Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

FE, Education & Business Marketing: Quick, Effective, Low Cost Marketing

Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

Tag: Customers

Surveys That Fail AND Annoy Your Customers

Put yourself in your customer’s place  

They have been on your website and had a bad experience.  Then a survey asking “how was it for you” pops up. Your customer really wants to tell you ….. they are ready to point out your failings.  So they try the survey and it annoys them even more because it is badly designed.

Of course not all customers are grumpy and want to complain.  Some have a good website experience and take the survey.  But if the survey is poor they also end up being annoyed.


In a situation like this we’ve managed to annoy both the unhappy customer and the one that wanted to praise us.  We now have two annoyed customers not one.

But why did this happen? Our intentions were good.


HMRC Survey 

Well look at the survey I came across this morning on the HMRC site.

Few of us like paying tax so I bet most take the survey to complain.  And when you look at this survey you can see why they will be very annoyed with it.


The survey asks “How fully was your query resolved” and provides a scale of 1-5. That seems reasonable.

But it isn’t because there is no indication if the scale is 1=good or 1=bad.   

And every other question fails to provide the scale. 


Some mistakes matter more than others

We all make mistakes .. I often make typos in this blog.  But they are not as important as getting a survey layout wrong.  Sure my typos will annoy people, but when someone can’t make complete a survey and make their complaint they become incensed.


Lessons to be learnt

So where mistakes matter most, for example where safety is involved or customers can be inconvenienced or annoyed, it pays to get everything double checked.

It might be that the checks are made internally or internally.  If internally we must empower our staff to speak their mind.  They mustn’t be afraid to make comment or even ask what seems to be a stupid question.  When I mystery shop clients or go into businesses I ask the most naive questions.  The type of question staff are often frighten to ask.  And when I ask them managers and owners are often stumped by them.



Making customers happy

A perfect example of a process that wasn’t needed, and hence annoyed, would be in a hotel recently where I eventually asked WHY?  In this hotel all guests most show their room card to get into breakfast.  That seems reasonable.

Then they have to sign a sheet before being allowed to enter the restaurant.  I asked the staff why this was necessary.  No one knew.  

So I asked why they continued to do it.  Those that answered said they had been told to do it by supervisors.  So I asked what happened to the signed sheets after breakfast and was told they were thrown away.  No one had ever questioned why it was done. 

On asking the manager why the guests had to sign he didn’t know.  Apparently his predecessor had done it this way.

I can actually see some reasons why they might have this process in place.  But they didn’t know why. 

The thing is lots of time was wasted signing these sheets and it mildly annoyed guests.

My WHY question put a stop to it.  But I shouldn’t had to ask, the managers should have stopped this unnecessary process.


Attention to Detail  

So think through where attention to detail will improve your customers’ experience and where it isn’t necessary.   Amend as necessary.  You will make customers happy. 




What’s The Point Of Being on Twitter If You Are Not Engaging? Asks Emma

Michelin on twitterTwitter Doesn’t  Really Work For Me. So Why Bother With Twitter? 

I made it  clear in a recent post that Twitter didn’t really work for me.  I could have added that many other forms of social media also failed to engage my audience.  So it may seem strange that I bother with Twitter at all.


This thought prompted Emma to ask a very simple question.

“What’s the point of being on Twitter if you are not engaging?”.

It might be a simple question but the answer is quite involved.

As I explained in my weekly email “I only have a handful of Twitter followers and it doesn’t work for me”.  But that isn’t to say it NEVER works for me; just that it doesn’t give me the level of response I get from other marketing tactics.  

But as I further explained “my audience aren’t using Twitter much.  So it wouldn’t.  It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use Twitter. The answer actually lies in the audience and not a list or a preferred social media; or at least that is my experience.”   


Lucrative Audiences Matter Most

You see my most lucrative market is the education sector.  My contracts here are usually 5 figures and individual clients have a lifetime value in the six figure range.  But, in terms of buying services, few of them use Twitter to any extent and I’ve yet to land a substantial contract via Twitter.  Of course some people do respond to what I send out on Twitter; in fact Emma came back to me via Twitter.  And a few years ago I picked up a few attendees to, my then annual, events in Portugal.  However I get few responses via Twitter and, where they eventually become contacts of some sort,  they are worth much less.  

