Harbingers

This is the time of year when we sun-starved New Englanders begin to celebrate the harbingers of spring. Here on Cape Cod there are several indicators that are cherished. They are:

  • Spring Peepers, also known on the Cape as “pinkletinks” Pinkletink
  • Ospreys — big hawks that nest in dead trees along the shore and divebomb fish. Osprey
  • Alewives — “herring” which swim up the coastal streams to spawn in the lakes and ponds. A precursor to the return of the striped bass.
  • Shadbush — a flowing shrub which marks the return of the alewives.
  • Dandelions — when the dandelions start blooming, the tautog, a kind of fish, are ready to start feeding.
  • The usual flowers, shrubs: forsythia, daffodils, hyacinths, etc.

I just love ticking off the return of all these indicators of better weather to come. As I get older, my sense of timing is getting better, and more nostalgic. I’m totally scrambled swapping back and forth between Cape Cod and North Carolina. Azaleas in Georgia, nothing in Cotuit. Pear trees in Durham, daffodils here.

Jim Forbes on customer sat metric surveys

My Weblog

Here’s a simple fact of life for anyone looking at web metrics: if someone logs on to your site, initiatess and completes a transaction that puts revenue in the ledger column marked “income,” you’re good to go. Anything you have on your site that adds to the time it takes a customer to find and buy your products gets in the way of this most important metric.

“Now go out and sin no more.”

Jim’s point is well taken, but slightly off the mark. Customer satisfaction is certainly a noble quantifier of site performance — and the ubiquitous BizRate or SurveyMonkey survey is one blunt axe in an online retailer’s tool box. I agree with Jim that the launch of a post transaction survey with a promise of a free subscription to a magazine, or the eternal thanks of the site’s owners, is a pain in the butt.

I have no insights into how one tracks whether or not a completed sale was a good or a negative experience. Jim’s point is that a completed sale is money in the bank, full stop. I am sure our customer satisfaction people would disagree and would try to seek some post-game analysis from the customer to drive improvements.