Brand Communications with Heart During COVID

Archive

You don’t have to look far or too long to find examples of people going above and beyond to support their community.

Many brands are doing the same.

We could generate miles and miles of pages featuring examples of companies stepping up their offerings to manufacture equipment and resources to treat sick individuals and fight the spread of COVID ––– or organizations funding furloughed workers and others impacted significantly by the inability to work at this time –––– or businesses offering up their services and technology to help teammates continue to connect and collaborate while they work remote and stay safe at home.

For the sake of this post, however, we’re going to focus on how brands are amping up their communications to support individuals and foster community in this global pandemic.

Here are some pretty cool ones that we’ve found:

Have some others to add to the list – email ‘em over!


1) Zappos – “Customer Service for Anything”🥰

Zappos now offers customer service for anything – grocery shopping, ordering out, or just someone to talk to during this time of severe social isolation.

I already had a tremendous culture crush on these peeps and this effort just adds to it.

If you haven’t heard about their record for longest customer service support call, check that out, but this example of offering up an ear to bend is just freakin’ awesome.


2) Signarama Fond du Lac – Family fun activities 🖍

Not only was Signarama one of the first local companies we noticed supporting the community with free offerings and encouraging emphasis on additional communications for businesses, this team also acknowledged a major need to support parents/children at home with a fun, family time activity – GIANT COLORING WALLS.


3) Fireball Whisky – World’s biggest tip jar 💰

Fireball Whisky has taken the the challenge of creating and filling the World’s Biggest Tip Jar to benefit bartenders and service industry workers in this challenging time =
https://www.gofundme.com/f/BiggestTipJar


4) Chiquita – staying home to keep others safe 🍌

Chiquita brand encouraged social distancing and staying at home to flatten the curve with a simple yet super impactful profile image update of their iconic logo without Miss Chiquita, who was “already home.


5) Thinkwell-livewell.com – #HereForYou free offer

Thinkwell-Livewell.com, a web application client of ours, is offering up free access to their psychologist-recommended wellbeing resources with their #HereForYou campaign – which acknowledges the crucial importance of our mindset and mental health in our collective fight to stay well.


6) Society Insurance – Internal communications & culture for the win 🎸

Last but definitely not least…

We want to highlight an extraordinary example of internal communications as it’s not always what makes the AdWeek headlines.

But, in our opinion, it’s the MOST. IMPORTANT. WORK. we can do within the virtual walls of our organizations.

While there are likely tons of great examples of internal brand communications to support optimism and ongoing teamwork happening behind the scenes, Society Insurance made us laugh with their entertaining, themed spirit week conference calls and warmed our hearts with their CEO’s weekly check-in and remote-work-rendition of “Hallelujah.”

Spirit week included 80s day, sports day, pajama day, bring your dog to work, and get outside day.
Rick Parks, CEO of Society Insurance, has a great reputation for supporting his team with regular video check-ins. Thanks for the inspiration, Rick!

Again, if you have some others to add to the list – email ‘em over!

By: Jenny Knuth, art director / geek & creative @ wisnet

FREE* Online Ordering Offer for Small Business

Archive

*Available through Sept 2020.

No need for us to explain a ton about why we’re offering this – other than saying these unprecedented times DEMAND we step up and support each other. If you are a small business – local bar or restaurant – we want to help you amp up your online presence as a means of keeping your businesses alive & well.

For restaurants, coffee shops, and other small businesses pushing to online + curbside services during COVID-19 uncertainty:

Starting immediately, the Geeks & Creatives of wisnet will be happy to help get restaurants in need setup with a customizable online order form. This service will:

  • Allow for online ordering for curbside pickup, drive through, or restaurant-coordinated delivery
  • Take orders for gift cards & other swag purchases
  • Ensure mobile-friendly access – which provides critical ease of use for people on the go and at home.

So, what’s all included?

As a means of keeping everything streamlined to help as many restaurants as we can, we’ll be keeping the design & styling pretty simple, but you’ll have full access to add as many menu options & products as you’d like. You’ll also be able to:

  • Add images of menu options/products (optional)
  • Add special instructions, include delivery if applicable, etc.
  • Receive email notification of all orders received
  • Review order history and customer data
  • Receive payment online – we’ll tie everything through a Stripe account tied to your business.
  • Include links over to EatStreet, GrubHub, Uber Eats, etc.
  • We’ll get 2-3 menu options added to your custom page and then can do a 1-on-1 video conference/screen-share training on your unique site setup to get you confident and comfortable with updating the menu offerings on your own
  • Additional support videos and tutorials will be developed as well – as we know refreshers and reminders are essential. We’re all human and forget things along the way – especially when life/business is chaotic.

