By Jake on June 1st, 2009
No matter how hard we try to look at something objectively, our bias’ soon take over. Whether it’s food, art, cars or real estate, our preferences ultimately prevail when making decisions in the consumer space. When we are making a purchase you would think we would turn to objective facts and statistics right? Wrong. Instead, we turn to total strangers who rant on blogs, rave on twitter, or ramble on about a product or company. However, it’s not the fact that they are ranting, raving or reaming that matters; It’s the value of that response based on a person’s experience. When we can hear it from the mouth (or keyboard) of someone like us, we tend to follow suit.
That being said, I will pose this question: Are you as a company providing a platform for the ranters, ravers and ramblers to share their experiences with other current and potential customers? Giving your loyal customers a place to rave about your latest product or share a recent experience with your great customer service department allows them to sell your company to other people.
You may ask: What happens if they speak negatively of our product or company? The answer is simply, fret not. Authenticity is what your customers are looking for, so give it to them. Use criticism as an opportunity to communicate with your customers in front of everyone, and respond by improving your product based on that feedback. This shows them that you are willing to admit mistakes and fix them. More importantly though is the fact that your loyal customers will be there defending the company that they so love. A company who is willing to embrace this level of transparency is more likely to keep current customers and win new ones.
All of these are opportunities for you to communicate transparently with your clients, improve your products or services and show your commitment to your customers all while building community and encouraging the spreading of a bias based on good experience with your company.
By Jake on May 26th, 2009
Ah. remember the good ol’ days when you as a company could just sit back and fire out TV ad, after newspaper ad, after magazine ad, after radio ad and people would come? When you told people who they were, what they liked and what they were going to buy? You sat in a lofty high-rise raining down words of wisdom on the consumer. You controlled their dreams, their goals, and ultimately their purchases. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on who you are), those days are over.
The days of the one-way street of communication are long gone and a ‘conversation’ has arisen about your company. People are talking about your products and services and they didn’t even ask you what they should say. They didn’t ask you what their dreams should be or how your company could help. They’ve decided what they think about your products; They’ve decided whether or not they appreciate your services and you know what else their doing? They’re telling their friends.
My question is simply this: Are you participating in this conversation or are you denying it’s existence? I submit that you MUST be participating in this conversation and being as involved as you and your company can. You can learn a lot by listening, or better yet, providing a place in which this interaction can occur. When you choose not to join this conversation, you miss your customers. The choice is simple: Join the conversation or die.
By Jake on May 20th, 2009
We’ve added a section for companies to add ‘Frequently Asked Questions’. This identifies your company as being proactive in customer service and prevents the duplication of questions in the forum. In the future, we will be adding a widget to allow companies to embed these in their websites.
We wanted to give you more control over what content is available to users. Maybe you only have one employee, or maybe you’re a non-profit organization that doesn’t have any products or services that need review. You now have access to show and hide the various tabs. This makes SiteRemark a flexible communication tool for all types of companies and organizations.
Committed to making the product better
We are becoming more and more convinced that Site Remark will help companies be more transparent and honest with customers, as well as help in building relationships and community around a company or product. We are committed to the continued improvement of this service. Please join the conversation and let us know how we can make it serve your needs better. Will we always do it? probably not, but it will help us continue to consider new ideas and ways in which we can improve Site Remark for companies and their customers.
By Jake on May 15th, 2009
As I sit and look at my 2 yr old son, I think about all that I want to teach him. As his father, I see it as my responsibility to teach him first about our great God, and to instill in him principles to live his life by. That made me think a lot about what principles are. They are not conditional; they are absolute and independent of any outside circumstance.
I’ve been working from the local coffee shop for the better part of the week and have overheard many conversations which prompted me to take a step back and look at our current culture objectively. A lot of our decisions aren’t based on principle, they’re based on the result or outcome of those decisions. ‘What impact will this have on my career? my life? my future?’ ‘What will my peers think?’ ‘How will society see this?’ ‘Will this benefit our company?’ ‘Will this get us ahead of the competitors?’ These are the questions that are often asked when making decisions. None of these questions are based on principle, but rather the outcome of the situation. I think that is where a lot of our current problems lie.
