What is a Strategic Account Manager?

At Zarca Interactive, we take pride in our robust, user-friendly platform. Our clients tell us how easy our system is to navigate and how much they enjoy the ability to create complex reports in very little time.  Features such as real-time feedback, social media integration, point and click multi-level pivot tables, and wizard-driven SPSS import/export are just a handful of complex tools offered by Zarca.

However, much like any software system, the power of Zarca’s features is dependent upon user expertise.

If you need to gain crucial insight from your employees or customers, but don’t know how to go about wording your survey, whom to survey, or even the type of survey to deploy, call our Client Support Team.   If you want to incorporate media into your surveys or collect complex information, but you’re having difficulty applying these features, just call.  If you have collected data successfully, and now you want to create complex reports, share reports selectively with coworkers or post charts on social networks, but are overwhelmed by the options, please call us.

Every one of our clients is assigned a Strategic Account Manager (SAM).  This person gets to know you and your survey goals, becoming an invaluable member of your team.  SAM team members work with clients in various industries including retail, finance, healthcare and higher education.  Our SAMs provide guidance and expertise for everything from proper question types to assessing strategic survey deployments.

No matter what kind of assistance you need, we are here to support you in all aspects of your survey project.

The Power of a Post

Social media is here to stay, and ignoring that fact is like ignoring a cavity. It seems small and insignificant at first, but when you are in agony at 3:00 in the morning on your way to an emergency root canal, you’ll wish you would have taken care of it sooner. Okay, it’s not that painful, but you’re certainly not doing your company or organization any favors by dismissing social media as  a passing fad.

Revolutions and social movements have been mobilized through social media. Companies have seen stocks drop when customers flock to Twitter and Facebook in public outcry after a sudden product or service change. Social media has evolved  beyond the days of simply posting vacation photos online. Today, people use social media outlets to connect, communicate, compliment and complain.

Many companies and organizations have social media plans in place.  These groups use social media to leverage their brand, communicate with customers and build loyalty. Engagement is key to every social media plan. And one way to engage your customers is to invite them to take your survey via Facebook and Twitter.

If you want input from your fans and followers on topics such as customer experience, Zarca’s Winter ‘12 Release allows you to post surveys directly to your Facebook and Twitter pages with one simple click.   If you are thinking about re-branding or changing a product or service, use social media to gather customer feedback and avoid a detrimental mistake. Closing the loop is essential for effective two-way communication. Sharing surveys on social media is a powerful way to show that you’re always listening to your customers.

Saying Thanks & Making Amends

Love getting gifts, but hate writing thank-you notes?

Whether you’re eight or 80, thank-you notes are something to tackle quickly and be done with, if only to stop the guilt trip from your mom — or your conscience. Of course, we all know it’s good manners to thank Aunt Edna for the birthday sweater or your boss for the holiday trinket box topped by a disturbingly furry reindeer, but, even more importantly, we know we need to maintain those relationships if we ever hope to receive another gift. Or a decent performance review.

Zarca is an expert in correctly managing relationships.  With our new feature, Rules & Alerts, every one of your survey participants will be instantly thanked with little or no effort on your part. Simply set your desired condition — such as Completed Response Received — and a well-crafted thank-you note will instantly sail through cyberspace, landing in a duly impressed respondent’s in-box. After all, who doesn’t appreciate instant feedback, especially when it’s a courteous thank you?

But as important as it is to keep happy customers happy, it might be even more crucial to reach out to those customers or potential customers who aren’t so pleased to begin with.

For instance, I recently filled out a car rental survey, where I wrote about first being presented with someone else’s bill when dropping off my car (a good three times what I really owed) and then, once that was remedied, opening my credit card statement a month later to see I’d been double-charged. What response did I receive when I submitted my survey? None. What company did I rent my next car from? Not that one.

So here’s a real game-changer.

You receive a survey response that’s negative in some way. Maybe the answer option “Unsatisfied” was checked. Maybe an open-ended answer contains the word “Unhappy.” Or maybe, “Would you frequent our establishment again?” was answered with, “Highly Unlikely.” Reach out to that soon-to-be-former customer right now. Not in two weeks when the survey closes. Now.

Simply set your customizable condition, and you’ll instantly receive an email with the negative response. Then you can take appropriate action to win your customer back. Chances are, the recipient will be so stunned to hear from you that the original complaint will be forgotten — or at least forgiven. You may even find yourself with a customer for life.

We all want to feel like someone’s listening, that we’re not just whistling in the wind. Zarca’s Rules & Alerts makes it easy to open your ears, take immediate action and maintain those key relationships. (But, sorry, you’re on your own with Aunt Edna.)

Personalized vs. Anonymous Surveys

The Internet has allowed users to become connected to all forms of media in an unprecedented and personal way.  For example, Google knows the sites that I visit most frequently and, therefore, caters to my tastes with its search results.

Unfortunately, the Internet also provides a level of anonymity that can lead users in a dangerous direction. If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, check out the “Comments” section of any major news piece available online. Granting folks anonymity encourages candor, but it can also create a host of other problems.

So when you’re creating an online survey, should you offer anonymity?

Unfortunately, the answer is, “It depends.”

Each time that you create a survey, you must balance the pros and cons of anonymity with the impact of personalization. Here are a few things to consider before you launch an online, anonymous survey:

  • Full Candor from Respondents—Let’s be honest — respondents who feel “safer” knowing that you can’t identify them won’t be as inclined to hold back.
  • Response Rates—If respondents fear some form of retribution will follow the submission of their survey, they are likely to skip it completely.
  • Identity Protection—Studies have suggested that most drop-outs occur on survey pages that ask for personal information, such as demographics and email addresses. Many respondents fear that their sensitive information could be sold to marketing companies.
  • Inappropriate Responses—There’s always the chance that a bad apple will take your survey and use it as an occasion for vulgarity, bigotry, etc. Anonymity can increase this risk.
  • Ability for Follow-up—There may be times when responses will require further action on the part of the survey creator, whether to address a specific issue or adopt a certain policy.  Anonymous surveys make it impossible to follow-up to responses.
  • Reliability of Results—While anonymity may encourage respondents to be more truthful in their responses, it can also encourage them to be less diligent in fact checking. Misinformation tends to spread far more easily through anonymous sources because accountability is impossible. However, highly personalized surveys may incur instances of what we call social desirability, respondents saying what they think the survey creator wants to hear.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could create personalized surveys that were also anonymous? You can.

Anonymous surveys can be pre-populated to make the survey personal for each respondent.  Also, Intelligent Reminders enable the survey creator to send reminders to non-respondents, even in an anonymous survey.

So when walking the line between personalization and anonymity, consider your audience, the data you’re collecting and, of course, what you want your survey to say about you.