Recently I was invited to take part in an online survey by a national group here in Ireland.  One of the questions asked “are you a member…” and offered two answers – “yes” or “no”.  The question was also obligatory, i.e., it was not possible to proceed to the next page of the survey without [...]

The Friendly Postman

I was talking to a client last week who is worried.  His employees have let standards slip in the speed with which they get back to customers.  It’s a little thing – but one he needs to address.  Here’s a recent post on how the little things can be important. I was reminded of my [...]

Make Life Easy For Customers

In my business I take a close look at my financial numbers on (at least) a monthly basis.  Now I decided recently that I’d like to be able to finalise my monthly accounts on the 1st of the month.  There’s no problem getting most of the information necessary for that – including stuff like receipts, [...]

The Challenge Of Interpreting Data

A large majority (80%) of Irish Garda (Police) stations reported just one crime or less per day in 2011. Now it is undoubtedly difficult to ascertain the precise number of crimes committed – as some proportion of crimes are inevitably unreported. But the low number of crimes reported has brought into focus the question of [...]

Imagine if your doctor deliberately started scheduling appointments to be 5 minutes longer. Imagine if they actively facilitated email contact with you. Imagine if they were available for after-hours appointments without an emergency needing to have happened. Too good to be true? This is exactly the approach being taken by a San Francisco doctor – [...]

Moving Past Indecision

Recently I ran a workshop for a group of people who are all considering starting their own businesses. The topic was “Exploring The Opportunity” and I was there to offer some insight into market research – what it is, why to do it, how to do it, etc. All the attendees were planning to seek [...]

Are You Listening?

In a recent post I described the importance of fixing the small things (or “broken windows”) in our businesses so that people don’t think we’re neglecting our business. As is the norm, I also sent the same article to my email list. I had a surprising reaction – two people contacted me and pointed out [...]

What Is Your Broken Window?

Last week my wife and I went out for a meal one evening – we don’t do it too often but our daughter was heading off on a 3-week holiday and had offered to stay home that night to mind her younger brothers while she packed. We strolled the streets of Kilkenny – a small [...]

We Can’t Ask That!

I was designing an online customer satisfaction survey recently for a client – and I had included a question asking my client’s customers how they thought my client could improve. It’s a common question to ask in such surveys. Though its form can differ, its core purpose is always the same – to learn what [...]

Are You Irritating Customers?

In mid-June my wife called her bank’s credit card services. The credit card was about to expire and the replacement had failed to arrive. We were about to leave on holidays for two weeks and she wanted to see if she could get the replacement before we set off. She waited impatiently on hold for [...]

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