Customer Experience is #1 – McDonald’s Turnaround

Customer Experience is job #1 for most brands and companies.   After a long downturn for the industry giant McDonalds has had two consecutive quarters of positive growth and results once again move them on top of the competition.   In the end it appears that customer experience is the focal point of their efforts, and the changes made to menu and service are what impacted sales more than any other attribute.  This article by Gartner for Marketing Leaders highlights this success. 


McDonald’s Turnaround–A Story Of Customer Experience Success

By Augie Ray | January 26, 2016 | 0 Comments

You may have heard that McDonald’s announced strong quarterly results yesterday. The quick-service restaurant chain reported a 5% increase in global same-store sales and the second quarter in a row of same-store sales growth in the U.S. after seven quarters of declines.

What’s remarkable (or perhaps not) about this tale of corporate turnaround is that no one, including McDonald’s CEO, is attributing it to any changes in traditional marketing. Virtually no mention is made of campaigns, advertising, content, social media, promotion or the like. This success story is all about customer experience–of changes not to messaging but to the product and service experience offered to consumers at each touchpoint.

The primary change driving McDonald’s recent success is the chain’s decision to offer all-day breakfast, but on the earnings call, CEO Steve Easterbrook also called out CX improvements such as a new streamlined menu, improved order accuracy, investments in food quality and ingredients, and menu simplification. McDonald’s implemented many changes this past year, including how Quarter Pounders are made to improve flavor, removing sandwiches from its menu to speed ordering and customer service, replacing margarine with real butter on its breakfast sandwiches, and increasing hourly wage and adding benefits to address concerns over workers’ compensation.

Certainly marketing and promotion played a part in getting the word out about these changes, but whether you read about McDonald’s turnaround on CNBC’s mad MoneyFortune or Business Insider, you will not find the words “marketing,” “advertising” or “content” in these articles. The thorough Business Insider review of McDonald’s 2015 actions mentions a single promotion among the 19 changes McDonald’s made in 2015–the launch of the McPick 2 deal.

Gartner has noted that “Customer Experience Is the New Competitive Battlefield” for marketers. McDonald’s just demonstrated how battles are won (and customer experience ROI is delivered) in the war for consumer attention, consideration and preference.

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1 Comments to “Customer Experience is #1 – McDonald’s Turnaround”

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