How a pizza chain provides good customer engagement

I recently read how Papa John’s deliver a great customer experience and realized it was also applicable to tech and game companies.

Query your customers

Papa John’s is highly successful in the very competitive pizza segment by constantly asking its customers how they can improve. Throughout the organization, the team is empowered to be “adaptive, and quick on [their] feet if [they] see or hear suggestions that will improve the experience.”

This attitude manifested itself in the evolution of Papa John’s’ mobile strategy. It learned that its customers equated a good experience with a good digital/mobile experience. Papa John’s then invested in creating a seamless online/mobile ordering application.

The result was a mobile app that was among the highest scoring among restaurants in the mobile experience scorecard. The translation of customer asks to a top quality application shows the opportunity of customer voice driven innovation.

Improve your LTV

By constantly pursuing customer engagement through voice of the customer feedback, Papa John’s also enjoys high customer satisfaction and surprising brand loyalty, which translates into better retention and less churn.

What it means

The Papa John’s example shows the value of listening to your customer. If you understand your customers’ needs, you can then improve and innovate to meet those needs.

Key Takeaways

  1. The best way to deliver a strong customer experience is by asking your customers what they want.
  2. Innovate and improve based on what your customers are asking for.
  3. By seeking customer engagement by listening to your customers, you will have higher loyalty and thus increase your customer lifetime value (LTV).

The risk of Clicks-and-Mortar

An incident over the holidays highlighted the downside when traditional retailers pursue a “clicks-and-mortar” strategy. Rather than being a box every retailer should check, traditional retailers, particularly successful ones, need to look at the risks as well as the opportunities and build a strategy that takes these into account.


About two weeks before Christmas, my wife ordered a video game online from (the world’s largest retailer) for pick up at the store. She received no indication the order was in but assumed it was on the way. Three days before Christmas, after still not receiving confirmation that the product arrived at the retail location, she called Walmart customer service. At this point, she learned the order was cancelled because “the product was damaged.” As this was the gift our son wanted most and was tough to find, she scrambled and eventually got it from Amazon using next-day delivery. After this incident, she vowed not only to stop shopping at, but also to stop going to the retail location (and convincing our son not to shop there).

To me, the key takeaway is that Walmart, incredibly successful with physical retail, is actually losing customers due to its online integration (which is actually better than many other traditional retailers). Thus, rather than increase the lifetime value of a customer (my wife) by adding an online component, they have significantly reduced her lifetime value. Continue reading “The risk of Clicks-and-Mortar”

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