October 2012 Archives

You came, now what do you think?

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Yesterday I attended a promotional products convention with my boss. There were a great deal of vendors there to push their fun products to marketing managers from throughout the Twin Cities. It was cool to see all the vendors and all the fun things they have figured out a way to print a logo onto.

One way to catch a person and get them to take a survey is an ad hoc format. As my boss and I were leaving, there was a small table with a sign politely asking us to take a short survey.

We could tell the survey was short as it was printed on a half piece of paper. My boss, Jacqueline, felt obligated to take the survey about her experience at the convention saying that she asks people to take surveys for her all the time in her daily work.

I participated as well. The survey asked only five questions. Three were Likert scale responses and the other two were free response questions about what we liked and didn't like about the convention.

I noticed the table when we arrived at the convention and noticed they had representatives asking participants on their way out to please take the survey. My guess is that many people took the survey when asked, but when the representatives left their post, fewer took the survey or even noticed the table. Presumably, the responses will have come from mostly people who were leaving the convention when a representative was available to ask them to take the survey. Politely and with a smile too.

That's all for today.

Customer Service Surveys


My computer's hard drive crashed recently and so I had to replace it. Luckily I caught the crashing in the act so all of my files were able to be backed up. My computer was fixed promptly by the Apple service providers right here on campus.

After I picked up my computer, Apple sent me a survey about my recent experience with the Apple service providers. In the spirit of this class, I happily took the survey.

The survey was short, only 10 questions. I was glad it was short because there is nothing worse than taking a survey that claims it will only take 5 minutes but then ends up being closer to 10 or 15.

The survey had a variety of question types, which was conducive to what a survey should have. The types included Likert Scales, rating and nominal. At the end of the short survey there was also a place to include information that was not asked in the survey. I didn't have much additional information to add so I left that blank.

I would think that Apple gets a relatively decent response rate to this survey. This could be mostly because those who have Apple products are generally satisfied with their products and are very loyal to the brand, willing to do a lot to help the brand. I am one of those people.

This survey seemed like it had been laid out very well. I was pleased with how short it was and the questions were likely to give good insight to Apple about how they can better serve their customers if there is need for future service to their products.

Research subtleties

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Sometimes I will be reading an article and a blaring headline screams to me about the latest research on testicular cancer, as if that's what I want to read about with my Cheerios in the morning. Other times the research surrounding us can be more subtle. It raises the question-can even the most subtle of research be effective too?

The reason I ask this question is because as I was navigating the University of Minnesota's student help center website, OneStop, I got to the end of the page and there was a very short survey waiting for me. It was comprised of one simple question: "Was this page helpful?" I was then, of course, given the option to answer yes or no. That was it. Even when I answered no, there was no prompt to explain why or why not.

Since my I have been so attuned to research through my enrollment in Jour 3251, I was intrigued and of course felt obligated to answer the question. Since that page didn't include exactly what I was looking for, I answered no, but then when I did find what I was looking for on another page, I answered yes.

In one sense, this very short and subtle survey was probably effective for OneStop Student Services. Because of the simplicity of the survey, many people probably just click yes or no. The problem with such a short survey is that OneStop is left wondering.

No matter how many responses that survey will get, OneStop will never know who has answered the survey, because of this, it will never know whether the respondents were a good representation of the University population or not. Was it a student, a parent, alumni or prospective student who was trying to find an answer to their question.

Likewise, for those who are frustrated to have theoretically read through the entire page of information only to be left searching for an answer and respond with a resounding "NO" to the question, OneStop is again left without answers. How can OneStop improve the webpage in order to better serve future visitors?

I would imagine the best way to better serve future webpage visitors would be to conduct further research on why the page isn't sufficient. It would be the only way to improve their website.

Research really is everywhere. I'll be keeping my eyes peeled.

Who is actually engaging with your brand on Facebook?

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This morning I noticed "Facebook" was trending on Twitter. I always get a kick out of that because in my experience the population seems to go back and forth between the two social media giants. I got curious and followed the link, to my delight I found some content for this very blog. Read on and indulge in my findings.

A new study suggests that of brand fans on Facebook, only 6 percent engage with that brand. This news is not so good for big brands who like to boast about how many fans they have acquired on the site.

