McDonald’s New Position Elevates Focus on Valued Customers

Facing sinking fiscal numbers for the first time in a decade, McDonald’s wants to connect with its loyal customers in a bigger and better way and enhance the overall experience.

To that end, the world’s largest restaurant chain created a new position known as Vice President, Customer Officer. Filling that new position is Fred Ehle.

“Fred will be focused on customer insights and enabling us to engage with our customers in a more powerful and relevant manner,” Lisa McComb, Director, McDonald’s Media Relations told Loyalty360. “He’ll be spending his time with his team acting on opportunities to improve McDonald’s overall customer experience and driving segment-driven customer experiences under the McDonald’s brand. His role confirms our elevated focus on our valued customers.”

Ehle had spent four years as Vice President, Brand Management, at PulteGroup prior to coming to McDonald’s.

Same-store U.S. sales for McDonald’s dropped 2.8% in August following a 3.2% decline in July.

After the company’s first-quarter results were announced in April, CEO Don Thompson said, for the long term, McDonald’s was focused on more effectively leveraging consumer insights to guide its global growth priorities of optimizing its menu, modernizing the customer experience, and broadening accessibility to the brand.

“We are intent on pursuing initiatives that will strengthen our relationship with our customers to reignite our business momentum,” Thompson said in April.

Regarding McDonald’s declining sales, growing competition in the fast-food segment could be a factor as well as Burger King has introduced $1 sandwiches and last fall brought back its “Big King” sandwich. In late March, Taco Bell began selling breakfast items such as sausage burritos and Cinnabon bites.

McDonald’s reported that its net income fell 5.1%, to $1.2 billion, during the first quarter. 

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