Archive for July, 2006

Find gold in employee and customer surveys

Tuesday, July 25th, 2006

Sorry for the long break. Been working intensely on a big project.

Meanwhile, just learned about a company that specializes in helping design, deliver and analyze customized employee and customer surveys. And in a minute, I’ll tell you why there’s gold for your corporate blog in that kind of activity.

At the National Business Research Institute (NBRI), a team of psychologists works with you to assess true levels of employee and/or customer satisfaction, and also to find ways to improve it. And I emphasize “true” because poorly written surveys are a big waste of money.

If you’ve ever wondered why so many surveys seem to just fall flat–and nothing ever happens with the information you paid so much to get–check out the answers to their little quiz on the home page. For example, “Does the wording of a survey question influence the answer?” You bet it does. Nothing worse than asking a question in such a way that a response doesn’t really measure what you want to know. If you haven’t studied much psychology or worked with a professional on this sort of thing, you’ll find this stuff quite enlightening. More here. And then of course there’s the question of knowing how to follow up appropriately–another area where so much valuable information is never discovered or put to use.

And this I can tell you, what you learn from an effective employee or customer survey should give you great fodder for your corporate blog. In fact, they serve parallel purposes–both designed to keep a two-way dialogue going with your customers.

For example, if you learn in your survey that a certain percentage of your employees dislike the performance evaluation methods you use (some of them are so poorly designed–e.g., measuring only negative factors–that they can be demoralizing enough to actually damage your relationship with your employees), you might write a blog entry about how your company values its employees and is always looking for ways to improve the “internal customer” relationship.

And it won’t be only your employees who are glad to hear this (as long as you really mean it, and you follow up with what you said you’d do), but your customers and prospective customers will be impressed. We all know that a happy employee generally gives us better, more cheerful customer service than one who’s aggravated with company policies. So if you’re serious about getting sincere feedback, use a professional survey company like NBRI.

And if you’re serious about using your corporate blog to enhance your presence among customers–both present and potential–email your questions to me, your professional corporate blog writer.

Writing your corporate blog: look at history

Wednesday, July 12th, 2006

When you publish a corporate blog, you need to be consistent about making entries on a fairly frequent basis. Daily isn’t necessary–though if you’ve got something good to say for 4 days in a row, go ahead and say it. But more often than not, you’ll wonder what you can say.

If you think nothing’s going on today in your company that your readers might be interested in (there probably is, but your mind just isn’t focusing in the right areas), you can always look at history.

The history of your subject or industry is bound to be rich with anecdotes and stories about how things got to be the way they are, where things came from, who were the important figures in its development, and so on. So when you’re having an “off” day for material at work, look into the past. You’re sure to find tidbits of interest to your readers.

This is part of my ongoing series on how to write a corporate blog. Call me if you have questions 312.416.7965 or 216.272.8502. Glad to help.

Companies that blog become connectors

Saturday, July 8th, 2006

We’re all looking for ways to connect more meaningfully in today’s hectic, sit-alone-in-front-of-your-computer business world. Virtual tradeshows are even becoming de rigeur–you don’t even get to connect personally at those things as often any more.

That’s another reason a corporate blog sets you apart. You’re leveraging the most modern technology to fulfill one of business’s most important needs–keeping people connected and interacting. Heck, companies are making a whole business out of connecting people. Start solidifying your your network today. Give me a call with any questions.