If I develop a set of principles that govern my personal life, my career, my social life, etc., I can easily make the right decision regardless of the outcome. If you have no principles to live by, you tend to be tossed to and fro with every whim of society. I can ask ‘Is this consistent with my convictions?’ or ‘Does this violate my moral code?.’ I challenge you today to be a person of principle, instead of being capricious.
This concept is especially important in business. Companies that act on principle seem to be more likely to succeed in the long run. You see great companies like , , , & who start with principles and build their business on them. You also see companies that are just looking to make a quick profit who base all decisions on the desired outcome. They may make that quick buck, but they lack the foundation to be successful in the long run. They end up , , or .
By Jake on May 7th, 2009
Marketing Site Renovation
The Feedback Form & Tool Bar
The original header was fine and simple, but seemed to be lacking something. It was also a bit tricky when you were customizing it. We have updated that to feature full color customization including background color, logo, tag line and text color. Also, within the header there is the user login information, which prior to this update was floating below the header. We’ve used transparent .pngs in the background which adds a little more visual depth as you customize the colors.
Feature & Functionality Updates
Along with many interface updates have been feature/functionality updates. Here are a few of the highlights:
Featured in the sidebar on the main pages is the 5 most popular questions on any given day based on the activity in the community. This helps companies know what their customers are really wanting/needing and helps them respond easier and more quickly.
Users can new preview comments before leaving them, they can also edit or delete their comments at any time.
You can now search for other companies that are on SiteRemark. This improves the experience for customers because they can interact with various companies worldwide using a single login. This will soon be expanded to include products and services as well. We do want to continue to avoid confusion so we’ve put this search field in the footer of the site. We also wanted to give others an opportunity to start their own and beremarkable.
Along with these updates come many minor tweaks and improvements. We are very happy to see it where it is now, and have much planned for the future. Stay tuned for updates.
By Robert on May 5th, 2009
FACollective primarily uses Ruby and Rails for most of our work here and we were really disappointed in the Rails community as of late. It seems it is “appropriate” and “acceptable” to demean women at conferences and when said women speak out, they are told it is something wrong with them for feeling the way they do.
This is absolutely unacceptable in any community. This isn’t the first time the “leaders” of the Rails community have acted immaturely and not the first time I’ve wanted to not use Rails because of certain people’s view point of what is acceptable. I had previously stop using Rails and started using Merb, however, this attitude is actually coming out of merb core, accepted by the rails core, which are all now one.
By Robert on April 29th, 2009
I didn’t know this, but over 1 billion people do NOT have access to fresh water. That is 1 in 6 people in the world.
FACollective is donating a free Unlimited package of for 1 year as part of the auction. Other donations that are included in the auction are , , free , , and .
By Robert on April 24th, 2009
As you may have noticed, we recently got our blog up and running. That was a feat in and of itself considering how busy we all have been with FACollective.
Get Satisfaction also has a horrible User Interface and we don’t want to send our customers to some place where even we have a hard time finding things within the site.
Next, we looked at User Voice and while the User Interface is much nicer than Get Satisfactions, it doesn’t provide a way to leave feedback from the actual product site.
Lastly, we didn’t like either of their pricing structures.
Site Remark doesn’t hold your company hostage and we are working on a verification process to make sure that a company is NOT being signed up and misrepresented. Our first priority is to make sure that all companies on Site Remark are authentic. Our next priority is to make using Site Remark easy for the company and their customers. We provide an easy way to integrate Site Remark into your site, without having to write SSO Cookie information. We make it cut and paste simple.
We have a few more ideas that differ from our competitors as we work towards focusing Site Remark more on product development with your customers.
We’ll be talking regularly here about Site Remark and our other products and their development, so grab our feed or come back often. Ciao!