Zenreach helps Pieology maintain a tasty reputation
If you’re serving pizza, you almost can’t help but make customers happy. But no matter how excellent your pie is, people are occasionally going to have issues. That’s just life, but the trouble these days is the occasional miss now ends up on your permanent record. And that can affect your bottom line.
Instead of letting an employee know something was wrong, many just turn to a review app and pour on the snark. Some review sites allow business owners to reach out to reviewers, but this happens long after the fact. Potential customers might never see anything but the negative and go somewhere else for a slice.
Managing reputation was top of mind for MK Investments. They operate eleven Pieology franchises throughout California, Minnesota and Texas. The restaurants are fast-casual pizza joints that offer an unusual amount of customization—as in 78 billion flavor combinations. Customers can choose from 6 different crusts, 7 sauces, 6 cheeses and more than a dozen toppings.
Vice President of Operations, James Hilovsky, has spent decades running franchises. He oversees operations and marketing for MK Investments. As a franchise operations guy, he focuses on consistency and scaling excellent performance. As a marketer, he’s all about the customer experience, especially making sure guests remain happy.
While he can apply standard operating procedures (SOPs) to keep franchises running smoothly, he didn’t have a consistent way to manage conversations with customers about their experiences. He says, “We wanted to have the chance to communicate with customers before they go online and leave a bad review.” In his experience, customers just want to be heard. “Everybody likes to be listened to. I think it gives them a sense of loyalty when a brand talks to them.”
Pieology also needed to collect customer contacts for their email campaigns, the main way they communicate promotions. James cooked up some great promos, but people who weren’t receiving notices via email didn’t know about them. For example, he ran a great Tuesday deal, 2 pizzas for $12.00, but it didn’t perform very well unless customers got an email about it.
Previous email marketing methods involved a loyalty app and a different WiFi marketing product. The loyalty app wasn’t really built for collecting emails and the email marketing functionality on the WiFi platform was hard to use. When James ran into trouble using it, the company’s support team often left him figuring things out for himself, something he rarely had time for.
James wanted to find one product that could handle reputation management, content collection and email marketing. Having one tool to rule them all would make it easier to conduct marketing and reputation management across 14 locations. However, he didn’t want to disrupt operations to make a change. Transition to a new technology had to be easy and fast.
“Zenreach gives me a chance to make sure our customers are happy. I can follow up if they have a negative experience and share offers with them. It’s easy.”James Hilovsky, Vice President of Operations, MK Investments
Consistency is king when it comes to running a successful franchise operation. Automating email collection through WiFi would allow James to easily collect contacts at all of the locations he manages. By moving to an easier-to-use and better-supported platform, he could spend more time operating and less time troubleshooting.
One of the most important goals for a franchise is to make sure everything that’s served is reliably excellent. Adding reputation management with the ability to speak directly to customers would give James a way to catch any slips in quality and correct them for customers, and use their insights to tighten up the processes that lead to the issue.
Once James learned there was a single system that could boost his signups and customer satisfaction, without causing any hiccups in transition, he was ready to switch.
James needed a system that he could send special offers out, but didn’t take too much time to do effectively. He says, “Zenreach definitely is a system you don’t really have to manage. You can just kind of get your strategy and go.”
If Zenreach was a pizza, it would have the perfect toppings for James. He now stays more connected to the customer experience. And he’s able to invite feedback, which means his team can remedy any misses before they become negative reviews, while positive experiences can be channeled to influential review sites.
Switching WiFi marketing platforms was simple and didn’t disrupt any operations. James says, “The whole switchover was pretty flawless and painless. It was very easy.”
Pieology has received 288 total reviews within Zenreach, earning the equivalent of a 4.6 rating. They’ve also been able to intercept 51 potential negative reviews with ratings between 1-3 stars. Email collection has been strong with over 13,000 contacts added in the first 10 months of turning Zenreach on.
The Tuesday promotion he runs has seen a sharp increase in interest. The redemption rate for this promo has been as high as 71%. He says, “My Tuesday sales are up 35 to 40 percent over prior years.” Another great result is a 73% Walk-Through Rate™ on customer emails. This stat measures when someone receives an email and physically visits within 7 days. It’s one of the best ways to connect in-store results with digital marketing.
The results have been strong, but that’s not the only benefit. James loves Zenreach’s customer service. He says, “I can pick up a phone and get answers without having to go through voicemail hell. And when I do talk to someone, they know something about my account.”