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In 1960, Domino's opened its first store in USA and started its business in UK in 1985 which is now spread over 50 countries with more than 8,000 stores. Now Domino's is one of the most recognised pizza delivery companies with over 500 franchised stores owned and operated by 150 franchise business operators (www.mjllogin.com).
One of the main goals of gathering customer feedback is to enable communications between you and your customer. There are various methods of gathering information from customers(external and internal) such as telephone surveys, self completion questionnaires (comment cards), postal surveys, mystery shopping, third party surveys, online surveys, focus groups/user, face to face interviews, videos, free phone, online discussion forums etc. However, it depends upon the business's style of operation and exposure to their customer in order to determine the most effective feedback methods. It is best for organisations not to restrict themselves to a particular methods as different methods can focus to different customer base. Domino's as Pizza delivery operator, taking feedback can be tricky as the point of contact with the customer is while taking orders and delivering. It is normally possible to gain a greater degree and depth of information from feedback methods like face to face interviews, focus group however methods like telephone surveys, questionnaires, and online forum can reach a wider audience and often prove more cost-effective. . Best practice shows that organizations need to use qualitative research to first gain insight into customer's attitudes and behaviour before using quantitative methods. Domino's, for example, uses mystery guest reports, quarterly telephone surveys and biannual guest-satisfaction postal audits to measure customer retention.
The accuracy and appropriateness of the methods an organisation chooses to conduct research among its customers determine the reliability of the results from different ways of methods. Some of the feedback methods which Domino's consider are as follows:
Many companies in the service sector use telephone interviews as a means of gaining first-hand feedback on customers' experiences. The honest feedback can help the company develop specific targeted programmes to reactivate lost customers. The advantage of this method is that it allows to get immediate response from customers in a short space of time and can be affected at a relatively low cost.
The major disadvantage of telephone interviewing can be offensive to some customer as it can mean invasion of privacy. It is also difficult to conduct a lengthy interview with customers and it is not certain whether the customer will give the caller his or her time. Some customers may also find it difficult to answer questions in small time frame and the telephone clearly cannot be used in a visual manner. This feedback method is one of the most popular and effective ways for Domino's as their only point for contact is with the delivery staffs. Therefore, phone survey has help Domino's to be able to connect with their customers and get immediate feedbacks about the product and services.
Another popular method of gaining feedback from customers is the use of self completion questionnaires. These can be sent to the customer by post or e-mail or distributed at the branch or at point of contact with the customer.
Self-completion questionnaires can be an easy and cost-effective feedback method as it also demonstrates to both customers and employees that the organisation is making some efforts in order to try to listen to their customers. Handing out questionnaires to customers personally can increase the completion rates which will increase it effectiveness as well.
However, the disadvantage of it is that the questionnaires can be of the fact that it don't completely represent customer's viewpoint. They can therefore sometimes be biased towards particular customer types.
However, McDonald's has successfully used customer questionnaires to canvass customer opinion. The method called 'Food for your Thoughts' was introduced where the research programme tested views of both staff and customers and ask people to rank their food and services on the scale of 1 to 5. They encouraged people to response by offering food vouchers to those who completed the card.
Likewise, Domino's use their questionnaires and leaflet on the point delivery to know what the areas their customer like them to improve. However, it is not the most effective methods Domino's follows as the point of contact is too short, due to which customers tend to complete it without reading it thoroughly.
Postal surveys can be helpful to obtain more systematic understanding of customer's opinions. It can be another cost effective method and allows to reach a large number of customers. However, the disadvantages can be the accuracy and timeliness process. According to S.Cook (2005), typical response rates range from15 to 20 per cent for a postal questionnaire where there is no incentive, compared to an 85 per cent achievement rate on a face-to-face interview. As postal surveys are lengthy process Domino's no longer adapt this feedback method.
Mystery shopping is a useful technique to supplement customer feedback because it provides independent monitoring of service levels. An assessment and evaluation of employees is made by a 'mystery shopper' posing as an ordinary customer in person or on the telephone. In this way a measurement can be made not only of a particular outlet's service quality but also a comparison can be made across site locations and franchises. However, it is not an ideal method to use mystery shopping as sole measure of the effectiveness of customer satisfaction. It is best practice, for example, to conduct research among customers that is internal and external to identify key measures which will form the basis of a mystery shopper checklist, eg. greetings used, telephone manner, product knowledge etc.
The method can be useful to inspect service inconsistencies and identify the cause such as insufficient staff training, miscommunication of information to service staff etc. In addition, the mystery shoppers can evaluate a short range of service issues, such as approachability of staff, attentiveness of staff, atmosphere of office etc.
