business news in context, analysis with attitude

Regarding Walmart's decision to match BOGO offers by competing Florida retailers - but only when asked to do so by shoppers at checkout - one MNB user wrote:

Torture is the only thing that comes to my mind when I think of the checkout process at Walmart.  Now throw in a question, discussion and remediation of an individual item price, on say, a bag of apples?  Oh my, it makes me want to poke my eyes with a sharp stick.

Responding to Michael Sansolo's column this week about companies that poll shoppers but only want people who will give them good ratings to answer the questions, one MNB user wrote:

The best explanation for this seems to be that someone does not really want to know the results. They want the illusion of knowing the results. This management decision then caromed into the craziness you experienced.

From another:

I read your eye opener about businesses asking you to score them 9 or 10.  This has happened to me only at the Car dealer....ironically one of the few places anyone would ever rank a 9 or 10.  They basically begged me to give them the highest score....when the service they provide is normally average or below.  I did not comply with their request.  If you want me as a customer to rank you highly, then deliver on the service.  I use Yelp and travel advisor almost exclusively as the measure of how businesses are treating customers.  I make many choices to avoid places based on what I hear from the customer.  And I find that the customer is usually accurate about places listed on these sites.  Word of mouth has always been the strongest form of advertising, and will continue to be. 
In my role as a supermarket leader, our customers are given a real survey (paid for their time), and the customers give real specific feedback on almost every area of the shopping trip.  These surveys are evaluated (at least 100 per store in a one month period), and the store leadership is responsible -accountable for the results.  As a leader, the product I deliver (service, quality, experience) is measured directly by my customers.....and this is how we are continually a market leader.

MNB user Pete Deeb wrote:

Michael is on point with his customer service points ... I refuse to do surveys that ask for good scores and I only give them when deserved. It disheartens me that my attempts to critique and improve service are met with a quick push of the delete button!

And from another:

The reason retail employees ask for the perfect score is that the surveys only give credit to a store or department if the score is perfect. On one such survey, the rating is 1 through 5. If you receive a “5” you get a 100%. If you receive a “4” you get 0%. So, store managers devise all sorts of tricks to get the “5’s.” They ask for them! They tell their employees to ask for them and they even go to extreme measures- picking up discarded receipts from the floor and calling in the surveys themselves. As part of a store manager group, I once asked why the rating system was based on the perfect score and I only got a vague answer. So, I suggested that we use the same system in our Employee Satisfaction Surveys. The looks I received were hilarious. To survive in this retail environment, Leaders need the truth. The problem is that they have surrounded themselves with people who are good at telling them what they want to hear. “Garbage In, Garbage Out!”

On another subject, one MNB user wrote:

Re: bundling of movie ticket and digital copies of movies for home. Are people willing to buy a video copy of a movie they haven’t seen yet? Not me. This only makes sense to me if you can track repeat visits (i.e., people plunking down the cash to see the same movie in theaters more than once) or if someone is a diehard of a certain franchise (Fast Five comes to mind), and in the latter case clearly an electronic download should be an option (vs. a DVD). I’d bundle this as: rate the movie you just saw, get an x% discount on the home version (format of choice), and then share your rating with friends via social media.
It may make as much sense to offer this bundling on popular books that are in movie development. New movie based on the book by Tom Clancy (RIP)? Buy the book, get a discounted movie ticket (and then the purchase offer after seeing the movie).

And responding to Mrs. Content Guy's criticism of my approach to the case in which a bunch of kids in Los Angeles hacked the iPads they were given and used them to access social media and games, which the iPads were supposed to prevent. I thought they should be commended for original thinking, but she saw the social contract breaking down.

MNB user Gary Loehr wrote:

It would appear that you just had your knuckles rapped with a ruler. Consider yourself on detention.

I love it when she raps my knuckles and puts me in detention....
KC's View: