Magazine article CRM Magazine

Effectively Serving Multiple Customer Types: Uncovering Preference Patterns Boosts Satisfaction

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Effectively Serving Multiple Customer Types: Uncovering Preference Patterns Boosts Satisfaction

Article excerpt

Most restaurants understand that the essence of their success depends on their ability to consistently meet or surpass their customers' expectations, build loyalty, and sprout sales growth. But what McAlister's Deli, a restaurant chain with stores primarily in the southeastern United States, didn't realize was that it had two very different kinds of customers.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

"We started to get involved with customer research and I learned about customer loyalty, great satisfaction, and the concept of tracking your best customers in terms of their experience in the restaurant," says Phil Friedman, CEO of McAlister's Deli. "And I learned about the value of building the brand loyalty with your best customers."

Looking for a solution that could serve customer satisfaction indexing and customer loyalty in terms of sales and profit growth, McAlister's selected Service Management Group (SMG) to measure its customer satisfaction.

SMG conducts approximately 50 surveys per month for McAlister's, averaging about 600 surveys a year for each McAlister's restaurant via an automated voice response system. "Service happens one customer and one restaurant at a time, so that's why we have to measure every restaurant," says Andy Fromm, president of SMG.

A phone number is printed on receipts, which instructs customers to call and take a survey. As an incentive customers can earn savings off their next meal at McAlister's. "They call the 800 number, they take a five-minute survey, and they get a validation code for their receipt that they write on it, and that makes it a valid coupon that they can redeem," Fromm says.

SMG prepared the survey results monthly (and continues to do so). This gave McAlister's a clear view of its customer segmentation. "We started seeing a real difference in how people responded to questions if they were take out or eat in customers," Friedman says. …

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