Taking the “Madness” out of Running Your Business

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There is something about March Madness that seems to appropriately usher in the new hope of spring.   Sitting in my living room watching the final few minutes of the University of Kentucky and University of North Carolina game this past weekend was a great example of the “madness,” reminding us that anything can happen. In business this is also true, sometimes what you think is working continues and sometimes it doesn’t. Disruptive competitors may come out of nowhere and change the entire game you thought you were playing. How can you keep up with “the madness” of running a business? Look up from your business frequently to understand potential changes and stay very close to your customers.

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Got Data, We’ve Got Answers in our New Mini-eGuide

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Got Data? We’ve Got Answers!

With the widespread use of surveys and broad reach of social media and online reviews, we know we are never at a loss for data about our businesses. However, many organizations are finding that they are on information overload. No matter the size of your organization or your priorities, keeping up with the heavy flow of data and finding the time to turn it into actionable insights can be a challenge.

Here are just a few areas where partnering with a research expert can help and some tips to consider: Continue reading

How Customer Experience and Competitive Intelligence Programs Keep You on Your Customer’s Good Side

Competitive Intelligence Programs

When running a business, there are many things that you need to consider. You have to focus on your actual product or service and make sure everything is working properly, you have to make sure your employees are taken care of, finances are in order, and you’re following all the legal regulations associated with whatever industry you’re in. You need to understand the competitive environment in which you operate. The most important factor of running a business, however, is ensuring that your customers are happy. Continue reading

Recognizing the Importance of “Donor Experience,” Direct Opinions Gives Back

As an organization, Direct Opinions recognizes the importance of giving back, and sees it as a company’s duty to contribute when possible to the community. We have a goal to help a charitable event or organization every quarter. With Make-A-Wish Foundation’s local offices located in our building, the DO team overwhelmingly voted to focus Q4 2016 and Q1 2017 efforts to this cause. Continue reading

Brand Love is in the Air… Should We Chase It?

Brand love

Brand love: Is it the Holy Grail of a marketer, or the Great White Whale? To hear consumers claim “I love that brand” and seek it out exclusively is what companies strive for. When a restaurant patron orders a Coke, the server asks if Pepsi is okay, and the consumer says “no, just bring me a water,” well that is music to the ears of marketing giants like Coca-Cola. Companies strive for the elusive ‘brand love,’ almost to the point of obsession. But what exactly is brand love, and should we chase it?
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Two Survey Questions You Need to Ask Your Customers

customer satisfaction system

Although the trend continues to reduce the length of customer satisfaction surveys, with the hope of improving response rates, we are finding surveys that are too short and without open-ended questions often lack actionable insight. For instance, if a customer tells you that they are not satisfied, would or wouldn’t recommend your business, or that they loved their experience, you need to know an even more important question…why? Continue reading

The Impact Customer Experience Has on Social Media Image

social media image

This time of year is a good time to look back at the previous year and determine how you welcomed new customers and what impacted your lost customers. It is also a time to reflect on how well you’re engaging your active, more seasoned customers.   Fortunately – depending upon how you look at it – evaluating  the customer experience for all three categories has become a little clearer thanks to social media. A platform for your customer’s voice to be heard can be both an asset and liability to your brand image, but it is a valuable tool that should be used to “inform your strategy” for 2017. Continue reading

How Inflated Are Your Employee and Customer Survey Results?

inflated survey results

We know that measuring customer and employee satisfaction are basic requirements for running a sustainable business today. However, how we obtain and analyze this data can mean the difference between collecting virtually meaningless data and capturing critical insights that will grow the business.

Over the holidays I had some conversations that reinforce my suspicion that many organizations may be making decisions based on falsely inflated survey results.  How can this happen?  I will share just a few of examples and provide three tips to help your organization avoid this situation. Continue reading

How Do You Score on Business Insights to Grow Your Business in 2017?

Business Insights

Heading into the holiday season we’re surrounded by evergreens, many of which are surviving despite bitter conditions of cold and snow. Have you considered though how you can ensure your organization is able to truly remain “evergreen” in the coming years, able to weather through even as the environment changes? To ensure your business is healthy and sustainable, you’ll need to gather informed insights as to how your business is performing in the eyes of the market, your customers, and your employees and translate that information into a plan for growth. To assist, we were inspired to create a free checklist that helps you score how prepared you are with the business insights you’ll need to put this plan in place. Continue reading


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