Other organizations find it beneficial to use their own staff to 'mystery shop', as in this way members of staff experience the quality of service from a customer's point of view. The Ritz Hotel held a 'get to know your customer' event by inviting members of staff to be customers for the day. Staff learnt to appreciate the different roles undertaken by their colleagues, and what it felt like to receive the services that they provided.
Domino's has taken this method as effective measure to evaluate their internal customer regarding telephone manners, services and product knowledge, compliant handling etc. It is effective way of assessing staffs ability to communicate with customers as results of mystery shopping can rewards employees to gain or win cash or coupon prize.
There can also be resistance among employees to the concept of mystery shoppers. Employees may see them as snoopers, spies or detectives, who are out to catch people getting it wrong, rather than catch them getting it right. The ethos of mystery shoppers should be to reward staff for good service, not to castigate them for poor.
Focus groups/user groups/customer panels
A powerful technique in allowing members of staff and management to gain first-hand feedback from customers is the development of customer service groups and focus groups. Focus groups can be useful to gain insights into customers' attitudes and behaviour. They can be run prior to the development of a customer questionnaire, for example, to help an organization to understand customers' perceptions better. This is done by inviting customers to attend an informal gathering at the service provider's premises to express their opinions on the quality of service provided.
Such method is successfully adopted by Dominos due to which Domino's changed its recipe and ingredients acknowledging customer's negative comments and perceptions. This feedback method helped Dominos know what exactly their customers need them to do and it improved the sell jump up to 14.3% following quarter. (daveibsen.typepad.com)
A possible disadvantage of customer service groups and user panels is that it can sometimes be difficult to gather customers to attend the groups in particular time which can dramatically reduces the effectiveness of the method as it can be a time consuming process.
However, the feedback method has suited dominos as they provide a more in-depth and qualitative feel about what customers say about the service. The organization gains a wealth of data rich in anecdote which is the main objective of the feedback.
Electronic focus groups (Blogs and Comments)
Experiments by Carnegie Mellon University show that open discussions on the web about service conducted among an organization's customer base can often be more fruitful than those which are carried out face-to-face. People in the electronic focus groups which were monitored as part of this research, tend to talk more frankly and have an equal share of remarks to contribute whereas in face to face group interviews (focus group), it might be dominated by one or two people.
It can be very convenient method of feedback as most of the people nowadays have excess to computers and internet. Due to its cost effectiveness, organisations are opening their blogs in popular social sites like Facebook and Tweeter as well as their own website which is quick method to monitor customer opinions and can be effective to monitor how well products and services meet customer requirements and to identify areas for improvement. For example, Web-based service providers such as lastminute.com are promoting suggestions from customers online by inviting comments as part of their websites.
Dominos has obliged taking the efficiency into consideration by having their blogs/accounts in various social websites and regularly monitoring customers views and matching their satisfactions. However, the comments can't be 100 percent reliable and trustworthy as it easily can be manipulated.
Empowering Customer-Facing Employees
One of the cost-effective and easiest ways to get customer feedback is to create a culture in which employees are always observing and listening and reacting to the problems. An organisation should not rely solely on phone, e-mail, and surveys but to involve employees to listen and respond to the comments from customers. According to Wood (2006), 'Employees are able to be much more valuable when armed with the knowledge and the support or resources to address customer concerns'. She says that customers are more likely to give feedback to someone who is likely to act upon their comments. Therefore, it is important to train staffs and empower them so that employees can respond to customer's comments both formal and informally.
Similar kind of method can be suggested to Domino's by encouraging employees to fill in short form about their customers complaining or mentioning about their products and services which they may overhear. If monitoring of comments from the employees is done regularly and responded promptly, it can be a great method to delight the customers when Domino's serve them next time as well as strengthen the relationship between them.
How Organisation respond to feedback
To know the positions in the market and to see whether guest is satisfied are not, it is necessary to the organisation to analyse the feedback daily from the customer. As everyone knows word of mouth plays an important role for the publicity and to maintain the brand image of the organisation in the market. Feedback may be positive or negative, if positive we should take it as motivation and encouragement and if negative we should overcome the mistake by solving it at the proper time. (www.caterersearch.com)
Respond to the feedback whether it is positive and negative. If the guest has given the positive feedback take into consideration and try to analyse what exactly went wrong. If you are not able to deal with the situation, inform the higher authorities to look after it. If the guest is too unhappy arrange a complimentary or a free drink, dessert or meal this will not exactly solve it problem but will have a good word of mouth in market. A positive good feedback from the guest is a good sign from the happy guest. Managers appreciate the staff and encourages to give there same output towards the work. This makes employees happy and makes favourable environment for them to work.
