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Why Leaders Must Address PERCEPTIONS

Friday, September 15th, 2017

When one assumes a position of leadership, he needs to prepare properly, and position himself to be capable of, both, perceiving/ conceiving of what’s expected and needed, as well as possess the skills, etc, to achieve the proper objectives! The reality is, unless/ until, one addresses the perceptions, questions and concerns, of constituents, and understands things, from their perspectives, there is no way, to achieve and/ or focus on what is most essential! With that in mind, this article will briefly examine and discuss, the impact, PERCEPTIONS, have, in terms of the best strategies, approaches, plans and actions, a leader should embrace. Both a leader’s perceptions, and the way, constituents, perceive things, has a huge effect, on one’s eventual success. Using the mnemonic approach, we will look at, why leaders must address PERCEPTIONS.

1. Priorities: Few would disagree, there is a need for a leader, to know his goals and priorities, and be ready, willing and able, to proceed accordingly! Great leaders realize, they often perceive things, differently from those they serve, yet understand, they must address perceptions, and answer questions and concerns, thoroughly, and to the satisfaction, of those they serve.

2. Empathy: One must never assume he knows, it all, or has all the answers and/ or solutions. Begin by effectively listening, and realizing how important it is, to pay close attention, and properly address their needs and concerns! Possessing the ability to consistently proceed, with the utmost empathy, is, perhaps, the most essential asset of any real leader.

3. Relevant: Leading is not about merely looking, or being busy, but, rather, proceeding in the most relevant manner. Avoid individuals who prioritize the same – old, same – old, and demand people, who look for viable solutions, to present needs, and future possibilities!

4. Concerns; caring; clarity: How will you know, you are addressing the concerns of stakeholders? Will you clearly demonstrate your sincere, caring manner? Do you proceed with the utmost clarity, so others will understand your reasoning and rationale?

5. Earn respect: A leader does not automatically become respected, or listened to, unless/ until, he demonstrates, through his actions and ideas, he earns that respect!

6. Planning: There is no replacement for quality, thorough, comprehensive, leadership planning! This must focus, not only on actual needs, but also the perceptions, concerns, and confusions, of those, one serves.

7. Timely: Far too many pseudo – leaders, procrastinate, rather than taking well – considered, timely, relevant action! One only becomes a genuine leader, when he realizes and appreciates this concept and reality!

8. Integrity; ideas; ideology: It’s important/ essential to remember, understand and embrace, a leader must maintain absolute integrity, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but, also, because constituents are always watching and observing! Evaluate the quality and relevance of ideas, as well as whether they are consistent, with the ideology of the organization.

9. Options: Avoid individuals who believe they know – it – all, and follow a philosophy of My way, or the highway! Rather, choose people, who consider options and alternatives, with an open – mind!

10. Needs: True leaders seek viable solutions, and courses of action, which focus on needs, concerns and priorities!

11. Solutions; strengthens; sustainable system: Quality leadership must be based on addressing challenges, and seeking solutions, rather than merely blaming and complaining! Closely examine whether a leader strengthens his organization and constituents, as opposed to merely pursuing the same – old, same – old! One’s goal must be to perceive and conceive of, create, develop and implement a quality, sustainable system.

If you wish to become a leader, you must be willing to address the PERCEPTIONS of, both, the constituents, you serve, as well as your own! Are you up to the task?

7 Frustrating Things Your Visitors Hate About Your Website

Friday, September 15th, 2017

Why Your Business Can’t Ignore the Importance of Providing a Positive User Experience (UX)

Does your site provide the best user experience?

Bad website usability is not only bad for your users; it’s bad for your business too.

What exactly is website usability? It’s definitely one of those industry jargon terms that many entrepreneurs and business owners might not be familiar with. But should!

Website usability means: how easy is it to use your website?

If you’re unsure of what that is, then chances are you may need some help building a strategy for your website.

Your website’s use is how well it accomplishes the reason you built it. Is it to generate leads? Get someone to make a purchase? Direct people to something else? Each page of your website needs a purpose and if that purpose isn’t clear, then the usability is diminished.

When web marketers look at usability they’re looking to see whether or not a user can complete a defined task with little to no confusion or frustration.

