Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Men Start More But Their Businesses Have the Same Survival Rate as Those Founded by Women

Friday, February 22nd, 2019

Small Business Owner Gender and Age Statistics

The gender pay gap has long been a problem in the workplace, and it continues to this day in 2019. Women entrepreneurs have overcome this disparity by opening their own business to control their destiny. But a report released by the JPMorgan Chase Institute has revealed there are also noticeable gaps when it comes to the revenue between men and women-owned small businesses.

According to the “Gender, Age, and Small Business Financial Outcomes” report, the revenue of women-owned businesses was 34% lower in the first year. Beyond the first year, revenue growth is also noticeably slower compared to men.

This is not to say women entrepreneurs don’t do well, but there are factors which are responsible for the lower revenue. In the report, JPMorgan Chase Institute said, “Our counterfactual analysis suggests that women may face different challenges starting and growing a business compared to men in the same industries.”

The report goes on to say different owner characteristics such as race, education, and prior work experience could play a role in business outcomes. Unobservable or unavailable characteristics in the data may also be a factor in explaining the revenue and revenue growth differential.

The data for the report comes from a large pool of research including a follow up of the JPMorgan Chase Institute July 2018 report, “Growth, Vitality, and Cash Flows: High-Frequency Evidence from 1 Million Small Businesses.” This was a first of its kind research which showed the factors responsible for the growth and failure among different kinds of small businesses.

In this report, the firm examined the cash flow of an impressive 1.3 million small operating businesses using Chase Business Banking deposit accounts. The report analyzed 3.1 billion transactions associated with these accounts.

Researchers specifically focused on gender and age as they relate to prevalence, firm size, cash flow, growth, longevity, and other factors.

Small Business Owner Gender and Age Statistics

New firms are overwhelmingly started by men. While women start 30% of businesses, men account for the remaining 70%. This is more than a 2 to 1 ratio.

When women do start a business, they are typically smaller than the ones founded by men, with the report stating the difference persists over time.

The median revenue in the first year for women-owned small businesses was $50,000 compared to more than $75,000 for their male counterpart. In the second year, the growth in revenue goes up to $59K for women and $91K for men.

Year three and four also favor men owned-businesses as they generated $100K and $105K respectively compared to $65K and $68K for women during the same period.

Disparity also extends to the lack of financing women entrepreneurs receive. The report says women are less likely to receive external financing. It goes without saying, without the proper initial or continual funding it becomes that much harder for women to grow their business at the same pace as men.

The one area in which men and women are equal is the survival rate. Even with the clear advantage men seem to have, the report shows women-owned businesses have the same survival rate as men-owned businesses.

Industries

For the most part, earning potential doesn’t improve across industry sectors. While women are more likely to start businesses in the personal services, healthcare services, retail, and real estate industries, men still managed to generate higher revenue.

However, the few women who start a business in the male-dominated construction (90% men to 10% women), high-tech manufacturing (87% to 13%), and metal and machinery (87% to 13%) did manage to beat the men with larger first-year revenue.

Recommendations

In the report, JPMorgan Chase Institute concludes by saying leaders and decision makers should implement policies which help women start larger businesses and grow them so it can have material impact on the US economy.

It adds female-owned businesses should start with the same revenue levels as their male-owned counterparts. This would allow them to experience the same level of revenue growth as male-owned businesses which in the long term will substantially increase the overall economic contributions of the small business sector to the US economy.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, “Men Start More But Their Businesses Have the Same Survival Rate as Those Founded by Women” was first published on Small Business Trends

Source

How to Blend your Personal and Business Brand – for Real!

Friday, February 22nd, 2019

This cartoon makes me paranoid.

Not because I wonder if it’s funny, or if it makes sense, but if I spelled “camouflage” correctly.

Seriously, I just typed that in while looking at the cartoon and waiting for the spellcheck to underline it. Nothing happened, and I double and triple checked it, but it still makes me nervous every time I see this cartoon.

This article, “How to Blend your Personal and Business Brand – for Real!” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Master the Art of Data Collection: 22 Things Big Tech Companies Know about Their Customers

Friday, February 22nd, 2019

What Companies Know About You

You’d be surprised just how much big tech companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, Twitter, and Amazon know about you.

They’re collecting information about you and your habits right now.

This information is being used to market specifically to your preferences.

Wondering just how much they know about you?

What Companies Know About You

Here are 22 things they’re collecting data on, based on data from Visual Capitalist.

1. Personal Information

First of all is basic information like your name, gender, birthday, contact information, etc.