What are you responsible for?

  • Creating a Stripe business account
  • After we add a few to get you started, you’ll need to add the rest of your menu options for online purchasing – after some support & training, of course!

Here’s an example of what you can expect:


Proud to support these businesses:


What happens after Sept 2020?

We’ll reach out to get you setup with a package starting at $10/month* for ongoing hosting services if you choose to continue with your online order page. We’ll also offer you the option to bring and/or expand to a full site on our WordPress for Restaurants platform. Details of options and pricing TBD. Stay tuned.

If you need upgrades before, during or after, we can evaluate after we get through the initial demand – and then quote anything needed for content enhancements, expansion, advanced integrations, etc.

What happens if we can’t pay at that time?

We understand things could get a little shaky, so we’ll evaluate each scenario as we’re able. Ultimately, if you’re not able to pay, we’ll take down the custom order page unless other arrangements are made


Ready to give it a go?

Feel free to reach out with any questions before you dive in.

Or fill out this form completely and we’ll reach out to get things started as soon as we are able.


First come, first served. And other criteria…

We’ll do our best to support every submission and business that reaches out, but we can not guarantee any specific timelines or support all special requests outside of the guidelines/offer noted above.

If this offer sees a lot of demand, we’ll handle requests in the following order and criteria:

  1. Located in our community / Fond du lac County
  2. A Wisconsin-based business
  3. Completed content form – with all assets provided for our team to get started

wisnet’s response to COVID-19

Archive

From our small but mighty team of Geeks & Creatives of wisnet, we want to thank all of our clients for trusting us with your website, branding, application, email, and more.

Like many other organizations around the world, we’re closely following WHO and CDC guidance & information, monitoring news/recommendations from our local Fond du Lac County Health department, and collectively taking action to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Even with the uncertainty of COVID-19’s impact on our world, community, and team, we still anticipate delivering the same service you’ve come to expect from our geeks & creatives. All wisnet’s services are fully operational. With wisnet’s foundation and workflow deeply steeped in digital tools, our team is well positioned to work remotely as needed moving forward and has, on many occasions, in the past as well.

Our network and infrastructure partners have shared similar continuity statements with us. We feel very confident we are able to continue the service and support in those areas as well.

The wisnet offices are open and functional, but closed to public visitors as a precautionary measure to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 until further notice. We have and are taking extra steps internally to help ensure that we have a clean and healthy environment. Our primary concern is, of course, to enhance our efforts to keep our employees and customers safe.

  • Remote Work: All customer support will continue to happen with team members who are in the office. If any team member is required to work from home remotely, they will still have access to the exact same toolset for monitoring incoming calls and support tickets, moving projects and development forward, checking in code, updating design documents, and more. All functions of our team can happen at our office or in our homes with no additional workflow changes.

  • Hygiene: We’ve discussed with our team the importance of regularly washing hands and using hand sanitizer when soap and water aren’t available. We’re also taking extra steps to clean & disinfect high-traffic areas & surfaces. 

  • In-office Restrictions: We’ve made our office off-limits to anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms or  fever – or have visited a COVID-19 hotspot within the past 14 days. We’ve also shifted any in-person meetings to be held remotely via video conferencing and will only schedule video/teleconference meetings in the immediate future.
  • Travel Restrictions: We’re advising all of our team members to refrain from attending gatherings of 50 or more people.

As this unfortunate situation evolves, we will continue to monitor and make changes as necessary. If you have any questions regarding your services or partnership with wisnet, by all means, let us know. You can call 920-322-9522 or email us at customercare@wisnet.com and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Throughout all of this, we’d also like to encourage you to support small, local businesses as you are able.

Gift card purchases. Drive-thru services. Online purchases and/or any other remote offerings. The impact on our community is inevitable, but shopping small and local can really make a difference!

Be kind. Be careful. Stay healthy.

We are here to support you & your business however we can.


The Slippery Slope of Sliders

Archive

What is a slider/carousel?

