Do you have the right employees for your customer strategy?


man_smile_1.jpgWhen I make my monthly visit to my neighborhood PetCo I often stop at the near-by Jack In The Box drive-thru for a quick meal.  Up until a month ago this Jack In The Box was closed for several weeks to do some remodeling.  It just so happens that I have been there three times in the last month, which for me is a lot.  It’s also a lot of trips to the pet store, but that’s another story.

So once the Jack in the Box re-opened I was curious what improvments they made.  My answer came during my third visit of the month where I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted at the window by a very friendly and engaging young woman.  As she handed me my receipt she pointed out the invitation at the bottom of it inviting me to take their “Voice of the Customer” survey (wow, these folks all really current with their buzz words).  Little did she know that those words were like magic to my ears 🙂  I played coy and said “survey?” She then went on to tell me that I should take the survey to tell them what I thought of the remodel.  I told her I noticed they had been closed for a while and wondered why.  She very happily went on to tell me about the new interior, that I could now get lattes, new desserts, and watch TV on their new flat panel screens, etc.  She said I really should stop in and check it out. 

Now I don’t know if my next latte will be at Jack In The Box, but as I drove away I was really impressed with how excited that woman was about all the new changes.  I also wondered why I was only handed a receipt on my last two visits with no similar personal invitation to take their survey.

The critical element for all of us that work in the world of “Customers” is to not forget about the people we rely on to implement and execute our customer relationship strategy and tactics.  Be sure you have the right people in “customer facing” positions.  Will they be able to implement the strategy? Do they have the right skills, or will new staff be required? Are they engaging, are they good listeners, do they enjoy providing good service, do they want to take the time to do what is right for the customer, and do they enjoy their job?   Let’s also keep in mind we have to do a great job of communicating the strategy, why it’s important, how to make it come to life, and reward those who get it and live it.

A side note about their survey.  I recently wrote about feedback incentives.  The Jack In The Box incentive was to be entered into a sweepstakes where I could win $10,000.  Now I know that is a lot of money, but I have never found sweepstakes to be a great incentive for survey responses.  The odds are typically poor, and most people won’t be excited to respond.  But if I do win the $10K, I’ll be sure get my dog some wonderful new toys! 

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What’s Your Opinion Worth?


I’ve had two experiences recently where I was offered an incentive to provide feedback about my experience. At the end of my PetCo receipt was an offer for $2 off my next purchase if I would complete their online survey. LaSalsa, a Mexican fast-food eatery, was offering a free a la carte entre if I called their toll-free number to complete a touch-tone phone survey. Companies are starting to get creative as they realize consumers are over-whelmed with requests for their feedback. I found the PetCo survey simple and well constructed. The LaSalsa survey was 10 questions long and my only critque is that they used different response scales for their questions. With phone surveys you need to keep things consistent and easily understood – if your user is not an auditory person they will get easily frustrated. What other incentives are you seeing out their in return for your feedback? OK – off to lunch at LaSalsa and then on to PetCo where I’ll be getting my dog a new toy.