If you’re on social media in any capacity, these are easy enough to dig up (unless you’re using a fake name).

2. Location and Address

Most tech services make use of location tracking on smartphones.

That means where you live and your usual routes can be tracked.

This is especially useful for local businesses looking to market to customers in a given area.

3. Relationship Status

Whether you’re single or married affects what’s marketed to you.

For instance, if you just got engaged, you may get ads related to weddings.

If you just got married, you may start seeing furniture and baby product ads.

4. Work Status and Income Level

Businesses want to market to people with employment or other sources of income.

Your income level will dictate the ads you see.

5. Educational Background

College graduates are more likely to have higher employment, which typically correlates to higher income — accordingly, companies are tracking your education level.

6. Ethnicity

Big tech companies track your race/ethnicity.

7. Religious and Political Beliefs

They also want to know people’s religious beliefs and political leanings.

8. Facial Recognition Data

Face ID is becoming ubiquitous as a biometric security solution, thanks mostly to Apple.

Casinos, for example, have databases of facial recognition data to track everyone going in and out.

China is also tapping into the technology for its sophisticated public surveillance systems.

9. Financial and Banking Information

This is information you have to be really careful with since it involves your money.

There are people out there who can do bad things if your financial information is dug up.

But people do tend to enter their credit card numbers in online stores, so companies get them all the time.

10. IP Address

If you’re using a device connected to the internet, it will be assigned a unique IP address.

As long as your IP address is known, your online activities can be tracked.

Even your device can be hacked into if you’re unlucky or not careful enough.

That’s why you have to be very careful about people knowing your IP address.

11. Communications

When you send a message or make a call online, it is most likely archived in some way. Instant messengers like Facebook Messenger store your chat history.

Meanwhile, applications like Skype can store your call history as well.

12. Calendar Events

If you use a calendar app like Google Calendar, the data regarding those events is kept even after they’re over.

Companies use it to learn how you spend your time, how organized you are, and how busy you are.

13. Search History

Every time you search something on Google or other search engines, the query gets stored.

Your search history can say a lot about what things you’re interested in.

14. Media Consumed

What you watch on YouTube says a lot about you and your interests.

It’s especially true now since videos are on just about everything on the internet these days.

It’s not just videos they’re tracking — they keep track of the games you play, the music you listen to, the books you read, etc.

15. Web-Browsing History

Even if you delete your browser history, Google will remember what websites you visited.

Not only does it know where you’ve been, but it also knows how long you’ve stuck around. It may also know where you go at what usual times, so it gets your browsing habits.

16. Social Media Behavior

It’s natural nowadays for everything you do on social media to be recorded.

Whatever you like and comment on, the pages and profiles you follow, the people you block, and so on are all kept in your account’s history.

17. Purchase History

Naturally, online stores keep records of what you buy from them.

This lets you track whatever you’ve bought so you know how much you’ve spent.

The data can also be used to advertise products you gravitate to.

18. Fitness and Health Data

Fitness trackers are everywhere now, and that fitness and health data sometimes get uploaded.

That can say much about your exercise habits, how health conscious you are, and how consistent you are with your fitness regimen.

19. Clicked Ads

Companies want to know if their ads are being clicked on.

They’re tracking those clicks, as well as the ad copy and format that caused the clicks.

20. Posts Hidden From Facebook News Feed

Social media platforms are interested in what posts on your feed irk you.

If a certain page tends to post content that gets blocked or hidden by a lot of people, that’s cause for concern.

21. Devices Used

Companies are also interested in the devices you use to access the internet.

This influences how they shape their media formats.

For example, the widespread use of mobile devices has caused companies to make content and ads more mobile-friendly.

22. Voice Data

More people are now using devices like Amazon Alexa or Google Home to access information and buy things. You better believe there’s a record of your voice data, too.

Republished by permission. Original here.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, “Master the Art of Data Collection: 22 Things Big Tech Companies Know about Their Customers” was first published on Small Business Trends

Source

How to Deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder in Your Small Business

Thursday, February 21st, 2019

How to Deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder Working on Your Small Business

Do you feel happier in spring and summer times? For most people the answer is probably a definite yes. Asking that question in the middle of winter might be a bit harsh, but there is a good reason for it.

According to a new infographic created by NowSourcing, and presented by BestHealthDegrees.com, the winter blues are very much real and Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD can really put a damper on your winter.

The data in the infographic says for 1 in 4 American workers, January is their least happy month. Another 1 in 3 said winter negatively affected their mood in the workplace. But you don’t have to be in the workplace to feel the effects, as 2 million children age 9-17 in the US also suffer from SAD.

