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.)

What Survey Responses Have in common with Party Attendance

At Zarca Interactive, we talk a lot about driving up survey response rates. Sometimes it reminds me of my Sweet Sixteen party (I know, you’re thinking how’s that possible, read on, please). Surveys and parties are quite similar. You have to plan both carefully and every detail counts: the type of party (survey types), the guest list and invites (who to invite, how to invite), the decor and ambiance (look & feel), the activities (questions), and the thank yous (thank yous).

Despite how popular you are (or think you are), everyone does not want to go to your party. Sure, there are always the guests who show up just for the sake of partying. But for most people, they need to have a reason.The same can be said for your survey. Whether you are a Fortune 500 or a small non-profit, your survey response rates are not what they should be. To avoid feeling like that girl with only five people at her Sweet Sixteen, you have to analyze and plan for your invitees.

First, you need to minimize the cost for invitees. Make your surveys easy to find, easy to answer, and easy to finish. No matter how great your survey is (or you think it is), if it’s too far away, too boring, and too long, most people won’t bother.

Even more important, you need to give them a reason to show up. Are you giving away incentives? Using their feedback to make a great new product or improve a service? Tell them from the get-go. If you make the survey experience more about them, they will be more motivated to participate.

Remember, parties (and surveys) are never fun when they are all about the host!

How are you getting invitees to show up to your survey?