the bowl for a chance to have a free box of bonbons, or new mothers who share a page for a chance of winning baby toys. Sweepstakes may not necessarily create a large group of diehard followers, but it can reach a wide audience in the short term.

What’s most important is that your business handles social marketing in a professional manner, and understands that while platforms of social marketing are free, promotional campaigns are not – it may require free giveaways or many working hours devising strategies and spending time on social media platforms, following up. Companies that are serious about their social media strategies can contact professionals, such as, as these specialists provide invaluable insight and can lift your results to new heights.

Your Duty as a Small Business-owner: The Importance of Health and Safety

- - Business

The prevailing level of sentiment among SME’s in the UK remains extremely positive at present, having fully rebounded from the impact of long-term recession and sluggish recovery. With more than two-thirds of independent ventures anticipating that they will recruit additional members of staff in 2014, there is ample evidence to suggest that the economy will continue its growth for the foreseeable future. This level of expansion brings considerable responsibility, however, as entrepreneurs must take steps to protect their employees and provide a suitable working environment.

How to Protect the Safety and Integrity of your Employees in the Workplace

With this in mind, what practical steps can entrepreneurs take to create a safe working environment and protect their employees? Consider the following: -

Make Allowances for All Individual Employee Requirements

Not all employees are created equal, which means that each will have a unique set of physical and mental requirements that demand your attention. As an equal opportunities employer, it is absolutely crucial that you make allowances for these and ensure that each employee is empowered to realise their full potential within the workplace. Failure to do this will not only hinder your businesses growth and the personal development of its staff, but it may also lead to discrimination lawsuits over a prolonged period of time.

Inspect your Properties and Maintain Safe Working Environments

Workplace injuries can also cost your firm thousands of pounds, and in some instances even exhaust the majority of your capital as an entrepreneur. To avoid this, it is imperative that you adopt a proactive approach towards inspecting your commercial properties and maintaining their long-term safety. A key aspect of this is adhering to contemporary regulations concerning asbestos, as this is a harmful material that can endanger the health and safety of your employees. If you require assistance with this, consider partnering with an industry professional such as Asbestos Management Services to find out more about your duties and requirements as an employer.

Have a Clearly Defined Process in Place for Workplace Accidents and Injuries

Even with the best intentions and procedures in place, accidents and injuries can easily occur within the workplace. This means that you must establish a clearly defined process for when these incidents do occur, as this will enable you to keep detailed notes and provide the afflicted employees with the best possible care and attention. You must also be willing to investigate the circumstances that lead to specific incidents, as this will help you to identify issues and implement long-term and viable solutions.

The Benefits of Offline Marketing for Business-owners

- - Marketing

Although controversy may continue to rage about the origin of the politics behind last week’s budget, it cannot be denied that George Osborne’s statement was received positively by SME’s and large businesses throughout the UK. With Britain itself experiencing significant growth and experts predicting that it will supersede Germany as Europe’s largest economy by 2030, there is little doubt that contemporary business-owners are looking forward to a prosperous decade ahead. This is forcing many firms to evaluate their existing business models, however, as they look to capitalise on this growth and use it in a productive manner.

The Benefits of Offline Marketing: 3 Advantages for Small Businesses to Consider

With this in mind, it is worth considering the concept of marketing and how offline techniques may help businesses to reach a wider target market. Consider the following: –

  1. Optimise Online Methods

Increasingly, there has been a fusion of offline and online marketing techniques. The reason for this is that while some marketers have become preoccupied with the impact of online promotional campaigns, others have realised that offline strategies can actively improve the application of technology. This is because offline methods and corporeal interaction with customers can add a personal touch to a primarily online campaign, and this meld of ideas is best embodied by the popularisation of digital treasure hunts that are conducted in physical locations.

  1. Create Consistent and Widespread Branding

Whenever you focus solely on prioritising online marketing techniques, you can unwittingly create a brand that is not universally recognised. In addition to this, this oversight can also lead to the development of an inconsistent branding message, which fails to translate across both virtual and corporeal mediums. By also investing in subtly branded and colour specific marketing materials from outlets such as All Colour Envelopes, however, you can strengthen the reach of your message and lay the foundations for a consistent campaign.