For small businesses with few employees, the impact of SAD in their workforce can have some serious consequences in the winter months. Even if employees show up, they won’t be as productive. Knowing what SAD is so you can help your employees or even yourself is important.

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Scientists and doctors are not entirely certain as to what causes SAD. The Mayo Clinic defines SAD as a type of depression related to changes in seasons which begins and ends around the same times every year.

Appearing in late fall or early winter, some of the signs and symptoms the Mayo Clinic highlights include feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day; losing interest in activities you once enjoyed; having low energy; having problems with sleeping and more.

Although the cause has yet to be determined, some of the factors which may come into play include disruption in your circadian rhythm or biological clock and changes in your serotonin and melatonin levels. Living far from the equator as well as family history with SAD or other forms of depression can also be risk factors.

Another cause identified in the infographic is the link between SAD and the activation of ipRGCs (Intrinsically Photosensitive Retinal Ganglion Cells) which signals non-image-forming effects in response to environmental light.

Because ipRGCs regulate your circadian rhythms, pupil reflexes, and mood and energy levels, less daylight in winter months can stop ipRGCs to regulate circadian rhythms.

Proper diagnosis is very important so you can get the right treatment. Consult your doctor or mental health professional if you experience any of the symptoms of SAD.

Using Light and Technology to Prevent and Treat SAD

The good news is today’s digital technology and smart light bulbs can help you prevent and even treat some of the symptoms of SAD.

As soon as you start noticing shorter and darker days in the winter, start using smart light bulbs which mimic sunrise and sunsets. This can help you set your circadian rhythm or biological clock.

Use different light bulbs through out the day which will keep you alert in the morning and block blue lights in the evening to get your ready for bed. Avoid lights altogether when you are asleep. If you have to have light when you sleep, use dim red lights.

Some of the technology you can use to block blue light include color filter apps for your smartphones and PCs. These apps automatically reduce the brightness of your screen and change to warm colors at sunset. Glasses which block blue light also work.

When it comes to nutrition vitamin D is critical. Depending on where you live, it may be almost impossible to produce vitamin D from sunlight during winter months. Taking 800 – 1,000 IU per day of a vitamin D supplement will overcome this deficiency.

Last but not least is light therapy. You can buy a light box, desk lamp and even a visor to create artificial sunlight so it can trigger ipRGCs and resets your circadian rhythm.

Choose light bulbs with 2,500 – 10,000 with short wavelength light producing cool tones which mimic daylight.

Take a look at the rest of the recommendations from the infographic below.

How to Deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder Working on Your Small Business

Image: Besthealthdegrees

This article, “How to Deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder in Your Small Business” was first published on Small Business Trends

Source

How to Deal with Seasonal Effective Disorder in Your Small Business

Thursday, February 21st, 2019

How to Deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder Working on Your Small Business

Do you feel happier in spring and summer times? For most people the answer is probably a definite yes. Asking that question in the middle of winter might be a bit harsh, but there is a good reason for it.

According to a new infographic created by NowSourcing, and presented by BestHealthDegrees.com, the winter blues are very much real and Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD can really put a damper on your winter.

The data in the infographic says for 1 in 4 American workers, January is their least happy month. Another 1 in 3 said winter negatively affected their mood in the workplace. But you don’t have to be in the workplace to feel the effects, as 2 million children age 9-17 in the US also suffer from SAD.

For small businesses with few employees, the impact of SAD in their workforce can have some serious consequences in the winter months. Even if employees show up, they won’t be as productive. Knowing what SAD is so you can help your employees or even yourself is important.

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Scientists and doctors are not entirely certain as to what causes SAD. The Mayo Clinic defines SAD as a type of depression related to changes in seasons which begins and ends around the same times every year.

Appearing in late fall or early winter, some of the signs and symptoms the Mayo Clinic highlights include feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day; losing interest in activities you once enjoyed; having low energy; having problems with sleeping and more.

Although the cause has yet to be determined, some of the factors which may come into play include disruption in your circadian rhythm or biological clock and changes in your serotonin and melatonin levels. Living far from the equator as well as family history with SAD or other forms of depression can also be risk factors.

Another cause identified in the infographic is the link between SAD and the activation of ipRGCs (Intrinsically Photosensitive Retinal Ganglion Cells) which signals non-image-forming effects in response to environmental light.

Because ipRGCs regulate your circadian rhythms, pupil reflexes, and mood and energy levels, less daylight in winter months can stop ipRGCs to regulate circadian rhythms.

