I hope you enjoy this "guest post" by Heather Johnson
Recently, Starbucks Corp. launched a Website that is specifically devoted to collecting feedback from customers. My Starbucks Idea asks coffee enthusiasts around the world what they think the company should do to improve its service. Naturally, thousands of suggestions have flooded in.
While some may be quick to dismiss this site as merely a virtual suggestion box, marketing experts know better. Starbucks is actually listening to its customers and will undoubtedly reap the rewards.
My Starbucks Idea is interactive and allows visitors to vote on their favorite suggestions. Currently, some of the top-rated ideas include:
• Free cup of coffee on a customer's birthday
• Punch card system that earns a free coffee when completed
• Reusable Cups
• Free Wi-Fi at all Starbucks locations
This site also contains a regularly updated blog, Ideas in Action. There, Starbucks is alerting the public to any customer suggestions that are actually being implemented.
It is interesting to note that the site is powered by Salesforce.com, a current leader in the world of CRM. Indeed, My Starbucks Idea serves as the perfect lifeline between customers and the corporation. People come to the site to suggest ideas, vote on ideas and discuss ideas. Essentially, this is a social networking tool that works to everyone's benefit. A brilliant strategy on the part of Starbucks, I wouldn't be surprised if more companies develop a similar platform.
Heather Johnson is a freelance business, finance and economics writer, as well as a regular contributor at Business Credit Cards, a site for best business credit card and best business credit card offers. Heather welcomes comments and freelancing job inquiries at her email address