Week 5 Website Monitoring / Current Events

Customer service is crucial to the success of any business. NCWIT, a non profit organization, relies on the contributions of members and partners to fund the company. In this case creating a satisfying experience and promoting the value of the company influences the financial support of the organization.

CRM

Customer relationship management systems are beneficial to staying organized and delivering a satisfying experience to customers and partners. NCWIT is currently implementing a Salesforce CRM strategy due to a new partnership. However, previously the company considered using Insightly, a highly recommended tool for small businesses. Insightly includes “an integrated project management solution”(Waring, 2015). The extra features and low cost of the software made it a very appealing option for NCWIT. Until Salesforce is implemented, NCWIT has no CRM managing software. Everything is completed through social networks and individual schedules and tasks. As the company continues to grow, the urgency for CRM software increases.

Customer Service Policies

NCWIT has firm customer service policies addressing time, accuracy, and reflection of the organization. All voicemails and emails are responded to within 48 hours. In addition, dedicated staff members are assigned to specific groups to provide a better and more personalized answer to inquiries. Specialized representatives are available for students, alliance members, partners, and prospective donators. Being a technology group, NCWIT offers online methods of contact. An email address, social media presence, and online form all allow questions to be submitted and routed to the appropriate individual.

Web Site Navigation

The NCWIT website is very easy to navigate. It includes separate sections for students, career professionals, and members of alliances. The customized pathways allow viewers to locate relevant information directly from the website homepage. Once clicking the appropriate tab, users are directed to further information and resources. Upcoming events, program opportunities, and volunteer opportunities are all displayed for the viewer.

In addition, all news related items are in a separate category on the website. These include videos, blogs, newsletters, and articles relevant to the industry and mission of NCWIT. The homepage also has a moving slideshow that includes a direct link to summit information. This event is held annually and is the prime way NCWIT reaches out to new members and promotes the organization. Having direct access to further information about the summit is convenient for current members and individuals considering joining.

Organization is crucial to the effectiveness of a website. Making items easy to locate and relevant for users increases their site experience and increases overall customer satisfaction. NCWIT achieves this through “dividing categories clearly” and including separate menu options for each subcategory (Degeyter, 2012).

Customer- Facing Business Processes

Customer-facing business processes of NCWIT include marketing, training, and networking. NCWIT trains employees to offer the best services possible to members and locate resources to further help empower girls and women interested in STEM fields. NCWIT advertises its products and services through social media, local conferences, and in-person events at schools and companies nationwide. These marketing tactics are visible to potential donators and members. While production is a “business process”, the results of purchasing and creating products for members are customer facing (Markgraf, 2015). These items are given away at events and helped to further promote NCWIT.

References

Degeyter, S. (2012, September 21). 6 Easy Ways To Improve Your Site’s Navigation. Retrieved July 28, 2015, from http://searchengineland.com/6-easy-way-to-improve-your-sites-navigation-132138

Markgraf, B. (2015). Customer-Facing Vs. Business-Facing. Retrieved July 28, 2015, from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/customerfacing-vs-businessfacing-50329.html

Waring, D. (2015, February 3). Best CRM for Small Business: Insightly vs. Nimble vs. Zoho – See more at: http://fitsmallbusiness.com/best-crm-for-small-business/#sthash.q4JZpuAS.dpuf. Retrieved July 28, 2015, from http://fitsmallbusiness.com/best-crm-for-small-business/

Advertisements

Week 4 Website Monitoring

Advertising

COSI advertises throughout the website. There are banners, images with links, and events on the calendar all to promote upcoming shows and events. The images with links scroll across the homepage of the website. Users are redirected using an on-click function. Some of the advertising includes 21+ only events. These events are advertised on social media, local news channels, and the COSI website directly. The homepage of the website includes upcoming giant screen movies, membership advertisements, and family events over the summer months. By emphasizing these dates and times, COSI is advertising their events to customers and promoting membership purchases. COSI does not advertise for external companies on their website. It is all advertisements relative to the organization and events within.

 cosi web page

Products

COSI does not sell products online. Instead, the organization sells admission tickets and tickets to extra features within the building. COSI also rents out exhibits and meeting spaces for customers. Consumers have the option to rent several areas of the building for work events, banquets, weddings, and social gatherings. In addition, COSI always promotes donations to help support the growth of the center.

Communication

COSI communicates to the public in a variety of ways. The website includes a blog that is typically updated a couple of times monthly. These blogs include information about upcoming events and exhibits, as well as experiences at past encounters. In addition, the website includes a newsletter sign-up area. Customers that sign up for the newsletter receive emails from COSI once or twice a month with updates about the organization and highlights of upcoming events. Twitter and Facebook are also used by the marketing team to reach target visitors and reach larger audiences.

cosi communication

Week 3 Monitoring Current Events

After signing up for the COSI email newsletter, I received a confirmation email within 10 minutes.  The email confirmed signing up for the newsletter as well as welcoming me to the COSI supporters’ community. It included images of the center as well as a link to the homepage and a link to unsubscribe. The next communication I received was on the following Monday with a list of upcoming events and show times for COSI in upcoming months. I have only received the one newsletter since signing up.