Most companies struggle with deciding which marketing message deserves top billing on their website. Sliders (or carousels) are rotating website banners which have gained in popularity because they allow a website to feature several marketing messages/ideas in one space, and they seem to be a logical solution to the front row marketing problem. However, they are not without drawbacks.

Why are Sliders bad?

Viewers find them confusing & frustrating

Featuring multiple options in a slider can be confusing for visitors. It’s been shown that many users have a difficult time with auto-rotating carousels, either changing too fast or too slow. Visitors may not be able to navigate them well, missing the information that initially intrigued them. And most visitors are too bored or irritated to wait through all of the slides, thus missing information you deemed as important.

Lack of click-through

According to a Notre Dame University test, 99% of people don’t click on sliders. And if they do, it’s almost always the first one. This pretty much defeats the purpose of having a slider in the first place.

Banner blindness

Depending upon the slider’s size and design, people will often think it’s an advertisement, leading them to ignore it completely. This has been termed as “banner blindness.”

Not great on mobile

It’s often difficult to swipe from slide to slide on mobile devices and the javascript used for most sliders slows download times. If wi-fi is not speedy, most mobile users will not wait for sliders to finish loading. They will scroll past them instead.

Negative impact

  • Large sliders push your content further down the page making it more time consuming and difficult for visitors to find the information they are looking for.
  • Websites that utilize sliders often do not repeat the content anywhere else on the page, so if the visitor doesn’t see it in the slider, they miss the information entirely.
  • If your slider is not optimized for a responsive site, your visitors using mobile devices may only see a small portion of the image or very tiny text which they cannot read making the slider useless.
  • The javascript used for the slider can slow down your site, negatively impacting your visitor’s viewing experience.

Bad conversion rates

All of the reasons above contribute to poor conversion rates when it comes to sliders. This results in visitors are not getting the messages that you wish to convey.

We have tested rotating offers many times and have found it to be a poor way of presenting home page content.
Chris Goward, Wider Funnel

How to make a slider work

It’s probably best to stick to sliders/carousels only for the purpose of showcasing visuals or photo galleries, but if you feel you need one here are some pointers.

  • Make navigation obvious and easy to use
  • Only load what you need – no more than 4 slides
  • Suggest more content to users with button-style links
  • Utilize a touch-enabled carousel for mobile devices
  • Don’t autoplay slides
  • Provide gestural hints
  • Add tracking
  • Use the tracking data to decide whether or not to keep using the slider
  • Slider Alternatives

What are some alternatives?

The simple solution would be to substitute a single static banner which has a single feature or focus. This allows the visitor to view the information they’re looking for much quicker and also reduce page load times. The right image can convey a far better feel of your business and your brand than a slider ever could.

If you have multiple items that you wish to present all at once, try a 4-9 grid pattern, with clearly defined links for each item. That way your visitor can quickly scan the items and choose their desired link easily. This can improve your conversion rates.

Whether you include a large banner image or several items on the page, the clarity of your product message is highly important. Display obvious links to more information and don’t forget to update your site’s information regularly. Not every available feature is a good fit for every website. Make sure your services and your brand are represented in the format that suits your needs, and the needs of your visitors, best.


sources:
https://www.nngroup.com/articles/banner-blindness-old-and-new-findings/
http://bradfrost.com/blog/post/carousels/
https://yoast.com/opinion-on-sliders/
https://medium.com/@sherpadesignco/carousels-are-killing-your-conversion-rate-heres-how-to-fix-that-b57e31f8f508
https://webflow.com/blog/carousel-slider-design-best-practices
https://www.nngroup.com/articles/banner-blindness-old-and-new-findings/
https://conversionxl.com/blog/dont-use-automatic-image-sliders-or-carousels/
https://envato.com/blog/design-debate-image-carousels-ux-assets-liabilities/

Consider yourself a WordPress Guru? Let’s talk.

Archive

Believe it or not, it’s time again to bolster our team with more knowledge, additional perspectives, and growth mindset. AKA: We’re growing our team!

We’re looking for a creative geek with the strengths and skills to help us take our WordPress development to the next level. From front-end build out to plugin customization and everything in-between, you’ll be one of our gurus who not only knows all about the best practices, but can put them in action for a variety of sites, clients, and layouts. You’ll be working very closely with our account managers and creative team to take business rules and layered design files and make them come to life.