  1. Establish more Meaningful Relationships with Consumers

While the development of online media may have made it easier than ever to communicate with consumers, these mediums do not necessarily lend themselves to the cultivation of meaningful relationships. This is at odds with face-to-face communication, which retains the power to establish bonds and empower in-depth discussion. This can be a key weapon for your business, so it is important to adopt a proactive approach and look to advertise at physical events such as trade shows, exhibitions and others.

Software Packages that can Transform your Business

- - Business, Innovation

All businesses are constantly looking for ways to improve customer retention, increase the spending their customers make and increase referrals for new customers. Knowing how to achieve this can be difficult. There are ways in which you could attempt to do this yourself such as promotions, loyalty rewards or high quality advertising campaigns to name a few methods. But you should know that there is now a much easier and more straightforward way to do this. Technology has aided businesses massively in recent years, and now it can help to boost your business and make the running of it smooth and simple as well.


There are applications that have been developed to manage and help run stores, and they can also be used to get clients to spend more money when they visit. Salons are a good example of a business type that have benefited greatly from these applications. Retention marketing is one of the most important as it is proven to be more profitable to keep your existing customers than constantly recruit new ones, so creating loyalty is key to your success. This can be achieved through utilising popular social media channels, having a scheme to reward customers for any referrals and getting them to try out new products, sending out SMS reminders and a few other clever techniques.


Applications to Assist in the Day to Day Running of your Business


A lot of these applications that have been developed for salons and other similar establishments can even be used to book appointments, make sales, check statistics and stock levels. Management software packages, including ones available from Phorest and other similar developers, can be used on your iPad and iPhone which makes them easy to implement as well. This also allows you to use these packages remotely, and this brings advantages for both you and your clients as it effectively keeps your business open even when you are not at work yourself.


An application like this could transform your business and help to improve profit through customer retention, higher spending and more customers through referrals. The software can also be used to assist in the daily running of a salon or similar establishment, so it is clear why so many business owners are now implementing them into their own organisations and reaping the rewards.

Your Guide to Setting Up a Recruitment Agency

- - Business

You’ve dreamed of owning your own company for a few years now; if you have ample experience in the business perhaps it’s time you founded your own company and began your trek toward financial freedom. Let’s take a look at the guidelines you should use to determine if this is the right time for you to make your debut into the corporate world.

 agency Your Guide to Setting Up a Recruitment Agency

Get All the Experience That You Can

Knowing the ins and outs of your business can be an advantage when you are managing employees who work for you. You’ll be familiar with their challenges, the tasks that they are required to do, and the job satisfaction that comes from working at your optimum level of performance. You’ll learn a few tricks and can share tips with your staff when they need a boost. You will also have made many important contacts throughout your career that can help you as you start your own company.

Know the Law

If you’ve never before owned a business, you may not be familiar with the laws that regulate your new business. You will need to know the rules and be in compliance with them at all times; as a business owner now you must strive to know everything because you’re responsible for all business-related issues.

Develop Goals and Objectives

As with any business that you start, you’ll want to have a detailed business plan that includes your goals and objectives and a timetable for reaching them. No matter how small they are, you should write them down; this is the heart of your company so having them recorded reminds you of their importance to the success that you want to experience.

Be Organised

From the way that you set up your personal working space and office area to the way that you conduct business, you must be organised. You should research about how to set up a dynamic office, how to use your own workspace effectively, and how to organise your daily schedule. You will have challenges that arise each day but if you have properly planned and organised your day, you can handle these issues effectively. Take care of details on a regular basis and set the right example for a strong work ethic for your employees.

Secure Your Funding

To be successful you must be financially sound and be able to pay your staff and your vendors on time without fail; this keeps your business reputation solid and your staff satisfied with their job. You should take some time to plan out about six months in advance the capital that you’ll need and the projections that you anticipate for revenue. Starting a recruitment business that becomes successful will need financial stability and a positive cash flow.

