2009.19 | Harvesting Ideas

In a time when costs have to be cut and doing something new is important to differentiate yourself in a cluttered landscape, what better way to move forward than to ask your customers? Think of the power that can be derived from a true interactive organized suggestion box.

Starbucks started doing it last year with My Starbucks Idea, where anyone can go online and make a suggestion about improving the customer experience in any way. Members can vote on ideas to help the company gauge customer interest. This takes the power of the suggestion box, adds the knowledge of a Customer User Group, and establishes a sense of community that would be hard to duplicate in other ways.

There is even a band of customers on Starbucks’ site pushing the mobile ordering and self order kiosks, (35000 votes for a kiosk as of Apr 27) which I heartily endorse. While more difficult to implement in real life than these people probably realize, with the ideal interface to the baristas more likely a printer with stickers to put on cups than a kitchen display based on my experience in the store, I think it would work well.

This solution is powered by Salesforce.com’s Ideas platform.   For a great example of this sort of social information sharing check out AskMeFi.

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