What types of values are we looking for? We’re glad you asked! We’re looking for:

  • A self-starter and who plays well with others
  • A sense of curiosity and not being afraid to ask questions
  • A passion for continuous improvement: To be challenged as skills and talents grow with each project
  • The ability to consistently meet client deadlines and expectations

Many of your day-to-day responsibilities will include:

  • Construct and support awesome WordPress CMS installs and updates
  • Collaborating with your fellow geeks & creatives to understand client and user needs, help refine requirements, and rapidly prototype and iterate on multiple design solutions
  • Author HTML, PHP, and stylesheets for cross-browser, cross-platform, and cross-device functionality
  • Employ jQuery/JavaScript for visual effects, event handling, and document manipulation

Skill & Experience requirements we’re looking for:

  • One to two years of custom WordPress development experience (Gutenberg experience a big plus)
  • Strong HTML5, CSS3, jQuery/Javascript, Bootstrap v3 & v4 ability and familiarity
  • Basic Photoshop familiarity (at least to slice layered design files)
  • W3C compliant coding practices and knowledge

Some “Nice-to-haves-but-not-deal-breakers:”

  • Familiarity with PHP frameworks like Laravel and FatFree
  • Experience with MySQL
  • Toleration/Appreciation for Taco Tuesday also happening on Thursday… And sometimes Monday, Wednesday, and/or Friday

Now that we’ve talked about you, let’s talk about wisnet for a moment. We offer a great working environment, SIMPLE retirement fund with a 3% salary match, a health and fitness center, and very flexible paid vacations (time away from wisnet is just an important as your time here), regular team lunches and outings, office bicycles, a great team, and great clients.

We’ve achieved some pretty cool awards including being named a 2016 and 2018 Bubbler Award winner as one of the top 10 best workplaces for young professionals in Wisconsin, as well as being featured in Insight Magazine for our culture.

Do we still have your interest?

If so, then drop us a line at opportunities@wisnet.com to let us know you’re interested in joining the team of geeks & creatives of wisnet and share how your strengths match up with the skill sets we have listed here. We’d also love to see your work history and portfolio (and GitHub account), a few references, and why you think you’d be the perfect addition to our small but mighty crew.

We can’t wait to hear from you!

Don’t have any WordPress experience or know-how but know of someone who does? Drop us a line and share their info with us. If it all works out and that person joins our team, we’ll hook you up with $100 in free tacos!

Where does your team hang out?

Archive

At wisnet, our café is definitely a hotspot – breakfasts to charge up for the day, team lunches, and anytime break central.

We’ve done our best to create an experience that inspires while making them feel welcome and truly at home here. Our Markey digital signage tool has always been a part of that effort with an HDTV in the corner to broadcast announcements, fun outings, team challenges, important reminders, silly memes, and the list goes on.

While we love what that display brings to our space and making our culture visual, there’s a lot competing for their attention there. So, we thought a bit harder about where our team hangs out… Other than their desks, the next logical observation was the coffee station. So, we decided to act and add something a bit more dynamic. Leveraging our Markey digital signage app and a simple Lenovo tablet (and Amazon Echo compatible docking station). Viola! We’ve now created an engaging channel for communicating directly to any team members looking to caffeinate and simultaneously fill up with culture-building and team-building messages.

Here’s a before and after:

Interested in bringing Markey digital signage to your coffee station and/or work life? Let’s chat!

Had me from, “Hello”

Archive

Welcome On Board
Photo by Mabel Amber from Pexels

By: Jodi Van Nocker, latest to join the team of geek & creative @ wisnet

The first time I viewed the wisnet website to learn about the company, it grabbed my attention immediately. Bike breaks, no vaca policy, a health and fitness center, and a company that offers a work/life balance…yes, please! I’ve always enjoyed being able to help others and assist them with my problem-solving so they can find solutions. At home, the saying “don’t worry, mom will fix it” appears on a regular basis. With my career background having some technology experience paired with the desire to learn new things, wisnet seemed like a perfect fit for me to grow.

Little did I know, the experience once I got here was going to be far greater than I had planned. The culture supports collaboration, and it shows. Every team member is willing to work with and teach you so that we are ultimately making each customer interaction positive. Seeing the hard work, dedication, and love for their job from everyone, I know each customer is lucky to have the wisnet team on their side. The company group lunches and activities made me feel part of the team right from day one!

