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).

Changing the numbers does not change the reality

I am a huge proponent of using analytics and other metrics to drive business decisions, but I repeatedly see people making a huge and avoidable mistake. Instead of using the data to determine the best strategy, they use data to justify their intuition. A good analyst can use data to draw virtually any conclusion and if the analyst is pushed in a certain direction by the business leader, all the data does is provide people with cover for the decision rather than leading you in the optimal direction.

The same situation applies to financial analysis. I have seen people frequently manipulate numbers, often with the approval or even encouragement of the target audience, to tell the story people want to hear. I have seen this manipulation in sales, in corp dev and in internal forecasting. In all situations, it is actually just a rationale to make a decision the person already wants to make.

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Data manipulation

The first part of the problem is manipulating the data. I am not talking Enron here, but more subtly and maybe not even intentionally. People will often select the data that supports their position while discounting the other information. If you want to greenlight a certain feature, you may look at the impact on retention while neglecting the impact on monetization and rationalize it by saying it is a retention feature. Regardless of whether it is a retention or monetization, your goal is to optimize lifetime value (LTV) so you need to look at the data holistically. Continue reading