Kirsten wrote about the recent Undercover Boss episode featuring Kendall-Jackson CEO Rick Tigner and you all loved it! We are all about pleasing our readers so we reached out to Kendall-Jackson to see if Rick would be willing to answer a couple of questions about the episode. Rick was gracious and answered all of our questions.
In addition to our questions Kendall-Jackson has posted new behind-the-scenes video content at http://wow.kj.com/. There is more information on Laura and Marcos and how Rick came up with the name Jake Williams.
Thanks again to Rick and Michaela at Kendall-Jackson for their assistance!
All images used in this article are courtesy CBS and used with permission.
How did you get involved with the show Undercover Boss? What made you decide to do this?
After being president for less than two years and following the passing of our founder Jess Jackson, I felt this was a perfect opportunity to look, listen and learn. It was a great chance to both check in on the company's values and the passion of our employees, and to see what could be done to continue to improve the organization. Presidents often want to fly at 30,000 feet but sometimes you have to fly at 3 feet to really learn how to make a company even better - something Jess Jackson said was important for any good leader.
You mentioned "concierge level service" - what does that entail other than the delivery driver service?
A concierge level of service applies to everything we do, every interaction we have with the public, our customers, the vendors we work with. Our goal is to treat others with respect and to meet their needs in a timely manner, whether that be by delivering a case of wine at a certain time or responding to a wine club member who e-mailed us with a question about a bottle of Chardonnay they recently purchased. Kendall-Jackson is what it is today because of the people who are involved -- both within the company and those who love and support our wines, and we want people to know that we recognize them and appreciate them.
How hard was it to keep your mouth shut when the truck driver was talking with such a bad attitude? What did you wish you could have said?
To be honest, I didn't know what to do. It was a difficult moment. I didn't know if I should blow my cover, if I should stop the show, or what. I don't regret what I said or did, and I'm glad to have met Rene. The truth comes in many different forms, and meeting Rene allowed us to make improvements to help our drivers and streamline the delivery process.
What is the status of the language training and Management programs you said you were going to implement?
We've implemented a broad language training program to teach Spanish and English across our employee base. Launched late last year, and using a combination of on-premise training, junior college tuition credits and online learning through Rosetta Stone, over 150 employees are currently improving their language skills.
Is Rene back driving trucks with a different attitude?
Yes, Rene remains with the company. During his 30-day break from the trucks, he spent a week each working with sales, the warehouse and the front office to get a more 360-degree view of the entire shipping and delivery operation. While this helped increase his knowledge of and connection to the broader team, he also made helpful suggestions to improve some paperwork issues, which we've now adopted. We also launched a code of conduct for our drivers, and have implemented a new 5-step customer service training process.
Where did Savannah go to work?
Savannah was a great employee and we're grateful for her contributions -- as well as what she taught us being on the show. She left the company for personal reasons. We're sad to see her go.
Where did Marcos take his wife on vacation?
Marcos and his wife took a short vacation in October and went to Avila Beach on the Central Coast. They are still planning a larger trip. Marcos tells me his dream trip involves a warm beach in the Caribbean.