Carolyn Browne Tamler

has helped hundreds of businesses and organizations with her thoughtful facilitation and research services. She also writes colorful and compelling articles about new business initiatives! Would this help you? Call Carolyn today!

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    2055 Pheasant Farm Lane
    Freeland, WA 98249

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    3-8-18 Getting zip codes provides important information about your customers

    One of the most basic pieces of information you need when you have a store front business or a business out of your home is knowing where your customers live.

    A simple method to answer this question is to create a system where you get the zip code of every person who comes into your business or contacts you to make a purchase.  This can be done on a computer or by doing listings and hatch marks on a piece of paper near your register (OK, I know this doesn’t sound very high-tech, but it works).

    You can keep track of these zip code tabulations by the month or season, or after you have done a new advertisement or special promotion.

    Once you see the patterns, it can provide you with valuable information about where to focus your advertising dollars. You can also recognize when your customers are locals, rather than tourists.



    3-1-18 Training employees to genuinely connect with customers is a great way to build your business

    Rich and I recently took a short trip to Mexico with a planned stopover in Los Angeles to visit with family before coming back to Whidbey. We had an experience with Alaska Airlines that I have shared with just about everyone I have talked with since we returned.

    Taxiing out of the airport in Puerto Vallarta for the trip to Los Angeles, Rich became ill and was escorted to the front of the plane where he briefly passed out.  Flight attendants and a medical person who was on board came to his aid, giving him oxygen and talking to him. They all made an effort to comfort me (as well as him).

    In the midst of this trauma a man from Alaska Airlines who was a “Customer Service Lead” came on the plane, gave me his card, and told me he would take care of our luggage, and in a very sincere way told me to call him when I knew what was happening with my husband. He assured me he would take care of our luggage and could arrange another flight when we were able to fly.

    An ambulance was called and Rich (with me in the front seat) and I were transported to a local hospital. At the hospital (which was a modern, excellent hospital), he went through two hours of testing and checking before they pronounced him fine (it was food poisoning and dehydration).

    I called the man from Alaska. He was genuinely happy with the news and got us the last two seats on a 5:30 p.m. flight the next day. He told us to meet him at the check in desk for Alaska. When we arrived at the desk, he quickly came out to meet us, gave me the tickets for our flight the next day and our luggage, helped us get a hotel that had arrangements with Alaska and gave us a voucher for the taxi to take us there. There was another customer service person who also helped with what was needed at the time of the incident and the next day when we returned to check in.

    Other than not knowing what was wrong with Rich, the whole experience was peaceful and pleasurable. I was impressed not only with how the situation was handled, but with the kind, honest way Alaska staff worked with us. It’s my belief that Alaska makes a point of training their employees to be this way.

    It’s also my belief that all employers need to get the same message of customer care to their employees. Every business will do better if good customer care is part of the customer experience.


    2-22-18 Visual, literary and performing arts are good for business

    In the weekly “Business Spotlight” that I do for Whidbey Local ( , I often include articles about galleries, shows and musical performances.  At first glance, it might seem that these stories don’t relate to business (although there are many businesses based upon the arts).

    But, the arts provide a major draw for tourists and locals, and in many communities are a significant, and sometimes a major, draw for the other businesses in the community.

    We just returned from a vacation in Sayulita Mexico, an authentic Mexican town of about 5,000 people.  The town has lots of tourists from the States, Canada, Mexico, and many other places.  And, along with many interesting retail stories, there are many art galleries.  Restaurants often have musicians performing. What is obvious there, and should be obvious here on Whidbey, is that the arts play a major role in generating revenue for the local businesses.

    A person might have a special interest in certain kinds of art galleries, but they are also likely to impulse buy items from other stores, and, of course, beverages and food from the local businesses that provide them.

    Here on Whidbey, many also come to attend concerts, theater productions and visit art galleries, adding to the revenues of the local businesses.


    2-8-18 Make sure you take a tour of the wineries over the next two weekends!

    There are lots of great events throughout the year on Whidbey, but one of my personal favorites is the red wine and chocolate tour.  It’s a lovely way for you to give visitors a tour of the island, and it’s always fun to pretend you’re a tourist and visit all of the participating wineries.

    The 2018 Red Wine and Chocolate Tour on Whidbey Island

    February 10-11 and 17-18

    For more information and tickets visit:



    2-1-18 What is a statistically valid survey? 

    There are a lot of public opinion surveys right now, especially with all that is surrounding President Trump and the upcoming elections in 2018.

    How a sample is chosen and how a question is asked determine if a survey result will truly be providing projectable, statistically valid data.

    A random sample means that everyone in a given population has an equal chance of being selected. Anything that alters this concept biases the results and makes it unlikely that a survey can be an accurate prediction of a given population.

    If you sample everyone who is registered to vote—this will include a lot of people who will not vote.

    If you sample likely voters in a way that excludes certain elements of the population (such as neighborhoods with a lot of low-income or minority populations), it’s likely that the results will not be accurate for the entire population being sampled.

    If you sample using a self-select method (such as a Survey Monkey or some other on-line survey or a mail survey) it will exclude people who simply have no interest in responding.

    As part of the survey methodology, the survey company will want to have a screening question, (assuming they are using a list of registered voters) such as: “Are you planning to vote in the next election in your community?”

    Surveys are a snapshot of the moment. If a major event happens that is widely reported in the news a few days before the polling is done, that will definitely affect the results.

    It is also important to check, if you can, to see who is conducting the survey to see if it is a legitimate survey company and not simply one that is financed by a particular political party or promoting something,  

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