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.

The Cathedral of Golf

Wow. Sitting in Atlanta after spending the morning strolling the azalea-bedecked fairways and greens of Augusta National at the 2006 Masters. All I can say is: Epic. Believe me, I am not a member of the golf lifestyle, but the sheer beauty of the setting, the intensity of the competition, and most of all the purity of the event — no commercial saturation, no cell phones, I was even asked to peel the label off my bottle of water before entering the course.

I spent three hours following John Daly, the large power golfer, and that was pretty cool. The day before, as a guest of Ziff Davis Publishing (my alma mater from the days of PC Week) I played my first round of golf since 1995, lost four balls and complete track of my score, but my teammates were forgiving, I remembered most of the rules, and thoroughly enjoyed myself in the Georgia sunshine.

On my way back to Cape Cod, now, trying to replicate with my Notes database to see what emails I’ve missed.

Helicopter Blogging

Now I can say I have blogged from a helicopter. Dang. on my way to the Masters. Fotos to follow.


Helicopters are loud, vibrate till your teeth hurt, but are eminently cool craft. I got the window seat and put the old Treo phone to good use. Blogging on the Treo was less fun, but I pulled it off and announced over lunch that I had blogged in a helicopter, an announcement that was met with blank stares, but which I think has to put me in a pantheon of stupid blogger tricks.

Hot 'Lanta

Acronyms and buzzwords

Coming out of my first 90 days, I discovered this list of mystery acronyms I started on my first week at Lenovo. What is frightening is that I now understand most of them:

  • DRAs
  • SOV
  • DG
  • E2E
  • GSC
  • MTMs
  • SVVs
  • SC
  • ECAP
  • BMC
  • PMC
  • BOM
  • LCOC
  • E/R
  • NDF
  • BAU
  • MRC
  • LCAP
  • MCP
  • CAs
  • COAs
  • DRA
  • QMP
  • OA
  • OI

Favorite terms:

  • “Interlock”
  • “Gearbox”
  • “Cadence”
  • “Drunk-and-disorderly”
  • “Line of sight”

» 5 rules for successful success metrics (and a template) – Juice Analytics

» 5 rules for successful success metrics (and a template) – Juice Analytics

Great post on dashboards and the failure of metrics without a conduit for action.

“When I first started at AOL, a friend of mine pointed to the dozens of reports flying around the organization and remarked (I paraphrase): “This many ‘important’ metrics just indicates that nobody really understands this business.” If you struggle to boil down, you should spend more time defining success and understanding the factors that drive performance.

In which I go watch golf …

Tomorrow I fly to Augusta, GA to watch the Masters — apparently a holy event for those who are into good walks spoiled, as Mr. Twain once wrote. I don’t now, and haven’t in the past, watched golf. Ever. My grandmother used to watch it on television and it looked glacial in its whispered pace.
I do not golf. I do not like golf. I tried, approaching the game in the early 90s out of curiosity, but quickly losing interest due to:

  • Ineptitude
  • Lack of patience
  • Loathing of the clothing
  • Ineptitude
  • The time sink
  • The rules
  • The attitudes
  • Embarassment

I am quasi-left handed, which I think accounts for my ineptitude. I say “quasi-” because I eat and write southpaw, but I play sports (throw ball, swing a hockey stick) like a rightie. I think I was doomed out of the gate, something pointed out to me in a golf lesson by an exasperated pro.

So tomorrow I get to stroll down the sylvan fairways of the last bastion of CEO testosterone and whisper while guys competiting for a green blazer spank the Spaulding and tap the Titelist. I will promise to be on my best behavior.

Omniture Press Detail: Omniture Files Registration Statement for Initial Public Offering of Common Stock

Omniture Press Detail: Omniture Files Registration Statement for Initial Public Offering of Common Stock

Jim Hazen caught this news. I think this offering will take off. A very hot company.

Yellow Fever and a Hurricane – Chatfield

Captain Chatfield is blockading the western coast of Florida and tense over the threat of an attack:

“We also knew that she was commanded by that fighting fellow Catesby A. Jones, the same that commanded the Merrimac in the fight with the Monitor in Hampton Roads: and the rumor reached us that he had sworn to clear out the blockade at West Pass, and open that port to commerce: and that with his gun boat and three river steamers, protected with cotton bales and hundred riflemen on each, he could easily do it: and I am sure he would have stood a good chance to succeed.”

Yellow Fever sweeps the East Gulf Squadron, and a hurricane wrecks the Union fleet at St. Mark’s. Good stuff that proves men are more dangerous than whales. Chatfield and the Somerset are patrolling and blockading the river mouth of the Chattahoochee River, which is navigable up to Atlanta, south of Tallahassee.

Catesby ap Jones

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