As I look forward, I can’t wait to see what new things will be in store. Getting to know and work with amazing customers, learning many different skills, and using my creativity every day is probably only the beginning of my list. What I have learned is don’t be afraid to try new things! It’s amazing what you can accomplish with a little focus, ambition, and optimistic attitude, supported by a great group of teammates!

Google Updates G Suite Pricing

Archive

First, it was Amazon Prime, raising their annual subscription price from $99 to $119. And now, the latest is Netflix, raising all packages by $2. And starting April 2, 2019, Google Apps for Business.

You may think that Google has enough money, so why increase? Well, as with all the services we love to use, eventually we knew that the day would come when the price will go up. The bright side is that Google is only raising the cost per account by $1 for Basic Edition users and $2 per account for Business Edition users.

Here is a little more from Google on the reason for the increase:

“We introduced the original version of G Suite, including Gmail and Google Calendar, more than 10 years ago. Since then, we’ve added more than a dozen new G Suite services, including real-time collaboration (Docs, Sheets, Slides) and flexible storage (Drive), powerful video conferencing (Hangouts Meet), secure team messaging (Hangouts Chat) and enterprise-grade search capabilities (Cloud Search). We’ve also infused our products with advanced artificial intelligence to make it easier to respond to emails, gather insights from data and protect against phishing attacks before they happen.”

Rest assured that you will continue to receive outstanding support and robust spam blocking with your Google account. From little to no downtime and ease of use, those that have been in the Google Apps platform for some time, would likely agree that paying the extra $1 per account per month is well worth it.

And if you are not currently a Google Apps for Business user, now is your chance to dive in and join in with the rest of us Google App users. Plus, for no additional cost, when you become a Google Apps user through wisnet you’ll receive live support from your team of geeks & creatives. Once you switch, you will wonder why you didn’t switch sooner!

Growing Our Team in 2019

Archive

wisnet is excited to announce that we’re looking to grow our team of geeks & creatives!

So you might be asking, “What position is open?” And that’s a fantastic question, but we’re not really into job titles around here. So we’re really looking for a creative geek who has the skills and strengths listed below that they love engaging with on a daily basis. Someone who takes initiative and has a tolerance for ambiguity, all while being able & willing to dive into other needs and tasks without always needing to be told, “what do I do next?” Ultimately, we’re looking for someone who loves working with people and doesn’t mind getting into the nitty-gritty of phone calls, data entry, bug reporting, and admin tasks. If we were a baseball team, we’d be looking for a utility player. Are you our Marwin Gonzalez?

  • Building and maintaining customer relationships

    • Working with clients on the phone and via email to help them accomplish their goals and objectives across their websites, entering and updating support ticket information, and executing fixes where applicable.
  • Organizational and Administrative Strengths

    • Everything in its proper place. It’s a method that helps a team stay informed and on top of things without needing countless hours stuck in meetings to recap everything across every project. Being able to not only keep notes and tabs on projects, requests, and customer messages, but also helping with administrative tasks like running to the post office to mail packages, planning team outings, researching vendors, curating and maintaining a prospects list, help organize and create healthy team lunches, ordering T-Rex costumes from Amazon, and more.
  • CMS Experience (Especially WordPress)

    • Having the ability to dive into updating pages, content, media, and more in client websites to help move projects through the queue. If you aren’t familiar with WordPress but have experience in Joomla or Drupal, we can work with that, too.
  • Strong technical instincts

    • Maybe you don’t know the exact way to accomplish something or perhaps you don’t know how to write code. But, you can poke at things and at least understand the very basics of what you’re looking at. And you aren’t afraid to do some Googling to find out, or to reach out to your team members when you get stuck.

Any of those sound like you? Cool! Maybe one or two or three or all sound right up your alley? Way cooler!

Now that we’ve talked about you, let’s talk about wisnet for a moment. We offer a great working environment, SIMPLE retirement fund with a 3% salary match, a health and fitness center, and very flexible paid vacations (time away from wisnet is just an important as your time here), regular team lunches and outings, office bicycles, a great team, and great clients.

We’ve achieved some pretty cool awards including being named a 2016 and 2018 Bubbler Award winner as one of the top 10 best workplaces for young professionals in Wisconsin, as well as being featured in Insight Magazine for our culture.