Email ___________________________________________________________________________

From: COSI

Subject: 3 Ways to Save on COSI Admission

Hello Valued Guest,

With all of the exciting upcoming summer events, COSI wants to inform you of opportunities to save on admission costs. Please click one of the phrases below for further details.

Do-it-All Ticket

Family Nights

Memberships

We look forward to seeing you during you next visit. Thanks for being a part of the COSI community.

Ariel Saultz

COSI Marketing and Promotions

cosi pic

___________________________________________________________________________

This email uses the “cite a potential benefit” technique (James, 2012). It draws the attention of the reader by using an incentive to get them to open the message. By offering discounted admission, guests are more likely to visit COSI. It initiates a response to read the message and possibly purchase tickets for a future visit.

Contacts to Send Email

A list of contacts to send the email to will be gathered from current newsletter members. The mass distribution list will be sent the message to encourage additional visits during upcoming months. The newsletter distribution will be cross-referenced with the COSI member’s emails to avoid an unnecessary email to these members. COSI members already have included admission, so sending this email to them would run the risk of irritating valued customers. All other guests will be encouraged to purchase memberships to save on future costs as well as explore other options available.

Measure Results

Results of the email will be measured through visits to the links provided in the email that end with purchases. All purchases directly from these links will be logged and analyzed at the end of a specified two week period to determine the overall success of the email. In addition, all link visits will be logged to determine the amount of visits resulting from the email that did not end with a purchase. This will identify the amount of guests that actually acted on the email, but were detoured from making the actual purchase. This group has a high potential for being influenced by email communicate and can be targeted in later campaigns through more effective advertising or different incentives.

Email Marketing

            An article, written by Devaney and Stein, discusses the effectiveness of email marketing. Although social media and various other forms of marketing have increased in popularity in recent times, email marketing still produces positive results. Studies have shown that customers marketed to through email, “tend to shop more and spend more” (Devaney & Stein, 2013). This effectiveness would be very valuable to COSI’s marketing team for a variety of reasons. Email communications are efficient and easy to send. They are low in cost and can reach a large audience in a matter of minutes. Accessing customers in a way that will promote sales and increase attendance is the overall goal of the marketing team. COSI’s weekly newsletters demonstrate the concepts presented in this article and the overall effectiveness of email communication.

References

Devaney, T., & Stein, T. (2013, October 1). Why Email Is Still More Effective Than Social Media Marketing. Retrieved July 14, 2015, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/capitalonespark/2013/10/01/why-email-is-still-more-effective-than-social-media-marketing/

James, G. (2012, September 27). Get customers to read emails: 7 tricks. Retrieved July 14, 2015, from http://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/get-customers-to-read-emails-7-tricks.html

Website Monitoring Week 2

Online Strategy

NCWIT’s website includes many different components. There are separate resources for students, educators, businesses, and alliances. This separation makes it easy for users to access information relevant to their needs. In addition, each resources section includes links to other websites with further information to get involved and links to groups to actively participate and discuss STEM field opportunities for women and minorities.

The student section of the website includes links to resources on social media pages. There are private groups that are accessible only from students registered with the organization. This prevents spamming and encourages safety for the participants, while allowing a convenient medium to post questions and tips on being successful in the industry. In addition, there is a private section assessable from student profiles with opportunities in STEM fields including internships, scholarships, and jobs nationwide. These customized resources allow students resources necessary to locate positions that would otherwise be difficult to find.

There is also a news and events section of the website. This links to newsletters, blogs, videos, and live feeds from tech events. These links are updated very frequently to stay current and relevant. During the annual NCWIT summit, links are posted every hour to ensure each session and speech is added individually for future access. NCWIT employees sort through current news to find information outside of NCWIT events that would be useful for members to be informed of as well.

Capture Data

Data is captured through profiles created on the website. All users are required to create a login for full access to site resources. These logins separate users into groups (business, student, or alliance). Metrics are captured through the initial form input including age, education level, years in IT, and region the individual is located in. This is used to track trends and the amount of resources available in each area. It is also beneficial to partner students with executives and mentors willing to assist nearby their current location.

In addition, surveys are given to members on a quarterly basis. These surveys ask a variety of questions and offer an open-ended response section for suggestions to improve the group and website. Surveys are distributed through email and are optional to respond to. Results are then analyzed and reports are created identify opportunities and strengths for the website and resources currently available.

Business Model

The NCWIT business model is constantly changing. As a non-profit organization, funding is on the terms of investors and is always subject to change. In recent times, NCWIT has been making many new partnerships resulting in increased funding and an expanded business model. Additions to the business model include new programs, resources, networks, and events due to the partnerships being formed. The roots of the business model come down to three basic areas; connections and networking, outreach, and development. Connections include introducing student groups to companies in the industry, tech events, and other networking opportunities for students. Development includes programs and workshops to further the skillsets of students and educators in STEM fields. Outreach includes promoting the awareness of STEM fields to women and minorities.