How We Love Thee, Customers

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Customer Appreciation Month = Par-TAY!

We’re letting the deals flow through the whole month of December, because it’s Customer Appreciation Month at Talance.

Why? Oh, just because we love you. From time to time we like to come up with excuses for expressing our gratitude for your support, loyalty and general fandom.

A month of fun-days

Sounds like fun, right? Here’s what we’ve got lined up:

December 2

[[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”media_large”,”fid”:”685″,”attributes”:{“class”:”media-image alignleft size-full wp-image-1587″,”typeof”:”foaf:Image”,”style”:””,”width”:”64″,”height”:”64″,”title”:”kyla-cromer-content-expert”,”alt”:”kyla-cromer-content-expert”}}]]Garbled Grammar Contest

Tap into your inner curmudgeon and share your favorite mixed metaphor, mysterious company tagline or other language gaffe. You’ll be entered to win a free clear-writing or site-review consultation from writing and online communications consultant Kyla Cromer. (Kyla’s current favorite: “Qwest is becoming CenturyLink. Two companies, stronger connected.”)

December 9

[[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”media_large”,”fid”:”684″,”attributes”:{“class”:”media-image alignleft size-full wp-image-1586″,”typeof”:”foaf:Image”,”style”:””,”width”:”64″,”height”:”64″,”title”:”talance-cup”,”alt”:”talance-cup”}}]]Cutest Mug Ever and Gift Card

Share where you find design inspiration, and you’ll receive a gift card via e-mail. One lucky entrant will receive a limited edition Talance travel mug. Man, these things are cute.

December 16

[[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”media_large”,”fid”:”683″,”attributes”:{“class”:”media-image alignleft size-full wp-image-1585″,”typeof”:”foaf:Image”,”style”:””,”width”:”64″,”height”:”64″,”title”:”teach-beyond-reach-neidorf”,”alt”:”teach-beyond-reach-neidorf”}}]] Teach Beyond Your Reach Drawing

Enter to win a free copy of Robin Neidorf’s acclaimed book about e-learning Teach Beyond Your Reach: An Instructor’s Guide to Developing and Running Successful Distance Learning Classes, Workshops, Training Sessions and More. All you have to do is tell us about your favorite training activity.

December 23

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Tell us what you plan to do to make your website more findable on the web, and pick up nine quick tips for improvement. We’ll select one entrant to win a free SEO analysis and report – a $600 value!

December 30

[[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”media_large”,”fid”:”682″,”attributes”:{“class”:”media-image alignleft size-full wp-image-1584″,”typeof”:”foaf:Image”,”style”:””,”width”:”64″,”height”:”64″,”title”:”content-rules-hadley-chapman”,”alt”:”content-rules-hadley-chapman”}}]]Frankenspeak Contest with the Content Rules team

Share the words and phrases that you’d like to ban from marketing, sales, corporate communications, business schools, blogs and boardrooms, and you’ll be entered to win a copy of Content Rules, by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman. Ann is the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs and C.C. is the Founder of Digital Dads.

Logistics

Here’s how it’ll work. Every week we’ll publish a new special offer on the blog either from us or one of our trusty partners. And, because we appreciate future customers too, we’re making each offer available to anyone, whether they’ve worked with us before or not.

A new contest opens up every single week of December on the blog and runs for 30 days. Specific details about each offer will be posted with each post, so make sure you’re checking back for updates every week. You can also subscribe to the RSS feed (not sure what an RSS feed is?) or sign up for our Weekly Deal E-mail list so you don’t miss a thing.

Keep in the loop

Each week’s treat will debut on our blog, but we’ll send notifications also on our Twitter account and on our Facebook page to learn more. So, while you’re thinking about it:

Follow us on Twitter.

Like us on Facebook.

Sign up for our Weekly Deal E-mail list

Excited? We are too! From all of us at Talance: thank you!

Teach Beyond Your Reach: An Instructor’s Guide to Developing and Running Successful Distance Learning Classes, Workshops, Training Sessions and More

Learn To Listen, Get Great Ideas

QuickBooks just did something smart. They asked us what we thought of their QuickBooks Online Plus service in a survey. Since we’re a bunch of technologists who think deeply about how to make processes smoother, we told them, in detail.

Asking wasn’t the smartest part about what they did, though. Following up was. One of their software developers scheduled a phone call with us, and we all got on the phone for 20 minutes – their tech team and ours – and hashed out some really good ideas for making the service better.

The benefit for them? Good ideas that appeal to clients, expressed intelligently.

The benefit for us? The promise of better service with our online accounting system.

When was the last time you asked the people you serve what they think? Are they learning everything they can? Are they finding what they need on your website? If you ask, you might find some excellent ideas for improvement. Think of sending a website user survey as a first step. We also wrote about this last month when a reader asked us the question How Do I Get Feedback on My New Website?

Your Turn

While we’re talking about the benefits of feedback, take a minute to tell us what you think of our newsletter. You might even win a gift certificate. You lucky dog, you.

Everybody Loves a Makeover

Anybody who’s seen any teen romantic comedy worth its salt knows the makeover scene. It goes something like this (cue trendy pop song):

Cool friend takes dork friend to the mall. Dork exits the fitting room in a preppy outfit, friend shakes head. Dork tries on a rock-and-roll outfit with sunglasses, snaps fingers. Friend pushes dork back into fitting room. Dork emerges wearing the perfect outfit, looking better than friend. Friend gives one resounding nod. Transformation complete.

What’s important in those scenes is that the makeover happens with the help of a cool friend.

You, blog reader, are our cool friend, and it’s makeover time at the Talance flagship newsletter. If you subscribe to our newsletter already, great. If not, you’re probably acquainted with it through our monthly blog summaries. You can also refresh your memory by looking through our blog archive. And if you don’t subscribe, sign up now!

So help us find the perfect mix of what you want to read and find useful by taking our newsletter survey. Bonus: if you give your e-mail address, you’ll be entered into a drawing for an Amazon gift card.

Take our newsletter survey: http://bit.ly/tmnc7H

Thanks!

What Is the Coolest E-learning Video You Have Seen Online?

This is an excellent question that I found while trolling through LinkedIn Answers, but it’s not unlike standard brainstorming questions I’m asked every time we launch an e-learning project.

Read the full discussion here, or check out these highlights:

The Machine is Us/ing Us. Very creative and compelling way to tell the story of Web 2.0 through imagery.

5 Tips for Success. Really funny video created by Articulate that shows the capabilities of their product and also outlines what doesn’t work with web presentations.

Mortgage-Backed Securities. A good explanation of a complicated and possibly dry subject.

How about you? Seen any examples of e-learning videos lately that you particularly like? Add them in the comments below.

[Have a question you’d like answered? Ask on the comments form at the bottom of this page, on Twitter @talance, or on Facebook. We’ll review your question before posting (don’t be shy about asking!) and get back to you with a response.]