Jim Skinner, McDonalds Vice-Chairman and CEO, leads a company that has seen a dramatic increase in results in the last few years (quadrupled their dividend to $1.2B over the past four years and raised the stock price from $25 to a peak of $65). Jim started out as a McDonald’s restaurant manager trainee in 1971 in Carpentersville, Ill and worked his way to the top job. Jim stays connected to his company, employees, and customers by eating a McDonald’s lunch every day – that’s right every day.
Skinner says “The moment of truth is the moment we interact with our customer.” He’s proud of the fact that he’s the same guy that went into the job. Yet Skinner has been leading a lot of change at McDonald’s, engineering a major turnaround and proving to Wall Street and to Main Street that the secret to peddling more Big Macs, McGriddles and Happy Meals is as old as the business of sales itself: Give the customers what they want.
Coach Kevin’s Challenge:
Most business leaders lose touch with the customers they serve. Try these solutions for getting a first-hand customer experience for your business:
• In a retail environment, talk to people coming in and out of your business who bought or didn’t buy something (ask outside the hearing range of your employees)
• Phone ten customers who purchased from you in the last week
• Email the last ten customers and ask them about their experience
• Talk to people in your service department to get feedback about people in sales
• Talk to people in sales to get feedback about people in service (with the appropriate filters)
• Make sure that you are using your own products or services and if possible, be a customer of your best competitors
What have you done today to have a customer experience with your products and services?