Reviews: Could asking for direct feedback cut the bad ones?

By Melodie Michel

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Thought

Papa John's Rant and Rave text system has resulted in a decline in customer complaints
Papa John's Rant and Rave text system has resulted in a decline in customer complaints
Papa John’s introduction of a Rant & Rave text system has caused a decline in customer complaints, suggesting that asking customers for direct feedback in a simple manner could reduce the risk of getting bad reviews on dedicated websites.

The pizza chain launched this service at the end of April, and has seen great responses from customers, who seem to appreciate being asked for feedback.

Papa John’s senior director of marketing Andrew Gallagher told BigHospitality: “We get over 15 per cent response to our request for feedback, which is fantastic. That kind of response gives you the volume to make sure you get a real picture of what’s out there, and it’s very easy for customers. We ask people two simple questions: give us a score from one to five and tell us why. 

“Customers are telling us that they’re delighted that we ask them for feedback, and we’ve actually seen the number of email enquiries or complaints go down because people are pleased that we’re asking them.” 

The campaign invites customers to share their thoughts on their pizza at the point of delivery via text message or by scanning a QR code on pizza boxes. Customers who visit the Papa John’s website can also share their thoughts online via a feedback widget so the brand can capture feedback even from the customers who choose not to buy.

After a trial period where eight stores across London and the South East used the service, Papa John’s implemented the technology developed by Rant & Rave in all of its 248 stores, analysing the results in real time and presenting it to its head office and individual franchisees to give managers a chance to respond to negative comments.

Spreading the word

The response has been so positive that Papa John’s is now thinking of ways to share the feedback online.

“We didn’t know what we were going to get. If you look on any social media site in our category, it’s a lot of complaints. But about 80 per cent of our feedback is people we class as ravers and we’ve had an average score of about 4.2 out of 5 which is really impressive Now some of the discussions we’re having in the business are around ways to tell people that most of our customers think that our service is really good. It could be by publishing scores on our site for each store, or even publishing a live feed of the comments,” added Gallagher.

According to him, direct feedback allows people making decisions about the business to ensure their initiatives are considered good ideas by customers. “We do lots of things to check that we’re providing the kind of service that we think is right. It’s very easy to sit in an office and think you’re doing the right thing but until you ask customers you can’t be sure. We’ve only been doing it for a few weeks but it’s already given us a lot of insight into the specific nature of customers’ loves and hates. A peak in comments about delayed deliveries is a good indicator of where we may need to address staffing levels, just in the same way an increase in negative comments following a change to our menu could lead us to rethink our decision.”

Check out BigHospitality's tips to control your online reputation​.

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1 comment

You don't say!

Posted by Janet Wood The Silent Customer,

I suggest to clients all the time to ask for direct feedback at the time for this exact same reason. If you don't give them a platform to express dissatisfaction they will find one.

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