Proper diagnosis is very important so you can get the right treatment. Consult your doctor or mental health professional if you experience any of the symptoms of SAD.

Using Light and Technology to Prevent and Treat SAD

The good news is today’s digital technology and smart light bulbs can help you prevent and even treat some of the symptoms of SAD.

As soon as you start noticing shorter and darker days in the winter, start using smart light bulbs which mimic sunrise and sunsets. This can help you set your circadian rhythm or biological clock.

Use different light bulbs through out the day which will keep you alert in the morning and block blue lights in the evening to get your ready for bed. Avoid lights altogether when you are asleep. If you have to have light when you sleep, use dim red lights.

Some of the technology you can use to block blue light include color filter apps for your smartphones and PCs. These apps automatically reduce the brightness of your screen and change to warm colors at sunset. Glasses which block blue light also work.

When it comes to nutrition vitamin D is critical. Depending on where you live, it may be almost impossible to produce vitamin D from sunlight during winter months. Taking 800 – 1,000 IU per day of a vitamin D supplement will overcome this deficiency.

Last but not least is light therapy. You can buy a light box, desk lamp and even a visor to create artificial sunlight so it can trigger ipRGCs and resets your circadian rhythm.

Choose light bulbs with 2,500 – 10,000 with short wavelength light producing cool tones which mimic daylight.

Take a look at the rest of the recommendations from the infographic below.

How to Deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder Working on Your Small Business

Image: Besthealthdegrees

This article, “How to Deal with Seasonal Effective Disorder in Your Small Business” was first published on Small Business Trends

Source

11 Ways to Manage Client Expectations

Thursday, February 21st, 2019

11 Ways to Manage Client Expectations for Business Success

One of the biggest challenges service-based businesses face is setting and managing client expectations. It’s important to be realistic about what you can and can’t do for your clients, and ensure that both parties understand the scope and terms of your service agreement. To find out more, we asked the experts at Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) for their thoughts on this question:

“Client expectations make all the difference when it comes to satisfaction: Having everyone on the same page on what the process — and result — will be like can mean the difference between lost business and a life-long brand ambassador. What is your preferred method for managing client expectations? Why does this process work?”

How to Manage Client Expectations

Here’s what YEC community members had to say:

1. State Your Boundaries

“We state our boundaries up front — including our cancellation policy and client policies. We use the same language across all platforms when booking a client over the phone, sending a confirmation or reminder email, as well as on our website. This manages their expectations from the start.” ~ Rachel BeiderMassage Outpost

2. Anticipate Needs or Concerns

“Clients appreciate full transparency. If a client has to come to you with a problem, then you’ve already lost far greater margins in satisfaction than if you are able to provide clear reasoning for why their dissatisfaction has taken place or fixed any errors ahead of time. Getting ahead of a problem can even become a point of praise when they promote your business to others.” ~ Michael HsuDeepSky

3. Plan for Ongoing Communication

“To successfully manage client expectations, it’s critical to have a great “kickoff” meeting when an engagement begins. This allows to you discuss the scope of work, set expectations, and begin to develop trust and rapport. Moving forward, it’s critical to have ongoing scheduled communication with the client to receive feedback, troubleshoot and discuss results.” ~ Antonio NevesTHINQACTION Inc.

4. Write Everything Down

“To make sure you and your clients are on the same page, you have to have a discussion about what your expectations are and get them all down on paper. That way, as things progress or projects are completed, those expectations cannot change. It is all there in writing. Transparency is king.” ~ Colbey PfundLFNT Distribution

5. Create and Follow an Onboarding Process

“We practice an onboarding process for clients just as we do with hires: We set expectations, answer any questions and deliver all primary contact information they’ll need to reach us during our time working with them. By setting up the foundation for a successful partnership, there will be less confusion and miscommunication in the long run, prompting clients to work with us again in the future.” ~ Stanley MeytinTrue Film Production

6. Paint a Realistic Picture of the Results They Can Expect

“It’s always best to be upfront when managing client expectations. Paint a picture for your clients about the strategy, tactics and pitfalls. In my industry of digital marketing, many clients come to me expecting that digital marketing will make them a millionaire overnight. I have to be very clear on the first call that this will be a long game to get to where they want to be.” ~ Jean GinzburgJean Ginzburg.com

7. Treat It Like a True Partnership

“Instead of approaching the conversation in the context of “client and vendor,” we push for “partnership” instead. Leaving the clichés aside, a partnership establishes direct return on investment expectations spread across both parties. We talk short-term and long-term goals, strategize together and share a portion of the risk. While riskier, it builds a stronger bond of trust and commitment.” ~ Mario PeshevDevriX

