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What’s perking in customers’ minds?

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in Office Technology

When it’s time to reinvigorate your company, what do you do? Whose ideas do you listen to? How do you know whether your customers will stick with you through change?

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is in the process of using customers’ advice to update his recently battered brand. And he’s using technology to do it, in the form of “Ideas” software platform from Salesforce.com (which last year Michael Dell also used to understand what Dell customers want).

On MyStarbucksIdeas.com, customers can make suggestions, other customers can vote on and discuss them, and Starbucks can decide which changes to adopt. Example: More than 10,000 customers were annoyed by the hole in the lid top that allowed coffee to slosh out. So Starbucks introduced reusable “splash sticks.”

Schultz tapped 48 employees to act as online discussion hosts. They also advocate for customers’ suggestions back at their departments.

—Adapted from “Taking it to the … Web. Starbucks wants your ideas.” Tricia Liebert, IT News Digest.

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