That is not so say they are unimportant.  They are important, especially as I often select these contracts because they intrigue me.  It is rarely about money!  In fact the 40 or so people I have worked with in Portugal became clients because I wanted to do some work in Portugal prior to buying a holiday home there (I never did buy the holiday home, but have gone back a few times a year and stayed in a friend’s holiday home).  


Why Waste Time on Twitter?

So, this being so, why waste anytime on Twitter?    Simple.  Firstly it is very simple and extremely quick for me to post every new webpage I write to Twitter.  The CMS (Content Management System) on my website has a tick box that allows each page to post to social media automatically.  So when a page on my site is launched (and there is at least one each week) up it pops on Twitter.  (I can also use the same plug-in to send to other social media and do this each time). 

The downside of this automated method is that it posts the exact headline I’ve used on my webpage as the Twitter message. The problem is that the headline may not be the best message for Twitter.  In reality I ought to optimise it for Twitter.  But life is too short to do everything and I let it go as it stands.  And, to an extent, it works. I get a handful of followers from this.  But although I’m happy to post to Twitter like this it is never going to bring me a lot of traffic unless I spend more time on perfecting both my message and technique.  And, having profiled my most lucrative customers I use my limited time to best effect.  I get a bit of traction from virtually no effort, but don’t really want to spend time on something that will only provide a very limited return from my client base.   I’d rather focus on what I know works much better and is, for me, much easier. And, for me that is articles where I know my best prospects will see and read them.

There is a however a second reason I use social media like Twitter.  It is because it is important to my clients.  How can I advise them when I never used Twitter?  I can’t.

Facebook also comes into this category for me.  You often see me post about Facebook ads.  I explain how great they are for many of my clients.  And I run campaigns for a number of clients. Some of these clients have relied on me running their campaigns for six or more years.  

But I rarely use Facebook for my own business purposes. Exceptions have been when I have offered to produce animated video ads for  prospects.  A £25 spend brought me plenty of enquiries a few months a go, and the conversion rate to clients has been very good. Certainly good enough to know that when I want more customers I can turn the ads back on and be fairly sure of finding more clients.  Having a reliable system like this is a godsend.  

Most of my Facebook advertising contracts are however for colleges that want to attract young people.  And for this it is superb.  As you’ll have seen from past posts we can get video views for less than 1p.   That’s less than ONE PENNY sterling!  And the conversion rate is good as well. 

So I need to use a number of social media NOT because they are important to me but because my clients need to use them. 


A Word of Warning About Social Media.

 So many people see getting more followers on social media as being important.  But it can be the death knell to your marketing.  If someone follows you then their followers and friends get to see and some of them might follow you and your numbers grow. That sounds great doesn’t it?

NO, not if they are the wrong sort of followers.  If the first one followed because of one post, and if that isn’t a mainstream post for you, then the others have also followed for a poor reason.  Let’s face it we all post a variety of posts and some are more focused than others. The problem is it with getting followers, it makes you feel good, and they gurus say it is important to get more followers. So you spend more time on it.  But if no one converts into a customer, then it is time wasted.


Simple Marketing Rules 

I have a simple rule here.  With things like social media we are all told that it has made getting your message out much easier.  


But your message is also harder to find simply because it is one of billions of messages being sent each day.  This is marketing in the Land of Plenty.

It is actually better to market in the Land of Scarcity.   When messages are scare then people are more likely to clamour to read them.  

So a good article in the right place, where there are limited numbers of articles,is for me much more likely to be read and have impact.  The thing is people know these articles have been selected and approved by the editor and have value.

Whereas anyone can write anything on social media, no one approves it and it is one message among millions or billions.  Sadly social media doesn’t breed scarcity.

Google knows this and has made a fortune out of it. Google knows that on each search page there are only TEN adverts.  This scarcity means people compete for the space and they have a system that only allows the best ads to prosper.    


So this week’s post, in response to Emma, is long. But I hope it throws some light on my social media strategy, why I still use Twitter etc and why I still rely on things like articles.

In reality I still use over 100 marketing techniques.  I just choose to spend my limited time on the most effective.