Saturday, July 20, 2019

How to Lose Customers

Recently I visited a site to take a look at some diet pills, even though deep down, I know they don't work.

Image of pill bottle
The sales blurb was very well done but nowhere could I find a price or the number of tablets a standard dose required. If you're buying a bottle of 60 it's probable that you take two per day as that would last a month which is a common quantity for drugs. However, if a standard dose is  three or four a day, your money isn't going to go as far. You'll probably need to buy several bottles.

In Australia, the consumer law requires that prices are shown when advertising products. This is obviously not the case elsewhere.

To find the price, you need to enter your name and address details on a form, enter your payment details and then go to the checkout screen. It's only then that you find the price is exhorbitant - for you. So, you back out of the sale.

I often wonder how many potential customers are scared off by this practice. What is the best practice, to get people to the checkout with the hope that they will still purchase or to tell them the price up front so they don't waste their time?

If it was my company, I think I'd devolve the price up fron rather than have people go through the whole procedure simply to pull out. What do you think?


Sunday, July 7, 2019

Guide to Letter Formatting and Writing

When Desert Wave Enterprises was still operating I sold a range of ebooks that I had written on various topics dealing with training, employment and business communication, my areas of expertise.

One such ebook "Guide to Letter Formatting and Writing" became the second most popular and I sold thousands of copies.

Of 96 articles I have online at, the most popular is about Letter Formatting which has attracted thousands of hits. I've often wondered why it's so popular and I think I know the answer. Few people are taught how to format and write letters.

I once taught post-secondary students and adults in TAFE (Technical and Further Education) classes subjects including business communication, typing and word processing. This is where they learned how to format documents (not just letters) and to communicate well.

When I receive a letter from a business or other organisation, I can tell in a few seconds if the writer has had formal instruction in business communication. Even today very few have and some of the letters range from very ordinary to woeful.

As a head of department, Business and Computing, I once had a young lady come to my office and ask me if we had a course in writing letters for employment. She had a Bachelor's degree in Communication but had NEVER been taught how to write letters.  She was experiencing difficulty in applying for jobs.

I undertook to provide free coaching for a few weeks to get her on the right track as we had no suitable courses for her at the time. She eventually applied for a job and won it.

As I had stopped selling this Guide and it was lying around in cyberspace occupying space on my hard disk drive, I decided to refresh it and give it away with the hope that someone will benefit from it.

I hope that someone is you.

If you want a free copy (40 pages) in Adobe PDF format, please send an email to emujoe AT (substitute the AT for @) with " Guide " in the subject line. No need to write anything else. I'll send you a copy.

Any questions you have about any of the topics, please don't email me, write them in the comments below and I'll answer them as soon as I can.


Monday, July 1, 2019

The Quest for Constant Feedback

How long is it since you received an email asking for feedback?

It seems these days, every time I buy something online, contact a help desk, or otherwise interact with an organisation I receive a request for feedback via a short survey. I've now stopped responding.

It seems to be a case of someone doing it and then everyone else deciding it's the way to go. Why do I say this? Every survey asks the same question (see above).

As a person who has a history writing questionnaires (most for educational examination purposes), I'm always surprised at the question that appears above.

Why would anyone think that because I've had a good experience with a firm on one occasion (or multiple) that I'd rush off and recommend that firm to friends or family? It's irrational.

My friends are well educated, intelligent and sensible people very capable of deciding which bank, internet provider, insurance company, car retailer, electricity provider, etc they want to use. They don't need me recommending anything to them.

I find the question ridiculous. If I was writing the questionnaire, I may say something like:

"Based on your experience with our company, if asked, would you recommend us to friends or family?"

Wouldn't that make more sense? I'm happy to recommend most of the companies with which I deal, but only if asked.

What do you think? Are you tired of receiving requests to provide feedback through questionnaires? Do you recommend organisations to friends and family?