The study was conducted by Napkin Labs who studied fan engagement on more than 50 brand pages. Each of these brands had between 200,000 and 1 million fans. Another interesting fact-the more fans a brand has the less engagement their page attracts.

The research group found that of the fans on the page there are so called "superfans" who are worth 75 average fans. These "superfans" like 10 posts, share 5 pieces of content and comment once. These fans also get more likes and shares of the content they post than other fans.

I found this article incredibly interesting! What does this mean for brands and companies? It means that the groups may need to measure how effective their social media presence is and really get down to business with the core group of fans on their page.

Take a look at the article, I think you would enjoy it as well.

Until next time, research on.

Singles Are Financially Stressed, Study Says

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I was browsing the US News website and found an article that caught my eye. The article, entitled Why Single People Are So Financially Stressed, spoke of the many reasons that singles in the United States fair worse than couples do financially. The article was based on a study by MetLife Mature Market Institute and the Society of Actuaries that surveyed adults between the ages of 45 and 80.

The study found many interesting things that were highlighted in the article. Among these is the fact that single people have more financial stresses than couples do and single women in particular have a hard time saving for retirement.

The study found that couples are more likely to take steps toward paying off debt, met with a financial advisor and invested for retirement.

I thought the article pointed out a lot of interesting points that were probably true of singles versus couples. The study seems to have been done by a legitimate source as well.

As I mentioned above, the study used the survey method to gather data. The article didn't mention how the survey was delivered, however.

If I had done this study, I would have probably tried to send this survey out through E-Mail. Some people can become sensitive about their finances as well as their relationship status and thus may have felt more comfortable filling out a survey online as opposed to over the phone.

The link to the article is here:

I hope you all enjoy the interesting article as well. I'm off to find more research for now.

Even Facebook Does Research

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I was browsing my Twitter feed on Tuesday afternoon when I came across a tweet from one of my followers that provided the link to a Chicago Tribune article about some current research that social media giant, Facebook is currently conducting. The article was entitled Facebook Partners with Retailers to test 'want' button. I was intrigued. You all can read the article for yourself. The link is posted below.


Right now, Facebook is working with different retailers in testing out a new feature called the like button. Basically this button allows users of the social media network to flag images of desired products by clicking the new want button. This feature will allow users to view and purchase these items on Facebook.

One of the big goals with this feature will be to help increase the price of stock for the newly publicly traded company, something that could be very beneficial and a breakthrough for making money through social media.

The article didn't mention exactly how the new feature will is being tested and researched. It did mention that the button will gradually be usable by all US Facebook users.

Facebook is currently toying with the idea of a few different names for the new feature including 'want', 'collect' and just sticking with their current name for doing similar actions 'like'.

I was interested in this article because, until I read it, it didn't really occur to me that a company who provides so much data for research actually needed to do their own types of research. Once it dawned on me though, I figured it was pretty much a no brainer.

FREE cookie from Subway!?

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Last Thursday evening I was craving a sandwich of some sort and I just happen to love Subway. As I didn't feel like cooking, Subway was the perfect option. After entering the restaurant I was delighted to see there were no other customers waiting in line to see their sandwich made right before their eyes. My sandwich was made, exquisitely I might add, and I pulled out my card to pay. I was handed the receipt for the meal with a smile and was cordially invited to participate in a survey about my experience at Subway and, in gratitude of my feedback, I would receive a FREE cookie for participating.

Needless to say, I was delighted. I promptly went home and took part in the short survey. It asked me a few questions about how my sandwich tasted, whether or not I had good service upon ordering my sandwich and if there was anything else I would like to see in the future at Subway. Then, as promised, I got my coupon for a FREE Subway cookie.

I tried to find a link to the survey online so that all of you could enjoy your own FREE Subway cookie, but you have to have a code that is printed with the receipt. It seems to me that is a very good way to know that whoever is taking the survey has actually eaten at the restaurant recently and has a fresh memory about their experience there.

I would imagine that by offering the FREE cookie just for taking the survey, Subway gets good responses from individuals who purchase sandwiches at their restaurant.

Research really is everywhere people!

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from October 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2012 is the next archive.

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