For the past 3 years I've sent out a brief survey to our email list that I'm sure many of you are familiar with: "How likely are you to recommend RSR to your friends, family, or colleagues?" - The overall response can safely be characterized as "Pretty dang likely."
At the end of July I sent out a slightly different survey, asking folks to tell us 3 words that come to mind when they think about RSR. When I fed the results into a word cloud generator the top three words were: quality, taste, & delicious.
What coffee roaster wouldn't be proud of that? "Local" was also word that appeared frequently. While it's true that we happily have customers in almost all 50 states in the US, we are heavily supported by folks here in our home state of Iowa. The fact that we're located in a small town in a rural county also popped up a few times.
Somewhat humorously, my own name popped up a few times. Probably from friends and family (thanks for skewing the results, guys! 😂) - but what it illustrates to me is that one thing that people appreciate about RSR is the personal touch. Whether it's been me or Jess in the past, or now Jenny & Ella who are hand-writing "Thank you's" on packing slips as orders go out the door, it's been a very small number of humans behind the brand and the product.
Our 3 core values since day one have been: Quality, Freshness, & Relationships - The first of those came back to us directly from customers in this survey, so we seem to be delivering on that value. And that my name and "personal" also came up illustrates that we're also making good on the last value. Oh and "fresh" came up, too, so we seem to be covering all 3 of our core values in the eyes of our customers. That makes me very happy and proud.
Am I just tooting our own horn here? Maybe a bit. But as I indicated in the last blog post, RSR is going through a "re-visioning" process to carry us through the next 3-5 years. One of my goals is to grow RSR beyond what we've achieved in our first 7 years and growth will bring change. But as we grow, I want to ensure we stay true to our core values and to continually check that against what customers actually think about us and how we're doing.
So keep us accountable, folks. We'll keep trying hard to be awesome and stay true to our values. We're here for you in the pursuit of Good Coffee!