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The following article by David Bancroft, president of FOCUS Associates, cannot be reproduced or used in any part without the expressed permission of the author.

By David Bancroft -- February 9, 1999

Are you scratching your head trying to figure out what more can be done to make your website better to keep visitors interested, and more importantly . . . returning?

Well, it is time to listen to them and incorporate what you have gained into the website's presentation.  And please do not listen like you already know the answers, but absorb what they are telling you.

It is very wrong to approach marketing a product or service with the attitude that "I" know what is best for my intended customers.  A philosophy of this nature can cause considerable problems, because it is subjective and tunnel visioned.


David Bancroft, president of F0CUS Associates (business and marketing consulting)

You are not a racehorse that requires blinders so it can only see what's in front of it.  Using peripheral thought, like vision, incorporates reaching out to others for advice that might include an entirely different perspective.

A smart business person should want to hear from others before making a decision, especially when trying to market to a multitude of consumers, who are individually minded as well.  Therefore, it should be . . . what do you/we think the consumer/customer wants or needs.

So that is what I mean about listening to them!

You can obtain this information in a variety of ways depending on the financial resources available to you including focus groups and offline questionnaires.   However, I want to concentrate on the least expensive and most easily implemented one.

Use A Survey on Your Website...
This approach allows you to gather pertinent information from online visitors and can be ongoing with changes made as needed.  You do have to be careful of its length so the potential respondent does not feel like it is waste of valuable time.  Try limiting it to ten or less questions with up to four options for each answer and offer a general comment option for the end.  Also, make sure to explain the purpose of the survey upfront and about how long the survey should take.

Just remember . . . Consumers should appreciate the fact that you want to know from them on how to better serve their wants and needs.  How else can you really know what they are expecting when visiting your site?

Wishing you a successful 1999!

Copyright 1999
All Rights Reserved
David G. Bancroft

Published in InternetDay.com eZine on February 9, 1999.

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