8. Ask Them for Feedback

“We send our customers emails on a consistent basis asking them for feedback on our products. Ask them questions such as what they like most about the product and what new features they would like added. This will help you prioritize new features and you can let them know when the feature is added. Customers will feel valued when they see you implementing features they requested.” ~ Syed BalkhiWPBeginner

9. Only Promise the Minimum, Then Deliver More

“For my social media marketing, I worked with all kinds of people, from influencers, to politicians, to many entrepreneurs. Helping them gain influence and grow their brand is all about numbers on how many followers they expect to gain. I present the minimum expected growth they’ll get at first. Then at the end, I overdeliver the actual results that exceed their expectations.” ~ Fritz ColcolABN Circle

10. Have Monthly Face-to-Face Business Reviews

“We do our best to set expectations and surface useful information in a dashboard that our customers can use, all in the hopes of ensuring alignment and follow-through. But nothing is as powerful as an in-person business review. When you sit face-to-face, you’re able to get more honest feedback and work as strategic partners on how to improve.” ~ Aaron Schwartz, Passport

11. Make Sure Your Sales Staff Understands Your Service Offering

“Sales teams are motivated to sell, but overpromising quickly sours client relationships, especially for technical services that the client depends on. The solution is to ensure that sales people understand the technology and its use cases — or, at the least, have a technical expert in the room during sales meetings.” ~ Vik PatelFuture Hosting

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, “11 Ways to Manage Client Expectations” was first published on Small Business Trends

Source

Improving Your Business Emails Doesn’t Have to be Hard, Follow These 4 Tips

Thursday, February 21st, 2019

4 Tips on Writing Effective Emails

Love it or hate it, email isn’t going anywhere — especially not at work. Businesses continue to rely on email, which remains the most popular form of workplace communication, according to a study by Adobe of how workers use, check, and feel about work email. The results offer has some insights that can help entrepreneurs use email more effectively. Here’s what the study uncovered and how it can improve your company’s internal email communications.

Generational Differences

You might expect younger employees to be the most indifferent to email of all generations. Surprisingly, however, the survey found that people age 25 to 34 spent the most time checking their email of any age group. These consumers spend 6.4 hours a day checking email, compared to 5.8 hours among 18- to 24-year-olds, and 5.2 hours among those over 35.

In addition to checking to both personal and work email more often, the 18-to 24-year-old generation has somewhat of an obsession with their work email. For example, 81% check it on vacation (more than any other age group), 81% check it before they get to the office (also more than any other age group), and 68% strive to get their email inbox to “Inbox Zero”(that is, the Holy Grail of having no unread emails) compared to 55% of survey respondents overall.

A Changing Approach to Work Email

Email has reigned as the number-one preferred method of workplace communication for the past four years of Adobe’s survey. This year, however, face-to-face communication tied with email for the number-one spot. Is email on the downslope?

Not according to survey respondents. Although 20% think their work email usage will decrease in the future (up from 15% in the previous survey), 25% believe their work email use will actually increase going forward.

Despite the rise of instant messaging tools such as Slack, only 35% of work communication takes place this way, while 72% takes place by email.

However, employees maybe escaping the grip of work email a little bit. For instance, 28% say they never check work emails while on vacation—up from 23% in the previous survey.

4 Tips on Writing Effective Emails

Overall, the mean percentage of work emails that people open is 77%. What can you and your employees do to ensure that your emails are among that number? Here are some suggestions based on survey results.

1. Don’t be Passive Aggressive

When asked what common email phrases they dislike the most, “Not sure if you saw my last email” was the clear winner; one-fourth of respondents detest this phrase. Other unpopular phrases:

“Per my last email” – 13%

“Per our conversation” – 11%

“Any update on this?” – 11%

In general, the takeaway is to avoid passive aggressive terminology.

2. Keep it Brief

Some 85% of respondents regularly check email on smartphones; just 69% do so on desktops or laptops. “Having to scroll too much to read the entire email” is the most annoying thing about reading emails on a smartphone, cited by 20% of respondents; “Too much text” is close behind, cited by 17%. If you want people to actually read your email, don’t annoy them with lengthy tomes.

3. Set Expectations for Email Communications and Etiquette

As owner of your business, you should set the standard for how to use email, as well as proper email etiquette. When should email be used in place of a phone call or in-person communication? One approach is to use email for communication that requires maintaining a record of the interaction — such as a status update on a project, providing feedback on a project or asking a (brief) question. To reduce the volume of email, you can also set expectations around things like when to use “reply all” or who should be copied on an email.