If you need to know some of the bespoke options that are available to you and the professional advice upon which you can rely, you should visit the Startupsimply recruitment business website to gain valuable information. It can be the lifeline that keeps you afloat with exceptional knowledge about how to get off to the right start.

Image courtesy of: adamr

Should You Seek Legal Help As A Victim Of Personal Injury?

- - Legal

Untitled78 300x131 Should You Seek Legal Help As A Victim Of Personal Injury?Suffering a serious injury after an accident, owing to no fault of yourself can itself turn out to be a traumatizing experience for you. Besides, the physical and emotional injuries suffered, you also stand to lose a considerable part of your earning if the injury is too serious. You need to ensure that you’re rightly compensated for your sufferings. The rewards should include the medical bills paid by you as well as the loss of income you’ve had to suffer owing to your absence from work during the period of recuperation. No matter, how much emotionally drained you are, you have to make sure that you’re leaving no stone unturned to get what you rightly deserve. The battle ahead is tough and the skills of a lawyer might be required to make the road smoother for you.

You might as well decide to do it all without an attorney’s help, but in that case, your efforts would be mired by “indefinite” delays in payment and risks of under payment. In an ideal situation, the insurance company of the offender should pay you every dime you deserve but that doesn’t really happen in reality. These companies, in a bid to push their profit margins, turn to every trick in the book to ensure that victim is not rewarded with what he deserves. It’s during these times that you feel the need to hire a lawyer who can study and present your case aggressively on court to ensure due compensation. Here’s more on ways in which hiring new jersey personal injury lawyer*- would benefit you.

Why Would You Seek Legal Help?

He has the due skills to negotiate with the insurance company. If your claims are backed by legal support, it becomes difficult for them to minimize the value of your claim.

There are many people who seek the help of these attorneys when they pursue a dispute claim. For instance, you might as well be offered a settlement that you believe is unfair. The lawyer, in this case, would help you to challenge this settlement in the court of law.

The personal injury laws are subject to several variations in accordance with states. Until and unless you yourself are a student of law it becomes difficult for you to understand the complexities.


Most of the attorneys generally work on a contingency fee basis which means that you won’t be charged anything before compensation recovery. So, securing legal help for settling these issues actually proves beneficial as well.

Make sure that you’re conducting due research before zeroing in on a lawyer. Do find out about his experience of dealing with cases like that of yours. Prepare a list of questions that you would like to ask him for determining whether at all you would avail his services or not. Some of the possible questions that you might ask him are:

  • Does my case have any merit?
  • Do you charge any consultation fee? Do I have to pay you even if I lose the case?
  • Would I be able to reach out to you as and when required?
  • Can you tell me about some of the cases that you have handled?
  • Please tell me about your clientele?
  • What kind of participation do you expect from me?
  • How can you promise me a better compensation recovery than others?


Consult at least five to six law firms before making a choice. Make sure that you’re asking these questions to each and every attorney before settling for a choice. Thus, keep your chin up and fight your way to victory.


Safety Basics for Working Near Electricity

- - Safety

It’s not necessary to be an electrically competent person to work near electricity. Construction workers, plumbers, plasterers, mechanics and manufacturers are all exposed to electricity and electrical wiring as part of their daily routines. If you’re a business owner, you’ll be aware of the importance of carrying out a risk assessment before you allow your employees to carry out a new project or task. More details on conducting a thorough risk assessment are available from the Health and Safety Executive’s website.

Correct Signage

If there are signs warning of electrical danger, it’s very important that these are taken seriously. It’s not necessary to touch a high voltage cable to get an electric shock. Low voltage cables can also be dangerous. In some cases, signage may not be easy to see or may have been removed, so don’t assume there are no cables nearby.