So how do you know if your customers are finding your website easy to use?

Measuring User Experience and Usability

There are many services that have come and gone when it comes to measuring user activity and a site’s usability.

Heatmap services such as Hotjar or Crazyegg have been semi successful though woefully abused in the hands of those who don’t know what to do with the information. These types of services give the website owner a birds-eye view at where their website visitors are focusing their attention.

Testing groups can be a great asset but at the same time these are closed, controlled groups so they often inadvertently present misinformation by way of not being an accurate representation of the site’s actual target market.

The best way to check your website’s usability is your Google Analytics. Google offers its analytic web-based software for free for many reasons. One is so you can make your website better.

Within Google Analytics site owners can check things like how long someone is on a page, where they entered the page from, what they did on the page, and when they left.

If someone lands on your page and leaves nearly right away you have what is called a Bounce. If the majority of your users are bouncing (called a high bounce rate) then you have a usability issue and are offering up a bad user experience where they have left too quickly to take any action.

Another way to check is to set a conversion measurement. This is when you input information into Google Analytics that triggers a signal when someone completes a task as defined in there. You can even assign monetary values to the conversion if you want to measure the revenue generated through the conversion.

This type of analysis is best left to professionals so get in touch with my team if you need any help.

But Google doesn’t stop there with its free offerings! Try checking things like your site’s speed or mobile usability using their free tools:

Measuring usability is as complicated or as easy as your website is. Larger projects with many types of users and conversion types will have more complicated ways to measure usability but the overall message here is: does your website accomplish your business goals set for it?

Are Your Users Having A Bad Website Experience?

If you’re looking at the overall stats and the numbers are not good then it’s time to look at why your users are having a bad website experience.

Here’s 7 questions to ask yourself about your website to avoid frustrating your users:

1. Have you clearly defined what your business does and is it appealing to the right audience?

2. Did you make it as easy as possible for users to find the information they’re looking for? Typically there should be no more than 3 steps between landing on the site and finding what the user wants.

3. Can a customer contact you easily if they are stuck or have any questions?

4. Do you have any broken links on your site that will lead users to a dead end?

5. How fast does the site load (see test above)?

6. Is your website mobile responsive?

7. How transparent is your About page?

Nothing can be more frustrating than a dead end so make sure you don’t have any. Users need to have trust established by a website if they’re going to commit their time, money, or both to it.

This is where user test groups can come in handy. Universal website staples that often get forgotten are there so someone who has never been to your website before can have a good experience on it.

Check the few points listed above and if there are areas you haven’t covered or you need help with then get in touch and we’ll be able to break it all down for you.

Is User Experience Really The Same As Usability?

The experience and expectations will vary greatly between websites depending on their purpose.

For large scale big businesses, user experience transcends platforms and current award winners are melding online with offline in attempts to boost both point of sale ‘conversions’ on site and web conversions.

For anyone working in small to medium sized businesses usability is your website’s user experience so focus on that. Make sure when someone lands on your website searching for something, they find what they were needing as quickly and easily as possible.

And don’t forget your user experience doesn’t end there!

A Conversion Is Not the End of the Road for Good Website User Experience

Provide Great Support

Your user experience doesn’t stop when the conversion does.

Think about the process of your conversion from the perspective of someone performing the conversion.

Once you’re done, are you coming back to the website? If you do, are you going to be able to get the support you need right away?

Not having a support channel or any indication of one is a big negative for any user. They likely won’t buy from you if they don’t think they can contact you afterwards regarding any problems.

Refine Your Website Based on Feedback

Make sure you respond to negative feedback with more than dismissive apologies or a canned ‘thanks for the feedback we’ll work on it’ email. Users who have a bad experience during a conversion but a great experience with support can be recovered customers who will likely buy again.

Accept negative feedback as an opportunity to improve even if you disagree with it.

Take what you learn from the feedback as a gift. If a user takes the time to complain about something, treat it seriously and remedy the situation (within reason).

Maybe they completed their task but have feedback on how easy (or not) it was?

In addition to analyzing your Google Analytics, you can follow up with surveys for customers (if they opt in for having one sent to their email of course) to help refine your user experience.

If you need help drafting a survey try this list of some basic website experience survey questions to ask.