Sunday, December 2, 2012

Cereal, Service, and Schools

My wife went to the store today to do some grocery shopping.  One of the items on our list was cereal.  Specifically, it is a Kellogg's brand of cereal with "Special" in the name.

At the store, she was unable to find the"Special" cereal.  She also couldn't find a single store employee in the area near the cereal aisle to ask about the inventory.  However, she did see a Kellogg's representative (the woman was wearing a Kellogg's shirt) one aisle over.  Since the "Special" cereal is a Kellogg's brand, my wife wanted to ask if the rep knew about the inventory.

When asked about the "Special" cereal, the rep quickly pointed out (and in a not too friendly manner) that she didn't work for the store.  My wife recognized that fact, but asked if the woman knew if the store was selling the "Special" brand.  At that point, the Kellogg's rep "educated" my wife to the fact that not only did she (the rep) not work at the store, but didn't handle cereal - she was a cookies and chips person.

Needless to say, my wife's effort to get an answer stopped there and she purchased a different cereal - not a Kellogg's brand.

The point is that this rep had two chances to show off her companies commitment to customer service.  maybe she did, but if so, it says a lot (or very little) about the desire to make a connection between the company and its customers.  We could have been Kellogg's customers for life, but instead have no more of a reason to buy their brand now than before - maybe even less of a reason.

What does this say about schools?  We often wear our "brand" in public.  When presented with an opportunity do we engage in a meaningful way about our school or do we only do "cookies and chips?"

Maybe Kellogg's, or at least this rep, needs to reflect on their relationship with their customers and adopt a FRITR philosophy: Friendly, Reliable, Interactive, Trustworthy, Responsive.  This ONE aspect of Thrivapy would have made a huge difference in one family's choice of cereal.

What about potential families and their choice for school?
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