Electrical Wiring

Electrical wires, like the correct signage, are not always readily apparent. Don’t assume that electrical wires are not present, just because you can’t see them. Before you begin drilling or cutting into any surface, look carefully for electrical wires and ask to see plans of electrical installation. You should be wary of disturbing other hazards, including asbestos. It’s important to check for nearby electrical installations or equipment and find out where the wiring for these is hidden. Electrically competent persons can use a cable detector, but otherwise you should familiarize yourself with the common colours attributed to different wires. Remember that these standards were officially altered in 2004. Fibreglass trench, duct and gully covers are often used to allow ease of access to electrical cables and wiring when it is contained underground. If you work in the construction industry, covers like Dura Slab are definitely worth considering for added electrical safety and convenient maintenance.

Power = Off

Before attempting any kind of maintenance work, the electrical power must be off. If you’re not sure, ask an electrically competent person to check for you. They should make sure that the device being used is suitable for isolation, the isolator being used to turn off the power is working reliably and the switch being used is the only way the circuit can be given electrical power. The switch should also be locked in the off position, and it should not be easy to trip the switch back on again. Taking these precautions can save lives, as live circuits and unreliable voltage readings can lead to serious injuries and death. Make sure you know whether the electrical system or equipment you’re working near needs to be earthed. If it does, this must also be done using a careful and reliable method.


How to make a Good Impression in Business

- - Business

Untitled 300x201 How to make a Good Impression in BusinessWhen it comes to business, first impressions count. Here we take a look at some simple steps you can take in order to make a good impression on potential clients or future partners.


If you are showing potential clients around your site, your factory for example, then make sure it is tidy and presentable. Make your staff aware that some important visitors are coming in and tell them to be on their best behaviour. Make sure everyone is busy, or at least looks busy.

If you don’t have a smart office in which to meet, then hiring a meeting room City based can be a great idea. While you have the room, make the most of it and hold as many meetings as you can.


Know your stuff inside out. Your potential business partners won’t have all day and will be looking to get a deal done quickly and efficiently. Make sure you know all the relevant information, such as pricing structures, turnovers and such, off by heart. In addition, learn as much about the people you are meeting as you possibly can. Try to put yourselves in their shoes and ask yourself questions such as ‘what are they trying to achieve from this meeting?’ and ‘what are their motivations’?

Be smart

Always be smart and presentable but dress appropriately. It sounds simple but if you’re a hands-on manager it can be tempting to meet new clients in your scruffy work gear. This can be appropriate for some meetings so you will have to decide for yourself. But if in doubt, a smart suit and tie never hurt anyone. If needed, make sure that the appropriate safety clothing is made available to your visitors.

Speak well and drop the jargon

If you have a very strong accent it may be worth toning it down a bit, especially when addressing international visitors. Try not to use any jargon that your potential partners may not follow. This can be alienating and time wasting. Explain yourself simply and concisely.


A business discussion should never be a monologue. It should always be a conversation. Well-prepared speeches are okay but a series of short statements punctuated by questions is much better. Listen carefully to what is being said and concentrate on answering questions in a straight forward manner. Being a good listener is not as complicated as most individual think it is. When having a conversation with someone, be sure to let him realize in a subtle manner that you are paying attention to what is being said. Finally, do not interrupt when someone else is speaking. Obstructing someone in mid is extremely rude and will count as one strike against you in just about any social situation. Real etiquette is suggested at all times.

Make use of person’s name

Take a minute to think of some people you met recently. If you experienced someone who applied your name on the get-go, you will probably agree that the idea made the conversation much more personal.

Moreover, it shows the other person that you were focusing from the very beginning and that you allow them to have enough importance to be able to memorize their label. A bonus is that by using their name immediately, you will be more prone to remember it in addition to impress them a lot more should you face them a next time.

Be positive

Keep a positive, ‘can do’ attitude at all times. Potential customers can be demanding and they have a knack of asking for something that you hadn’t planned for. If this happens, take a deep breath and consider how you might meet their needs. If it really isn’t possible then explain this and try to find a compromise or an alternative solution.

Hold off on the jokes

Injecting humour into a business meeting can be a great icebreaker but it is fraught with danger. It can appear flippant or your sense of humour might be different to others in the meeting and fall flat. Jokes are fine in their place but may be best left for the future when you have gotten to know your new colleagues a little better.