The Most Important Ingredient…(And It’s Missing)

by admin on August 19, 2013

I came across another great article advancing the academic article world when it comes to tracking longitudinal research participants. Check it out:

I’m impressed with how the field is maximizing the number of strategies, specifically in terms of technology and the ever changing world of privacy restrictions. The success of the studies are a reflection of this advancement.

However, I long for the day when an academic article will address one of the most important aspects to succeeding in longitudinal research: the human aspect. In my trainings, I talk about the strategies to utilize, and then how to use them. In every article I see, they always mention calling people. Good idea. However, you can make or break an entire follow-up effort for a participant by how you execute that task. Here’s a list of the “human aspects” of a phone call.

1. Your timing

2. Your greeting

2. Your intro (who you are and what you’re doing)

3. Your tone

4. Your questions

5. Your request

6. Your send off or exit

7. Length of call

In order to further my point, let’s do an exercise. Let’s say we’re opening a coffee shop. Off the top of my head, here are the first line of things you need to do in order to be successful.

- Have a building (in working order and up to code).

- Have the skills to make coffee and coffee drinks.

- Have the ingredients to make the coffee and coffee drinks.

- Have something to put the coffee drinks in.

- Have a menu.

- Have shop hours.

- Have places to sit.

- Have staff to do the job.

- Have some marketing.

Sounds pretty good. If you have all of these things, you should be successful. But all coffee shops have these things. So what gives? How come some shops make it and some don’t?

It’s all based on how you do these things. How you make your coffee. How you do up your building. How your staff does their job and interacts with customers. How you do your menu.  How you market your place.

A friend of mine is a huge fan of a coffee chain. Let’s call them “Bucks.” I have a tendency to poke fun at Bucks. She gets very upset when I do so. Finally, one day I asked “why?’

“Because they always remember my name and my favorite drink.”

How you do something is just as important as what you do.

Even if you’re already successful, there are improvements to gain. If you focus on how you’re utilizing the strategies, you may dramatically increase your efficiency and reduce your expended time and money.



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