“I’m loving your articles. Very informative!” 

              – Sue Linder, HotelExecutive.com

Tema Frank on Customer Service, Online Marketing & Usability

85 Tips For a Winning Website: Make Your Website User-Friendly to Win More Sales. This ebook gives real-world examples of usability mistakes that scare off potential customers, and tells you how to fix or avoid making those mistakes on your website.

Use Your Website to Leverage Store Sales There are several roles a website can play. The type of business you run and the way you run it are very important things to consider when deciding how to best leverage your web presence  for sales success.

What Works When  (Quirks Marketing Research Media)  This article discusses different approaches to getting feedback on your Web site. In an ideal world, you would use each of these techniques at some point during your Web site’s life cycle. But this isn’t an ideal world, and odds are you don’t have the time or the budget to do them all. So how do you decide?

See more recent articles by Tema Frank in the Hotel Business Review at http://hotelexecutive.com/author/25/Tema-Frank

Search Engine Advertising: Happy Landings  (Hotel Business Review)   One of the easiest ways to promote your business is with search engine advertising. But what happens when they click on your ad? If they don’t see what they expect right away,  they just go back to the search engine, wasting you money and losing potential business. How can you address this? Have great “landing pages”.

Is Changing Your Website Worth The Cost  (Hotel Business Review)   There is no such thing as a perfect website. Even the most successful websites in the world are constantly finding new, better ways to communicate and sell. But if you’ve got a limited budget (and who doesn’t?) you need to think about whether it is worth the time and money needed to make changes to your site.

Hotel Websites That Rise Above The Crowd  (Hotel Business Review)   Obviously, results on the first page of an online search are the most likely to get looked at, so search engine optimization of your site and/or search engine advertising are crucial. But let’s assume for a moment that you’ve done that successfully, and landed on the first page of results. Now what?

Hotel Website Forms That Work  (Hotel Business Review)   If your online booking process is not optimized for customer usability, many potential customers may give up out of frustration. Often those frustrations don’t hit until they are in the middle of filling out the needed forms to book their stay. What sorts of things upset them, and how can you prevent those irritants?

Protecting Relationships While Building a Prospect Database  (Hotel Business Review)  There are obvious reasons for wanting prospects to give you information about themselves.  But consumers are wary of unwanted e-mails, concerned about the security of personal data , and, generally, reluctant to share information. How can you ensure their comfort while collecting their information?

When Standing Still Means Going Backward  (Hotel Business Review)   The number of people who research and book hotels online is increasing.  This means that not only are your prospective customers likely to find and book with you online, they are very likely to have visited competitors’ sites and have a “standard” to which they are comparing you. You must stay current to compete.

Setting Priorities For Hotel Website Improvements  (Hotel Business Review)   How you set priorities depends on what your goals are for the site. If your main goal is to get more conference bookings you’ll focus on different aspects of the site than if you are after foreign tourists, which will again differ from a target market of business travelers. Here are some tip son how to find what needs changing.

10 Traps to Avoid on Your Hotel Website  (Hotel Business Review)  There’s more to creating a wonderful hotel than just a good looking lobby. You need amazing staff, comfortable beds, clean bathrooms, and so on. The same goes for your website: the best-looking website might still not generate bookings for you if you commit one common hotel website errors.

Intention to Recommend  (Journal of Interactive Marketing; Frank Finn Wang 2009) Examines the impact of visitor satisfaction with a website’s usability on intent to recommend the website owner’s company or organization to others (net promoter score). Uses data from Web Mystery Shoppers website usability testing.

Reach Out and Touch Someone  (User Experience, 2005)  For those of you who’ve been dying to pet a chicken while you are trapped in your stuffy cubicle at work (c’mon – fess up!), researchers at the  Mixed Reality Lab at the National University of Singapore have developed just what you’ve been waiting for. It may sound a little odd, but its creators have some serious uses in mind.

Protesting Patent Power   (User Experience, 2004)  Abuse of the power of patents is becoming more widespread, with overworked patent examiners issuing inappropriate or overlapping patents, and patent-holders misrepresenting the extent of their patent holdings in order to gain licensing revenue from small software and technology firms.

Battle Of The Bots  (User Experience, 2004)  It is not just the military looking for robots to replace humans; robots are finally edging their way into the domestic world. One company claims that by Christmas it will be delivering orders for a robotic domestic servant named Valerie, who can do just about everything.

DARPA (User Experience, 2004)  Impatient with the slow progress, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) sponsored a contest with a $1,000,000 prize for the first team whose unmanned, self-directed vehicle could cross the finish line after navigating a rugged 200 mile course between Los Angles and Las Vegas, through the Mohave Desert.

Librie Book Reader (User Experience, 2005)  Electronic books have not yet taken off, due largely to small screen sizes and difficult-to-read screens. Now Sony is launching an electronic book reader that offers the closest thing yet to the comfort of reading a paper book, combined with the light weight and ability to store hundreds of volumes of an electronic format.

Simplifying Web Design  (User Experience, 2009)  Words like “easy” and “simple” are used repeatedly by companies marketing systems designed to make it possible for non-programmers to do web design. Yet, despite years of  hearing about these systems, none really lives up to the hype. Why has developing a “simple” system been so difficult?

Roll-Up Computer  (User Experience, 2010)  Way back in the 1990’s, I had a fold-out keyboard that I plugged into my Palm Pilot  when I wanted to take notes at a  meeting. I could type on it while maintaining eye contact with the people I was speaking with. These sorts of devices still exist, but now there is something better waiting in the wings. The development of flexible display technology is about to revolutionize the world of portable computing.

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(up to and including 2015)

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