4. Use Technology to Improve the Email Experience

Most people don’t take full advantage of all the tools available to help them weed out irrelevant emails, catch important emails and generally manage their email better. “Stronger spam filters” are cited by 26% of survey respondents as the technology that has improved their email experience the most in the past few years. Also on the list: email category filtering, smart auto replies, and voice assistants that respond to emails for you. Explore what tools are available in your chosen a work email technology and help employees learn to use them.

What about Inbox Zero?

Is it really possible to get to having no unread mails in your inbox? For 55% of employees, the answer is yes. However, employees age 18 to 34 are the most likely to actually accomplish this goal, suggesting that the more responsibilities you have at work, the less likely you are to ever achieve Inbox Zero. No wonder 26% of employees age 35 and older say it’s “impossible.”

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, “Improving Your Business Emails Doesn’t Have to be Hard, Follow These 4 Tips” was first published on Small Business Trends

Source

Wondering About Customer Satisfaction? Use Some of the Survey Questions Here to Learn More

Thursday, February 21st, 2019

Customer Satisfaction Survey Questions

Customer satisfaction is more important today than ever before. Given the large number of choices consumers have in almost every market, companies that listen to their customers have a distinct advantage.

A customer satisfaction survey is an invaluable tool for both small business owners and large corporations. Surveys can help determine how customers are feeling about an organization’s customer service, web experience, products or services. They can also help an organization get to know their customers in order to better communicate with them.

The best survey questions typically include an overall company rating, a rating of their offerings or customer service experience, as well as some open answer questions so that customers can give constructive feedback. Some popular types of customer service satisfaction survey questions are as follows.

Customer Satisfaction Survey Questions

The questions in customer satisfaction surveys are used to gauge customer needs, understand problems or weak points in a company’s offerings or determine clearer routes of communication. These questions often come in the form of a followup email or popup window and typically include a rating scale, though they can sometimes be left open-ended.

Deciding exactly which rating scale to use and what questions to ask can be confusing. We’ve gathered some of the most helpful survey questions below so that business owners can browse the issues that are important to them and craft the perfect customer satisfaction survey.

Customer Service Specific

Customer Satisfaction Survey Questions

Customer service questions are used to measure how effective a company’s customer service department is. They can include questions about the overall customer service experience, the ease with which the customer’s questions were answered or they can be about the representative who assisted them specifically.

1. Please rate the service provided by the [company] representative.

2. Please rate how clearly the representative communicated.

3. Please rate the friendliness of the representative.

4. Did your representative resolve your issue completely?

5. Was your inquiry resolved in a timely manner?

6. How many representatives assisted you today?

7. Was your representative knowledgable about the company/policies/product?

8. Did your representative make you feel valued as a customer?

9. On a scale of 1-10, how much effort did you have to put forth to solve your problem?

10. On a scale of 1-10, how easy did [company] make it to handle your issue?

Website and User Experience

Customer Satisfaction Survey Questions

These types of questions can help a business gauge how user-friendly their website, app or processes are. They can also determine which features are used, which are not and whether new features are needed.

11. How would you rate your experience using [company]’s web portal?

12. On a scale of 1-10, how easy was it to find what you were looking for on [company]’s website?

13. Did the website load efficiently?

14. On a scale of 1-10, how easy was [feature] easy to use?

15. What was the reason for your visit to [company]’s website?

16. Which of [company]’s features is/are most valuable to you?

17. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate our installation/onboarding experience?
18. Was [company]’s website aesthetically pleasing?

19. Rate the quality of [company]’s vendor options.

20. Rate your level of satisfaction with the variety of options offered.

Product, Shipping and Warranty

Customer Satisfaction Survey Questions

Questions about the actual product (and how it’s delivered or warrantied) can provide a company with knowledge about which features are most valuable to their customers, which could use improvement and if their product is meeting expectations.

21. On a scale of 1-10, how well does our product meet your needs?

22. What product features are the most valuable to you?

23. Are there any features that we’re missing?

24. If you could solve one problem with our product, what would it be?

25. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the value of our product for the money spent?

26. Which of the following words would you use to describe our product?

27. How would you rate the following services?

28. How would you rate the quality of this service?

29. Did our product/services meet your expectations today?

30. On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with our shipping options?

31. Did [product] arrive on time?

32. Did the description of [product] on our website accurately represent what you received?

33. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate our warranty/repair experience?

