Sunday, February 20, 2011

What Do Dominos and EPA Have In Common? They LISTEN!

I never had a favorite national pizza chain until recently, when Dominos Pizza rolled out one of the best customer service campaigns I’ve seen. Have you seen the commercial where Dominos CEO, Patrick Doyle, displays a photo that was posted on Domino’s website showing pizza toppings horribly stuck to the top of the box? Patrick looks at the camera and addresses Bryce in Minnesota, who posted the photo, telling him “we’re listening…this isn’t right. We’ve got to fix it.”

It’s part of their “Dominos Pizza Turnaround” effort, where they really pulled out the stops to LISTEN to their customers (focus groups, online surveys with every order, etc.), respect what customers told them, and make changes accordingly. I’ll tell you – they convinced me. I tried their products, and I do think they improved.  This is a smart company. They know if you want satisfied customers, you’ve got to keep listening to them and do something about it when they tell you what needs to be fixed.

That brings me to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Have you looked at lately? You should. They are making terrific changes, based on what their customers want. For one thing, they now have a single design for the entire site. No more different designs for different sub-organizations. A common design makes it so much easier for customers to use the site.

But the feature I’m most excited about is the local information. Go to the EPA home page, find your state on the US map, click, and – bingo – you’ve got easy-to-use information about what’s going on where you live…things you and I actually care about. Or you can put in your zip code, and – presto! – you get info about air, water, and pollutants in your community.

Citizens want that local connection. Heck, we started hearing that back in the 1990s. They want to know what you’re doing to help them in their states and communities. They want to know what services you offer them where they live – not in Washington, DC.

EPA listened and gave their customers what they want. Believe me, I know it wasn’t easy – it took a ton of work (and it will continue to be a lot of work). But they did it because they care about customer service, and it’s what their customers want.

There’s more. On EPA’s front page – right in the middle – are “popular topics.” And you can find top tasks – those things their customers want most – at the top right of each of the three major sections of the site (Learn the Issues, Science and Technology, Laws and Regulations). Helping customers find what they want as fast as possible is a huge part of providing great customer service.

Too many times, federal government agencies force customers to go on a treasure hunt through their huge websites. EPA makes us feel that this big government agency cares about what we want, and they’ve taken steps to make it easy for us to find it and use it. Kudos to Jeffrey Levy, Karen Reshkin, the great EPA web communications team and the EPA executives who are making customers a priority! That’s great public service.

It takes real effort to listen to your customers AND make the changes customers want. And here’s the key - it’s not a one-time thing. It’s an ongoing, iterative process. Dominos and EPA are doing the work, and they’ll be rewarded with satisfied customers.

Dominos nailed it: “We’re still listening. We’re gonna learn. We’re gonna get better.”

Related Post
Customer Service Mantra: Listen, Respect, Follow

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