Let Customers Give You Feedback

click2leavefeedbackCustomer satisfaction is a factor that can make or break a business. Satisfied customers can potentially recommend products and services to others and become repeat customers. On the other hand, dissatisfied customers may never or rarely provide repeat business, and might even tell others about their dissatisfaction. This is why to alleviate things that irritate your customer, one should solicit product feedback.

The need to identify the areas customers may be having a less than satisfying experience is very important. How satisfied customers are with a particular physical characteristics such as functionality, prims, script load, and aesthetics of the product that they purchased? Identify the functionality that the product provides and have customers rate each aspect of its functionality separately on an even-numbered scale so that there is no neutral option available. Some businesses will create a notecard with a series of check-off boxes in it for this purpose, others might use an in-world survey kiosk or a web site.

Soliciting product feedback when the product you require feedback on is not really a physical product, but instead customer service and support offerings, is not quite as straightforward. One must examine sales and service to identify areas where customers may be experiencing a degree of dissatisfaction. It is difficult to ask open ended questions to identify these areas from customers, since most customers will not take the time to answer open ended questions, even though this type of information is the most useful form of feedback for a business.

How to Organize Inventory

organizeinventoryThe virtual world experience sometimes can be impeded when one has has an out-of-control inventory containing hundreds, if not thousands, of items that need to be waded through before find the item one was looking for. It only takes a little bit of time, some energy, and maybe a scripted organizer or two to sort through the various folders of inventory and determine what needs to be kept and what needs to be sent to the trash. It very well may need to be spread over several sessions.

First, it is important to determine what types of items will be processed during each session. Perhaps during one session only freebies found during the many in-world hunts will be sorted, another session might be set aside for sorting textures, a third session could be sorting anything named “Object”, and so on. Breaking the process into small pieces process one-at-a-time can make it seem more manageable and worth the effort.

Unless you are a very sentimental person the task of dividing items into only a few piles (one reserved for everything going into the trash to be purge later). The likely piles will consist of those items expected to be used on a regular basis, items that need to be kept but kept in storage (i.e. moved into the contents tab of a rezzed box object and then taking that box object into inventory), or perhaps a third pile for no-copy transferable items to be given away or sold to others in a virtual yard sale.

While not required, some find it useful to utilize an organizational tool such as a scripted texture sorting tool or a pose stand where animations and gestures can be moved into it and then the tool itself is only rezzed on an as-needed basis. Once everything is organized into a system unique to the user (after all, they are they only one that is going to access their own inventory window within the virtual world viewer) time will be saved and the performance of their system should improve everything.

Take One Moment to Consider Perceived Quality

parcelsettingsThe perception of how much effort is used to create a quality store environment can affect whether prospective visitors turn into a paying customer or whether they teleport away never to be seen again. Three of the factors that may apply to store quality include the arrangement of prims (i.e. textures, sizes, and organization) in the store, information visible on signs (i.e. pop-up notices and store policies), as well as parcel settings (i.e. name, media, restrictions).

The arrangement of prims can set the tone of the store depending on whether they appear to be rezzed in an organized fashion or scattered around the store at odd angles. Textures used in the store should be something other than the default of plywood and plain at a high enough resolution to show details, but not so high that it takes a long time for the texture to come into view. Alpha textures can be viewed from all angles to ensure there are no glitches and non-alpha textures at the same level overlap with each other resulting in the viewer randomly toggling between the two (sometimes referred to as flickering).

The purpose of signs in a store is to be informational without being too intrusive meaning landmarks and notecards are to be offered to the visitor only once, not every time they happen to walk into the sensor area. Store policies such as return, custom orders, post-sale support, and gifting options need to be clearly visible and available. Finally, any vendors that dispense a product needs to include not only the price of the item, but also the number of prims required and permissions allowed.

Parcel settings can either enhance the shopping experience or hinder it. For example, if the parcel is set to no-scripts then the chances of lag affecting avatars is minimized, but setting no-scripts might also disallow visitors from using their favorite HUD. Media settings such as music and sounds cannot conflict with each other, if there are sounds that you want the visitor to hear then a music stream playing at the same time may result in them not hearing the intended sound. Finally, the name of the parcel and description should be informative enough so that if the visitor decides to create their own landmark (rather than accepting yours) it will be informative when they are looking through their inventory window later.