Do we still have your interest?

If so, then drop us a line at opportunities@wisnet.com to let us know you’re interested in joining the team of geeks & creatives of wisnet and what parts of your strengths match up with the skill sets we have listed here. We’d also love to see your work history, a few references, and why you think you’d be the perfect addition to our small but mighty crew.

We can’t wait to hear from you!

Lose the boss & red tape. Add trust in your people. Mix & serve. The ideal ingredients for a great culture.

Archive

By: Jenny Knuth, art director / geek & creative @ wisnet

Company: Morning Star
Crush Categories: Ownership; leadership philosophy; management style

What is ‘Culture Crush’ all about?
There are many great companies doing amazing things for their people, communities and beyond. Here, we’re highlighting those companies, teams, and ideas we’re in love with — to inspire and grow your workplace cultures!

If your team is like ours, it’s highly motivated by food — making it a great way to bring the team together without many questions. Pizza = a constant in our cafe. A delicious Wisconsin bratwurst or a grilled burger topped with assorted condiments during grill out days … yum! Salsa & chips as a snack … I’m there!

What’s the common ingredient here? Oddly, tomatoes!?! Which brings us to the point of the article … and what we’re drooling about most at the moment … that being the workplace culture of California-based tomato paste company — Morning Star.

Bucket loads of the good stuff.

We first heard of Morning Star’s engaging culture and intriguing management style through TED & Adam Grant’s WorkLife podcast episode, “A world without bosses.” While listening to the podcast, we were instantly in love with their self-management mentality and how it brings a refreshing, tangible sense of ownership, bucket loads of accountability, autonomy, and trust — topping it all off with sincere opportunities for growth. This intentional combo brings true freedom to ALL individuals on the team, regardless of working hard in a corner office or on the shop floor.

So, who is the boss at Morning Star, you ask?

They lay it all out as the company mission statement. But it’s a bit more in-depth than that. Make sure you check out this interview on their self-management system, the nuances, and how they experience the greatest success with it.

No time for that? We get it! So, here are our core takeaways about self-management & Morning Star:

Takeaway #1
Whether you prefer the idea of no bosses or everyone as their own boss, this unique approach to a flat hierarchy removes authority and traditional power dynamics. What we love most is the implication of individuals working ‘with’ one another verses ‘for’ another. Major crush brownie points from our perspective that they avoid the word “employee” — preferring the word “colleague” to imply being shoulder to shoulder and in partnership.


Takeaway #2
While we’re not much for strict rules, Morning Star’s two key principles are essential checkpoints for all to live & work by.

  1. Individuals should not use force against other people or their property.
  2. Individuals should respect and uphold the commitments they have made to others.

Takeaway #3
Just because there are no official bosses or managers, doesn’t mean leadership roles or structure are non-existent. Leadership roles are “cultivated and earned … based on competence, trust … and relationship building.” Read more in a short article or check out a full self-management white paper.

Who makes the decisions? The people best suited and committed to them. Where/how have they committed? The colleague letter of understanding — which is a voluntary, negotiated agreement outlining activities and processes for which one wants to be held responsible. It includes scope, definition of decision making for that person/role, and much much more. You can read that here.

If an agreement can’t be made, of course there are teams/people who step in. If you’re getting hung up on that being the essence of a “boss,” you’re missing the point.


Takeaway #4

Team dynamic & accountability — check! Now, what about individual needs & understanding? For this, Morning Star names five core crucial competencies for individual success:

  1. Taking Initiative
    In short, team members need to have a strong willingness and ability to speak up when necessary. No continuous hand holders for everyday tasks need apply.
  2. Tolerance for Ambiguity
    Without that clear-cut path to the boss’s office to have “them” figure it out, the responsibility to find solutions lies with the team — which makes constant communication, with a side of patience, critical for individual and team success.
  3. Consciousness
    Be present. Know and be confident that you’re at the table because you have solid expertise and talents — and the company fully entrusts you with those tasks and commitments.
  4. Contribution Mindset
    You are not in this alone so share, share, teach, learn and repeat.
  5. Low Power Distance Sensitivity
    Throw ego-building from power/authority/command & control out the window. Your credibility is built on a higher demand than that and we know you all have it in you!

Hire the right people and trust they’ll figure it out.

