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: 01/28/2022

    Did M&M’s characters need a makeover?

    Herein lies the issue -- the brand managers want us to think beyond candy. I would argue most consumers enjoy M&Ms for what it is -- an iconic brand that reminds us of childhood and great memories, so we continue to purchase. I don't expect my peanut M&Ms to be a progressive social leader.
  • Posted on: 01/28/2022

    Walmart shoppers find time is well spent in new incubator store

    It would seem the approach of giving the merchandise areas a bit more breathing room, along with thoughtfully placed smart screens and QR codes will be a winning formula for expanding shopper expectations in a welcoming, relaxed manner, translating into an unexpected, positive customer experience.
  • Posted on: 01/03/2022

    Are Nike’s Member Days loyalty’s future?

    The popularity and effectiveness of Nike's Member Days reflects the power of very intentionally shaping and nurturing the customer (member) experience in a multifaceted manner, as part of the brand's longer term strategy to focus on direct-to-consumer sales and touchpoints. In exiting wholesale and third-party retail doors, then doubling down on DTC, the Nike Live format, its House of Innovation and related digital tools and apps, Nike is rewriting the script on customer loyalty programs. Other retailers and brands can certainly learn from the evolving Nike playbook, then apply the appropriate components to their retail model and customer base.
  • Posted on: 12/08/2021

    Will five banners work better than one for Wayfair as it begins to open stores?

    Given the Wayfair brand name is the one that is most widely recognized, I would suggest opening the core brand stores in a manner closely aligned to the parent company - perhaps Joss & Main by Wayfair, or AllModern - a Wayfair Company. It makes sense to test and learn which focused core brand(s) best resonate with consumers in a brick-and-mortar setting, while refining merchandising and mix to highlight the best selection of each brand's offering.
  • Posted on: 12/06/2021

    Dollar General’s Popshelf expansion shifts into high gear

    Popshelf is doing a great job of tapping into the "thrill of the hunt" shopping experience, with always-changing merchandise at terrific price points. The store formats are fresh, clean and well-organized, making the in-store experience enjoyable. The positioning of this concept will put pressure on several seasonal and home decor retailers: Home Goods, Michael's, TJ Maxx, Target, Hobby Lobby, etc., many of whom will be challenged to compete at Popshelf's price points.
  • Posted on: 11/17/2021

    Will new curbside-recyclable insulated packaging give Amazon a sustainable grocery edge?

    As one of the largest producers/sources of packaging materials, it is great to see Amazon taking the lead and setting the standard for recyclables. Customer education should be a part of this initiative, with every curbside delivery, given consumer behavior around recycling is the most challenging piece of this equation.
  • Posted on: 09/21/2021

    What’s Kroger doing most right?

    Five years ago Kroger had no digital sales platform. Today it generates $10 billion in revenue and is quickly on its way to $20 billion, with significant market share to be gained. This initiative will clearly have the most significant impact on the company's long-term success.
  • Posted on: 09/15/2021

    Will the Kroger/Instacart deal redefine grocery shopping convenience in America?

    This is a transformative, game-changing move on the part of Kroger and Instacart. In reaching 50 million households, and offering all-day plus late-night delivery, Kroger has redefined convenience for its customers who traditionally shop in-store while enhancing the experience for those already ordering online.
  • Posted on: 09/08/2021

    Will its Public Lands concept store help Dick’s conquer the great outdoors?

    I'm looking forward to seeing this concept perform well. Public Lands is timely, immersive and mission-driven in a way that aligns nicely with customer needs and aspirations. It looks to take the best of REI and create the next iteration of what an outdoor lifestyle retailer can be, in a unique and fresh way.
  • Posted on: 08/30/2021

    Can IKEA’s store layout still amaze without a maze?

    IKEA is a masterful retailer. The new pilot store formats convey they are confident in their unwavering focus on shopper immersion and a unique, experiential offering, while being much more nimble and responsive to today's customer preferences. Customers won't miss the maze, so long as the sense of discovery is maintained.
  • Posted on: 08/26/2021

    Should grocers take a lead role supporting weight loss efforts online?

    This study highlights a shopper need state largely going unmet, and an opportunity for grocers to strengthen their relationship with their weight and health-conscious customers. A handful of grocers, including Hy-Vee and H-E-B, have developed online and in-store programs focused on nutritional counseling, healthy meal planning and overall individual wellness. H-E-B offers one-on-one sessions with registered dietitians, personalized weight-loss health testing and customized meal plans, both virtually and in-person. Hy-Vee has taken health and well-being services a step further, with their online platform Healthie. Shoppers are able to access dietitian services, meal planning, heart health screenings, join a plant-based eating group, and through their Healthy Habits menu program access dietitian-inspired simple recipes, convenient grocery lists, balanced meal plans and weekly one-on-ones with a dietitian to track progress, ask questions and stay motivated. These two retailers appear to be the exception when it comes to online tools helping their customers lose weight and make healthier meal choices, leaving plenty of opportunity for others to recognize and address the needs and expectations of this customer segment.
  • Posted on: 08/23/2021

    Has Old Navy charted a course for all retail to follow on plus-sizes?

    This is a solid move on Old Navy's part toward reducing the stigma that can so often come with the plus-size apparel shopping experience. I love that they're merchandising all sizes together, using plus-size mannequins and doing away with the separate plus-size section in the stores. The campaign's messaging of inclusivity and Old Navy being a welcoming place for everyone sets a new standard for others to follow, or ignore at their own risk.
  • Posted on: 08/17/2021

    Will a Prime-style subscription service take Albertsons business to a new level?

    The past eighteen months have given rise to a substantial segment of grocery shoppers preferring curbside pickup or home delivery. This new Albertsons program, one of three announced this week, will help cement loyalty with the latter segment, provided speed and consistency in meeting delivery times is achieved. Albertsons is waking up from its slumber and may soon be viewed as an innovator.
  • Posted on: 08/17/2021

    Are over-attentive associates creeping shoppers out?

    Given the high level of staff turnover in most retailers, coupled with reductions in customer interaction and sales training, most brands are simply unable to find that sweet spot of being attentive, but not overly so. I would bet revisiting this study now would unfortunately show an even higher percentage of consumers who are quick to feel uneasy with salesperson interactions, as everyone has become accustomed to contactless shopping. I do agree with fellow panelist comments that initiating rapport with "Is there anything in particular you're looking for..." can go a long way and is generally a welcomed greeting.
  • Posted on: 08/16/2021

    Are four drive-thru lanes better than two?

    This new concept will be embraced by Taco Bell's customers, with a clear focus on speed, convenience and a frictionless (contactless) experience. I'd bet the next iteration will be along the lines of Wendy's recent news with Reef: delivery-only ghost kitchens.

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