Don’t Let Your Business Fail: Beware of These Common Mistakes

market trends

Running a successful company can be extremely difficult because you have to focus on so many aspects of business. Not only do you have to handle all your company’s finances, you also have to make each and every decision that impacts everything from your bottom line to your company’s future.

Here are a few costly mistakes that business owners often make that end up leading to failing companies. Avoid these mistakes at all costs. Continue reading

What Does Company Culture Mean to Employees?

company culture

Dark, cold, gray cubicle offices are failing to attract passionate and qualified employees. Today, eligible candidates desire bright, lively, open offices that easily evoke motivation and creativity from  employees. Places like Google have become the poster child for employee-centric workplaces. With limitless kitchens and dining options, bubbly staff members and sleeping pods, culture is taken to new heights. We’re not saying you need to clear out office space to make room for napping quarters, but it’s time to acknowledge that company culture matters to employees. Continue reading

Why Do People Leave… Yet Stay?

employee experience

We all have something that moves us, motivates us to do something about it. A passion we are pulled toward pursuing. My passion is helping other people find passion at work. When I see someone miserable in their job, I can’t stop myself from wanting to help. Because we know that being miserable at work negatively impacts our physical health, emotional wellbeing, everyone around us, and ultimately organizations who strive to create a positive employee experience. Continue reading

Fear this Four-Letter Word in Your Company Culture

Fear in company culture

There is a four-letter word wreaking havoc in organizations, yet also driving innovation…FEAR. Some will tell you to try to stomp it out because the negative influence can damage a company culture beyond repair. While yes, there are many ways in which fear can have negative consequences, there is a bright side to fear that sparks creativity in an organization. Here’s a quick list of how fear can impact people and ultimately organizations: Continue reading

Why You Shouldn’t Fear Customer Reviews, Even If They’re Bad

customer reviews

Sometimes we fear asking our friends or family for their opinions if we know we won’t like their answers.  While the pill may be tough to swallow, the people closest to us often know best. The same can be said for your customers, they’re the most intimate with your product,  and their opinions should be greatly valued. Even in difficult times for your business or brand, it’s important to listen to customer reviews. You should always be conducting customer reviews, even if the answers may be frightening.

Take advantage of negative experiences, instead of hiding from them. Don’t just chalk up the bad customer experiences as just that, bad experiences. It’s important that you and your business actually learn from those negative situations. Talk to the unhappy customers and find out exactly why they’re unhappy. Once you get to the bottom of why they feel the way they do about your company, you can find out how to fix it. The unhappy customers might even be able to recommend a successful strategy themselves for you to improve customer satisfaction, but you’ll never know their point of view without asking them.  Gain access to customers opinions through customer surveys.

Customer surveys, when completed and designed correctly, provide actionable insights. Actionable insights can save your brand in times of turmoil. Actionable insights often tell you what customers are struggling with, and the solution to the problem is typically not far down the line. So even if their opinions make you cringe, they will provide you with a roadmap back to success. But how do you deliver a survey to customers that will result in actionable insights?

  1. Target Audience – Narrowing down your audience will provide you with a clearer insight into the customer’s journey and experience.
  2. Open-Ended Questions – Now that you have the right audience, you must formulate the right questions. Close ended questions can be answered with a simple yes or no, true or false. This strategy leaves much to speculation and doesn’t paint an entire picture. Open-ended questions force the customer to really think of their experience and elaborate on their answer.
  3. Correct Language – When creating survey questions, using concise language is important to the success of the survey. Use simple language that can be understood by your audience and avoid using sentences or questions that are too long winded. Your language must also be objective and free from bias as possible.
  4. Delivery – When delivering the survey you must take target audience into consideration as well. Where does your target audience consume media? Which delivery method will find your target audience?
  5. Hiring an Expert in Customer Research – Creating a survey for your company is the first step to gaining actionable insights, but is it a step in the right direction? Hiring a third party survey creator is a solution that ensures your survey will be created with the correct questions and with the least amount of bias possible. A third party survey provider also has the industry experience backing their survey strategy and is much more likely to provide you with a template that will result in actionable insights.

If you’re looking to tap into actionable insights from your customers, get superior results when you partner with an expert in customer research like Direct Opinions. 


Time for Strategic Planning? Why You Need Three Inputs ASAP

customer experience

The higher we climb the corporate ladder, the wider the distance between ourselves and frontline employees who make products and deliver service to our customers.  As organizations grow, we begin to hire managers and managers of managers, directors and vice-presidents to manage the day-to-day operations.   Building our organizational structure is important to ensure growth is sustainable.  Executives must focus on the broader role of managing financials, sales, marketing, and operations.  During this time of year, executives tend to spend a majority of time on strategic planning: gathering data, creating slides, and working on forecasting for the next year. Unfortunately, what many people don’t realize is that down the levels and through the organizational charts lies a treasure chest of information critical to strategic planning. The key is to gather that data and turn it into actionable insights. Continue reading

What Media Influencers Mean for Audience Reach

media influencers

When looking to try a new product or make a purchasing decision, do you listen to friends and family for their advice? And if a friend highly recommended a brand or business to you, would you be inclined to try them out? Of course you would. Who better to help you with decisions than those closest to you, people who know and care about your well being. With more options than ever, audiences are looking to their trusted peers for their insights and experiences. This has led to a “media influencers” revolution.

A media influencer is someone who has a large following or reach with their target audience and is considered  a thought leader. Audiences view influencers as relatable friends whose opinion is more authentic than a paid spokesperson or endorser. Influencers have established themselves in several different industries and have made a major impact on brand advocacy.  Continue reading

Customer Surveys are Worthless Without Actionable Insights

actionable insights

Consumers today have more avenues than ever to express their opinions or experiences with or about a brand. Upset customers will take to social media to share photos of a poor food presentation or, hopefully in your case, customers take the time to share their exceptional experience with your brand. Whether the feedback be negative or positive, it’s essential to be listening as a business and then go the extra step and take action with the new insight you’ve been provided. Customer surveys are a great way to gauge how customers feel about your business but the first step to getting actionable insights is creating a survey with the customer is mind. Continue reading

Become the Benchmark by Measuring Customer Expectations

customer expectations

Today, in a world of social media and analytical reports, it’s difficult to not always feel like we’re competing. In the business sphere, companies will spend thousand of dollars comparing themselves to competitors in hopes to match up with the big dogs of the industry. While it’s interesting to see how we compare with other people in our daily lives and professional businesses, does it really matter? We ask the question, is there value to know what benchmarks we’re meeting against our competitors? Or does the true value lie with how we perform against customer expectations? Continue reading

Brand Advocates, The Body and Blood of Your Organization

Brand Advocates

Brand Advocates are customers who have bought and used your product or service and were pleased with the experience. Think of Advocates as being authentic “advertisers” for your brand, forming relationships with potential leads and customers based upon their positive experience. These Brand Advocates are the body and blood of your organization because they’re loyal customers who actively promote and engage with your brand. Not only are Brand Advocates more influential than an average customer, there are four other benefits they bring to your organization that should be kept in mind: Continue reading

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