Boss or no boss, what’s most important is determining what core values, expectations, and foundational understandings need to be communicated so the team develops & sustains confidence in each other.

Everything here from Morning Star and their self-management philosophy brings wonderful language and clarity in what we believe to our core works great for culture building — especially a small team like ours where autonomy and ‘moving out of the way’ are essential to a productive, fulfilled team.

 

Have a company culture story or culture-building tactic that you’re crushing on and dying to share? We’d love to hear from you! Email me at jenny@wisnet.com.

Are reviews really that important?

Archive

By: Julie Wild, Graphic Designer / geek & creative @ wisnet

Yes. The answer is yes, they are very important.

Here are some quick statistics from Invesp (2017-2018).
– 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business.
– 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
– 72% say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more.
– 86% of people will hesitate to purchase from a business that has negative online reviews.

Word of mouth is still one of the most powerful marketing tools. And in this digital age, online reviews are the equivalent of stepping up to the podium and making an announcement for all to hear. And where there is someone speaking out you can bet there are people listening. That’s why it’s important for you to gain as many honest positive reviews as you can, as well as addressing any negative reviews that may come in.

Online reviews lead to increased sales.

The quality and quantity of reviews is one of the most important ranking factors for local SEO when searching on Google. When a person scans Google’s search results for a local product or service, the business listings that include customer reviews offer greater credibility and, naturally, receive more clicks.

Reviews create brand loyalty.

A person who takes the time to leave a positive review is more likely to come back for more business. They are also more likely to share their opinions on social media.

How do I get positive reviews?

One method for getting reviews would be to add the request to any correspondence that you have with your customers, especially right after they have made a purchase.

Another method is to ask your customer outright for a review. But the timing is important here. The best time to ask your customer for a review is after they have offered unsolicited praise. At that time, express your appreciation and ask if they would consider writing something online. Let them know how much that would mean to you and your business if they would share their positive feedback.

Where should my customers leave their reviews?

Google is a great place to leave reviews but it doesn’t matter which website is used by your customer. Reviews at Yelp, Trip Advisor, Amazon, Facebook, Yellowpages, Angie’s List, and others will be utilized by Google’s algorithms. Stars are displayed by search result listings to show review averages.

What can I do if I receive a negative review?

As mentioned in the stats at the beginning of this article, many people hesitate to purchase from a business that has a negative review. But there are ways to smooth over the jagged edges a negative review can leave behind.

1. Respond promptly. Be personable and genuine — write like a person, not a corporation.
2. Be honest and admit your mistakes, but at the same time correct any inaccuracies.
3. Offer restitution if it’s warranted, but take it offline when you delve into the details.
4. Highlight your strengths and offer your understanding.
5. Be consistent. Make sure you are checking your reviews often. A negative review without a proper response will leave readers wondering if you actually care about your customers.

What can you learn?

You can learn a lot from the reviews you receive. They can provide a clearer picture of what your customers expect from you and the products you provide. They can provide keys to creating better products and offering new services that your customers want to purchase.

wisnet Fun Fact

Archive

Can we let you in on a little secret? wisnet is intentionally spelled using a lowercase “w.”

No matter how big we get, we’ll always be small

We’ve always had the mindset that great ideas can come from anywhere – and ours come from Fond du Lac. We like to think of each of our clients as another team member and we’re proud of our community while also encouraging involvement within it. The lowercase “w” reminds us to stay humble and approachable.. We want others to know, that while we may not be large in number, we still have the people and talent to deliver what our clients are looking for (and more). The values and beliefs that have helped to define our culture are:

  • Be yourself
  • But, be humble
  • Keep it simple
  • Everything is figureoutable
  • Try new things
  • Be smart about business
  • Build & support community
  • Share idea; collaborate with many
  • Don’t take yourself or your work too seriously
  • Celebrate wins – no matter how small

We don’t take ourselves too seriously

If you ever walked into our office, you’ll be greeted with bright colors, cardboard cartoon cutouts, toys (lots and lots of toys), and plenty of good humor. We love what we do and want our clients to feel at home and comfortable when they come to our office.

All of this, combined with the lowercase “w,” has helped shape wisnet into what it is today. We’ve grown a lot since 1996, but our drive and pride for our work and community have stayed the same. We look forward to continuing to share more about wisnet and our culture with you.