Reviews? Anonymous or not?

Status

I’ve been undertaking market research over the past few weeks. Actually, bench marking is probably a few term for it.

Going on tours and watching the guides. Listening to their presentation and seeing the different styles of delivery. Seeing how I compare and what they do better (or if I do something better!).

I’m happy to report that I don’t fall too far behind some of my colleagues that have been doing this for a while. I’ve picked up some good tips and can’t wait to start using them.

One thing that I’ll start doing is handing out ‘How was your visit?’ cards at the end of the tour. After a little bit of trawling I found the right link to order them from TripAdvisor.

The Engineer asked if I was planning on reviewing the places we’ve visited over the last few weeks and when I answered in the affirmative, lead into a discussion about the boasting side of reviews and privacy.

This got me thinking about whether my reviews should be anonymous or not. Especially if the place and/or product is something a bit special or high-end.

So far my reviews have all been under my name, although if I am with Mr. 15 or The Engineer I always try to limit the amount of times I mention them.

So my question for you dear reader, is an anonymous review as trustworthy as one from a reviewer who stands behind their name (so to speak)?

My next survey

I had such a great response to the last survey that I thought I would do another one! I will get the survey results from survey # one analysed in the next few day. I will say there were some great responses and plenty of good comments.

Without further ado, here is survey # 2: the topic of the day is Public Transport. The good news is that I have learnt from my previous mistakes and the survey has no tricky questions or problems with yes / no answers.

Of course, if you find any problems please point them out. It’s all a learning curve!

Edited to add: feel free to pass on to your friends ūüôā

Research, research and still more research (or you never stop learning!)

This week has been most interesting from a research point of view. I found out that the people staffing the office in charge of distributing start-up funding are not nearly as scary as imagined. In fact, quite the opposite. Monday morning saw me sitting in the office of one counsellor who jumped out of her seat three times to confer with her colleague down the hall. Then she swiveled her chair and collected more information from the filing cabinets behind her. She was more than forthcoming about my need to gather papers from my old college (on its way) as well as the taxman (ordered online at 2143, delivery anticipated today or Monday). A nice packet of papers is being built-in preparation for lodgement.

My online endeavours didn’t go so well.¬†That’s not exactly true. I managed to create a short and simple survey. Said survey however suffered¬†from being the free version¬†and thus I wasn’t able to ‘pipe’* the questions accordingly. As I’m not in a financially viable position to upgrade at this point in time, it just means that my next survey needs to be clever. Or I stay away from asking why on yes or no questions!

The best part of this week was hanging out at the Cruise Terminal chatting to the passengers returning to their ships. Earlier I’d been asking my questions early in the morning as people were heading out. Very different responses from the two groups. Those that have had a chance to see Helsinki were much more forthcoming in their opinions than those who were just heading out. I’m going to keep up the research, although the focus will change week on week. Next week I’m going to start asking about public transport (which I must say is VERY good in Helsinki!). Today I’ve ordered some almost free business cards and will be handing them out at the harbour. They will promote¬†the blog, Foursquare¬†¬© and Twitter ¬©, so hopefully I can generate¬†traffic from¬†Helsinki visitors and get some dialogue happening, all the while building the brand!

This morning my mentor and I chatted for an hour and have worked out our next step in the plan of attack. He was disappointed to hear that a couple of my contact attempts had gone unanswered. I’m going to try again via the telephone and see if that gets any response. I have twelve days to tie everything together to a final package. This has gone much slower than I anticipated, although these last two weeks of market research have been invaluable. The product is taking shape!

Yesterday I took the number 16 bus from Herttoniemi, through the city to Hernesaari where the Cruise Terminal is located. I arrived at the bus stop and it appeared that one bus had not arrived as there were a great many disgruntled faces to be seen. I overheard one couple were being advised that they could take a taxi and¬†guessed they were heading for the terminal also. Just to be sure I asked where they headed? ‘Back to the boat, love’ in lovely Australian accents came the answer. ‘So am I!, we can catch the bus together – I’m sure it will be here soon’. Sure enough the bus arrived and we all piled on. P and M sat at the front and I moved to the rear of the bus.

Then, as we were driving through Kulosaari (the next island and suburb along) past the Chinese, Indian and Iraqian embassies I thought to myself that I was wasting an ideal opportunity – at the next stop I moved to the front of the bus and asked if I could sit with them and they could ask any question about Helsinki as we went along. So, my plan to describe the trip for my next Heather’s Helsinki post went down the drain, however we go to talk all about their trip and why they had done somethings and not others. Invaluable. Oh, and we did talk a little about the passing scenery …

If you answered my survey this week: A VERY BIG THANKYOU. I’ll get the responses tabulated and post them in the coming weeks.

* Piping refers to yes / no questions and being directed to the appropriate subset of questions.

Testing Survey Monkey

This is what I’ve been playing with this morning. I have some research questions and answers from the field. Now I thought I would take it one step further. However, it seems my programming skills leave a lot to be desired. So instead of a pop up box, or even a pop up invitation, here is a link to follow:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7YX8NJ9

It will take all of two minutes and is as much about me testing poll tools as it is doing some market research..

Thanks in advance for your time. Note survey will close June 1st, 2012

Homework Result

Tuesday night was spent creating questions to hit the target market with. From 20 possible questions my list was whittled down to five concise questions, with pictorial description of the tour product.

The two ships in port yesterday were both carrying German passengers. I printed 5 questionnaires only, as I was fairly certain that finding many participants would be difficult. That would be the understatement of the day.

Firstly my timing was right off. The information on the harbour page indicated that ship number 1, Albatros would arrive at 11:00 am. I arrived at the harbour shortly after 11:00 and it was very obvious that the ship had arrived much earlier. Instead of catching passengers leaving, I was catching them returning to the ship. The language difficulty aside, they did not want to stop and answer my questions. All looked at their watches and shook their heads.

At first I thought the ship’s schedule had changed, until I noticed that city tour guides were also going into the harbour area. One I actually mistook for a passenger. That was second lesson of the day: tour guides were the same age as the passengers. The language difficulty was lesson number three, although it was more a confirmation of something I suspected. Germans will not targeted until I have good German language staff.

The next ship that is scheduled to arrive is more international in the passenger mix. I’m hoping that I can get more than three garbled answers this time.