Customer Loyalty

Customer Satisfaction Survey Questions

These questions are used to determine which customers are advocates for the company and which are at risk of taking their business elsewhere. By asking the customer’s level of satisfaction with the company or willingness to recommend the company, organizations can gain insight into how loyal their customer base is.

34. How likely are you to recommend [company] to a friend or colleague?

35. How likely are you to use [company]’s services again?

36. Was this your first time working with [company]?

37. Will you purchase more products from [company] in the future?

38. Would you identify yourself as a loyal customer to [company]?

39. Compared to our competitors, how would you rate our product?

40. How frequently will you use [company]’s product?

41. On a scale of 1-10, how strongly do you feel that [company] acts in your best interest?

42. On a scale of 1-10, how competitive do you feel our prices are?

43. How would you feel if you could no longer use [company]’s product?

Marketing

Customer Satisfaction Survey Questions

The marketing department can gain valuable insight into how customers are finding out about the company, what platforms they are using to interact and why they are choosing one organization over another. They can also help assess how well a company’s marketing strategies are working.

44. Where did you learn about [company]?

45. Which of our products/services are you interested in?

46. How would you explain our product/service/offering to a friend, family member or colleague?

47. Would you like to receive more information about new products or special offers?

48. Are you following [company] on social media? If so, which platforms?

49. Do you subscribe to [company]’s email newsletter?

50. Do you read [company]’s blog?

51. Which competitors did you consider before choosing [company]

52. Are there any communication channels you would prefer we use?

53. What can we do to improve your experience with [company]?

54. What would you use as an alternative if [company]’s services were no longer available?

General Satisfaction and Demographics

Customer Satisfaction Survey Questions

Questions about the overall opinion of a company should almost always be included in a customer satisfaction survey. This gives the company an idea of how the customer views them as a whole. Demographic questions help gather insight into exactly who their customers are.

55. Overall, how satisfied are you with [company]?

56. What is the primary benefit you have received from [company/product]?

57. Select your age group from the ranges below:

58. Select your level of education:

59. Select your employment status:

60. Select your range of household income:

61. Select your marital status:

62. What is your ethnic origin?

63. Do you have children/dependents?

64. Enter your zip code below:

Why Are Customer Surveys Important?

Surveys are useful in gauging how an organization’s customer base views them, their products or services and their interactions. Without surveys, it would be difficult to get an idea of how customers are truly feeling.

Companies who listen to their customers’ praises, complaints and opinions ensure their future growth and success by making needed improvements or altering their communication strategies.

Surveys can be deployed strategically to identify specific types of improvements that need to be made. For example, they can be sent out after a product return to find out exactly why the item didn’t meet the customer’s needs. They can also be deployed after a drop in sales volume to find out exactly what went wrong.

While finding out what’s wrong can be helpful, it’s also important for companies to send out surveys while business is good. This way they can get an idea of where they stand with customers, how their prices compare to their competitors or if their customer service is lacking. If an overwhelming response is received on any one topic, that can be used to identify where changes need to be made before a customer is lost.

Types of Customer Satisfaction Survey Questions

Rating scales are used to measure customer experience in different ways. The most popular scales are:

  • Customer Satisfaction (CSAT): Commonly used to gauge customer satisfaction levels with a purchased product, the CSAT scale typically uses a rating between one and five. One represents the lowest level of satisfaction while five represents the highest.
  • Customer Effort Score (CES): This scale is used to measure how easy it was for a customer to complete certain tasks, like speaking with customer service or using an online help portal. The scale usually ranges from very easy to very difficult.
  • Net Promoter Score® (NPS): Probably the most straightforward of the three, the NPS measures overall satisfaction with a company, often using a scale of one to ten.

Retaining a customer is much less expensive than gaining a new one and surveys can ensure that an organization’s customers are loyal. Sending out a survey also shows the customer that a company cares and is always striving to improve their offerings. There are countless benefits to customer satisfaction surveys and businesses large and small should be executing them early and often.

Republished by permission. Original here.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, “Wondering About Customer Satisfaction? Use Some of the Survey Questions Here to Learn More” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Only 1 in 10 Federal Employees Turn to Side Business During Government Shutdown

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

Government Shutdown Side Hustles

The last government shutdown showed how vulnerable we all can be when the paychecks we rely on to survive suddenly stop. For the hundreds of thousands of federal workers who didn’t have a paycheck during the shutdown, it meant finding an alternative source of income until it opened.

Government Shutdown Side Hustles

A survey of 500 federal government workers carried out by OnePoll on behalf of GoDaddy revealed 1 in 10 federal employees turned to a side business/hustle to make ends meet. The survey highlighted several furloughed government workers who used their entrepreneurial spirit to come up with new ventures or take on their side hustle full time.

