Apr 29 2011
Knowing what your customers think is one the most essential components to running a business. Their reactions, their satisfaction level, and their overall experience all contribute to your bottom line. It’s your customers that are your best sales people. Their referrals are worth far more than any marketing campaign you can create. But how to figure out what they’re thinking- that is the question.
In today’s day and age many stores are actually websites. And many customers are visitors who neither log in, register, or make a purchase. They arrive at the site, browse around a bit, and then move on. With the advent of tools such as Google Analytics site owners can determine how long they stayed, what pages they landed on, and other related information. What we can’t tell is what they really think. UserMood is a new site that can help us gauge our user’s thoughts and opinions. It’s a simple widget that pops up and asks our visitors just one question. They click on the answer, and it disappears just as quickly as it arrived. In so doing it provides valuable insight into the thoughts of those that browse our sites.
Setting up UserMood is easy. You register for an account, and define your question and possible answers. From there it gives you a preview of what the widget will look like along with a code snippet to embed on your site. Once you configure it just take the code and place it on the page(s) that you’d like it displayed on. From there it will pop up and unobtrusively collect information from your visitors.
Beyond the basic question and answers, there are a few configuration settings that are helpful. It let’s you set how long the service will wait before displaying the widget. You can set it to wait anywhere from 0-30 days after the user first visits the site. This allows you to focus on collecting information from regular visitors. Typically you would turn the delay off for testing purposes, as you would normally want to let the people get to know your site before asking their feedback. The other display option is how often you’d like to display the widget after the first display. You can set this to never, or up to three months. Perhaps you’re making changes to the site and would like to periodically gauge their opinions.
Being the curious type I decided to try it out. Setting up the widget was as easy as expected and I quickly posted it on a page. You can see a screen shot of my top secret quiz below. Really, I have trouble coming up with relevant quizzes sometimes. This was the best I could do.
Regardless of how important or relevant your question is, UserMood will collect the results for you. They provide a reporting view which allows you to filter based upon any of the responses, or all of them at once. Also listed are the location, User ID, and IP address of the user, so you have a general idea of where they’re coming from. Let’s say for instance your site is geared towards the politically minded. You could set up a question asking them whether they have changed their opinion of Obama’s citizenship now that he’s presented a legitimate certificate of live birth. Invariably, those from red states will indicate they still think he was born in Zimbabwe. Taking our example a step further, let’s imagine you’d like to create a graph or pie chart of all the states that still think Obama wasn’t born in the US. You can readily export the UserMood results in CSV form,and then create all the graphs you want with Excel or other software.
Staying in sync with your customers is important. UserMood is a simple and easy way to do so. It doesn’t overcomplicate things with a long drawn out questionnaire that will distract your users. It gives them one simple question. With it, you can gauge the general sentiment of your users and make improvements to your site accordingly. Or, if you’re at all like me, you can use it for a bit of comic relief. Whatever your preference, UserMood is a great way to gauge the mood of your users.