Jeff Hall

President, Second To None

In the course of a 25-year career helping brands deliver consistent, authentic and intentional customer experiences, Jeff brings an innovative approach to customer experience measurement and analytics across diverse industries. His firm, Second To None, is particularly adept at helping leading brands realize their customer experience potential by fusing brand lens insights (operational measures) with the customer lens (feedback and perception) in order to drive business performance. Jeff brings a deeply informed approach to measuring and optimizing customer-centric retail and restaurant experiences.

At Second To None, he leads an experienced group of customer experience strategists and analysts in working on the design and execution of mystery shopping, voice of customer and operations/sales compliance solutions for such clients as Patagonia, Krispy Kreme, Starbucks, Bose, UnitedHealth Group, Target, Staples, Harris Teeter and Citibank. Jeff also leads the firm’s strategic initiatives, including client solutions offerings, product/technology development and consulting services.

Jeff has appeared on MSNBC’s Your Business and his comment have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Nation’s Restaurant News. The firm which he founded, Second To None, has appeared in BusinessWeek while being recognized three years running as one of Inc. Magazine’s fastest growing private companies. Jeff is also a speaker on customer experience issues and trends. He has served as president of the Mystery Shopping Providers Association and is a founding director of the International Mystery Shopping Alliance. He is also an avid runner, biker and golfer.

  • Posted on: 07/25/2016

    White lies, sales fibs and the customer experience

    It is unfortunate that in some retail settings, where sales associates are partially commissioned or bonused for performance and find themselves in a high-pressure environment, white lies and similar transgressions become a part of the culture, ingrained in the sales process. Allowing this behavior is the sign of a brand in decline. Consumers are not only much more savvy in sensing they're being misled, but much more apt to share and amplify their experiences with friends, family and across social media. Little white lies chip away at brand equity and consumer trust in a manner more magnified than ever. Once trust is compromised, recovery is nearly impossible.
  • Posted on: 06/29/2016

    What does it take to deliver on the promise of customer centricity?

    The ability to deliver on the promise of customer-centricity is dependent upon:
    1. The customer experience being designed from both the brand lens and the customer lens. Too often, brands design customer centricy only from an inside-out perspective. Understanding customer preferences and priorities must also inform CX design. What is important to you might not be a customer priority, and vice versa.
    2. Enabling and empowering front-line associates to deliver on your brand promise, and the customer-centric expectations it creates, in such a manner that the experience comes across as intentional, consistent and authentic.
    3. Creating brand/organizational insights as to how well you are achieving customer-centricity — by measuring performance, rewarding the right associate behaviors and focusing on continual improvement around the key drivers having the most significant impact on satisfaction, loyalty and revenue.
  • Posted on: 06/28/2016

    Barnes & Noble to sell beer & wine in new concept stores

    Barnes & Noble restaurants with a focus on beer and wine would seem to reflect a focus on the evening shopper. Does this align with the highest volumes of their customer traffic? If so, the concepts may prove to be a great way of encouraging customers to stay longer and spend more, while making the stores more interesting and experiential.
  • Posted on: 06/27/2016

    The independent retailer lives on

    In our Ann Arbor market, we have a very strong ecosystem of independent retailers. More than utilizing technology, these brands excel at relationship-building, recognizing and appreciating their customers, supporting the local community, staying visible on social media and offering unique in-store experiences. These are the qualities consumers crave — a personalized shopping or dining experience and interacting with genuine, authentic business owners.
  • Posted on: 06/27/2016

    Amazon Dash gets a smart button rival

    The button concept — simple, convenient and quick — is appealing, though in reality likely to be embraced by a very small segment of the market. Who truly wants to have several buttons stuck to their walls, inside cabinets, etc. all around their house? As others have made note, voice-activated ordering will likely emerge as the dominant winner in this tech race.
  • Posted on: 06/22/2016

    Will luxury shoppers buy electric cars at Nordstrom?

    This is a great PR win for both brands. Assuming this expands to more Nordstrom locations, Tesla is able to expand its footprint of showrooms at a relatively low cost, with many coming to new geographic markets where Tesla has no presence. Though it is unlikely a Nordstrom shopper will purchase in-store, the customer demographics are nicely aligned. It creates Tesla brand exposure and may drive more traffic to Nordstrom simply out of curiosity.
  • Posted on: 05/16/2016

    Will become the king of private label?

    A robust private label strategy signals Amazon's continued maturation in dominating so much of e-commerce. Household items and staples will be met with the lowest degree of resistance. Over time, food could do well, provided they get it right with quality. Costco, Publix, CVSHealth and the like have the advantage of consumer trust around private label, at least for now.

Contact Jeff