For the federal employees who have a unique set of skill sets, it means they can use today’s digital ecosystem and start a business from their home with minimal investment. For those without these skillsets, they can also use digital technology to provide products and services online.

In the press release Melissa Schneider, GoDaddy’s trends expert explained the role technology plays for all entrepreneurs and not just furloughed federal employees.

Schneider said, “It’s easier and faster than ever to take on a side hustle – technology has made it possible to get an idea online and start finding an audience in a matter of hours.”

She went on to say, “We’ve seen customers with a brilliant idea they wanted to get online right away, or someone under stressful circumstances that needs to quickly build a website. As we’ve seen time and time again, the best ideas are born from obstacles and challenges.”

Survey Results

The survey was carried out by OnePoll with the participation of 500 government employees. They covered a range of financial situations as some worked as normal, some working without pay, and some not working or getting any pay.

Amongst the pool of 500, more than 13% started a side hustle as an alternative source of income. But the vast majority these or 74% said they are going to continue running this business after the government opens.

Regarding their side hustle, 58% said they were running it long before the shutdown. A little more than a quarter or 27% said the thought of running a business didn’t enter their mind before the shutdown.

Once they started their side business, 39% said they liked the enjoyment it brings them, with another 48% stating they liked having a backup.

Types of Businesses

The good thing about digital technology is it allows anyone to establish a business and use their expertise as an asset to sell online.

Federal workers represent skilled individuals across a wide range of industries. In the survey 24% said they were in the creative field, while 20% made and sold items, 15% worked in rideshare/delivery, and 14% were consulting.

The Future

The shutdown opened the eyes of many federal workers. For those in this survey, it meant looking for another job or striking out on their own, which was the sentiment of 28 and 23 percent of the respondents respectively.

As to why they felt this way, 59% said they are looking for another job because of their frustration with bureaucracy while 47% said it was time for a change.

The takeaway from the GoDaddy survey and the government shutdown is to always have a backup plan. Because no matter how well your job or business is doing, the income you depend on can stop suddenly.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, “Only 1 in 10 Federal Employees Turn to Side Business During Government Shutdown” was first published on Small Business Trends

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In the Spotlight: Ace Cleaning Systems Sweeps Away the Competition in South Florida

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

Spotlight: Commercial Cleaning Service Ace Cleaning Systems Keeps South Florida Offices Clean

Your office can make a major impression on your customers, clients, partners, and employees. If yours isn’t in pristine condition, you may benefit from a professional janitorial service. Ace Cleaning Systems is one such company. The South Florida business was started by a father-son team who bring different qualities to the brand. Read more about Ace Cleaning Systems in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Provides commercial cleaning services.

More specifically, the company offers janitorial services, office cleaning services, and a variety of other commercial cleaning services.

Business Niche

Personalized service and open communication.

Bob Shor, VP of Marketing for Ace Cleaning Systems told Small Business Trends, “Our owner is on every sales call and knows what each job entails before the account has started.”

Spotlight: Commercial Cleaning Service Ace Cleaning Systems Keeps South Florida Offices Clean

How the Business Got Started

As a niche business that later expanded.

Shor says, “[It] Started as a window and pressure cleaning business with some janitorial service work.”

Biggest Win

Landing a major contract.

Shor explains, “We decided to concentrate on janitorial services after we landed the department of homeland security account.”

Biggest Risk

Servicing a grocery store chain.

Shor adds, “We put on several night crews, huge investment in new vehicles, equipment and supplies. If it didn’t work out would have placed on an extreme burden on cash flow.”

Biggest Challenge

Changing their niche.

Shor says, “We couldn’t get enough business when we were doing window cleaning and pressure cleaning. We scraped every penny together and started advertising on google and changed our website to commercial cleaning services which was a recurring service (as opposed to residential which were usually a one-time type service).”

Spotlight: Commercial Cleaning Service Ace Cleaning Systems Keeps South Florida Offices Clean

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Take more risks.

Shor explains, “[We would] go after larger accounts, because they bring in the most revenue but also place the greatest burden on cash flow.”

Fun Fact

They’re a family business.

The company is actually run by a father-son team. The father, Bob Shor, has experience in business startups. His son, Zachary Shor is the President of the company.

* * * * *

Find out more about the Small Biz Spotlight program

Images: Ace Cleaning Systems; Second Image: Zachary Shor

This article, “In the Spotlight: Ace Cleaning Systems Sweeps Away the Competition in South Florida” was first published on Small Business Trends

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