Staff should be made understand about the hotels feedback policy and how to work on it. They should be giving training on the communication skills and handling situations. They have to view the feedback and see what exactly they are lacking off in the services provided and why was guest unhappy.
Training plays an important role to enhance and upgrade the skills of the staff on the regular basis as per the market standards. Regular training session should be arranged by the human resources management to upgrade their staff. Good training is necessary for well organised, professional skill and positive attitude of the staff. According to negative feedback, staff should fill the gap between the qualities of what they are lacking off and should be more trained if necessary. Management should have a look personally, from where there are more negative feedbacks.
After having a look on the feedback forms and after studying them management goes ahead to make some changes in the hotel. It may in décor, ambience, service standards, policies etc. Changes are done by the higher authorities such as board of director, department director and mangers after having meetings. They actually have to decide, whether change is necessary? Will change work? Do hotel will earn more profit? Major changes are done and taken into consideration personally from where there are continuously negative feedbacks. ( www.customerexpressions.com)
DOMINOS COMPLAINT HANDLING PROCEDURE
The Complaint handing procedure of Domino's is divided into 3 levels. Levels are prepared on the basis on how dissatisfied a customer is. The first level is for set of customers who aren't happy with the order and seek to be redressed by getting the right order. They have the option of contacting the store and numbers are mentioned on the confirmation Email sent for each order. If the Email has been deleted the contact details can be retrieved from their website by entering the post code.
The second set of complaints level is for customers who wish to lodge a written complaint. They can send their complaints to the Email address which varies on the basis of Postal Code. The customer concern department takes further action on these complaints.
The third level is for customers who aren't happy with the response from Customer concerns and would like to Escalate.
Customer can escalate by clicking on the hyperlink given under the Category "Want to escalate?" this gives a form wherein customer is required to fill the following details- Name, Telephone Number, Address, Order Number and lastly comments and then click on Send. By clicking on Send Button the complaint gets escalated. These forms help Domino's identify the differences and make bridge between them. (www.dominos.co.uk)
When an organisation recruits, it should also be responsible to provide induction to them to help new employees to familiarise with the company operation, staffs, working conditions, rules and regulations etc. Domino's however, provide induction and training to employee through an online programme. This policy which is for their internal customers (employees) raises questions about Domino's application and implication as the results from this policy is not effective as expected (www.mjllogin.com)
In Domino's (Ealing Common), most of the complaints regarding staff are against driver. Drivers are the employees who deliver the food from store to customer's door. Complaints are usually about the driver being rude or didn't communicate well with customer. Why is this problem if drivers have been given proper training?
Most of the drivers in Domino's are foreigners from Europe and Asia and they are not very good communicating with customers in English and they don't handle the food as they have been taught in their online induction. It is possibly because the programme can be done from anywhere and questionnaires can carry out by anyone. Online induction and training system is good use of technology and can be effective policy only if Domino's perform this programme under direct supervision of their personnel which may be good way to monitor the new staff attitude towards the company. An involvement of Domino's personnel during training of their staffs can dramatically change the results of this policy. (www.facebook.com)
Another policy for Domino's is the perfect timing of delivering food to customer's Domino's implicated this policy perfectly according to the system but there are serious problem with drivers safety. Although drivers are given full safety equipment such as high visible jackets, gloves, helmets and trousers, at least one accident occurs every month (caterersearch.com), it is because of the time frame within which the driver have to deliver their food to customer. Rushing to deliver to make in specific time can hugely increases the risks of accidents.
Although most of the drivers are learners and don't have full licence and Domino's give their drivers Honda 125 cc bikes which are quite fast for the learner drivers. If they provide their drivers bikes with fix speed limit maximum 30-35 km/hr, this can help to reduce accidents. (www.facebook.com)
According to (www.showusyourpizza.com) Domino's thinks that their inspired pizza looks so mouth watering and they do not need to use all those silly tricks to use fancy photo shoots, Infect Domino's wants its customers to take photos of pizza they have got in deliveries or stores. Domino's knows that its customers are great source for great Domino's pizza pictures. Organisation choose the best pictures and customer get $500 cash and they might put that pictures in their adds. This is the policy of Domino's in the USA to make a connection and good relationship with customers and inspire them to give feedback about their pizzas. An customer on facebook page of Domino's suggested that if they use same policy in the UK they can have good feedback on their pizzas with pictures. (www.facebook.com)
There are some changes can be implement in policies of Domino's such as for online training if Domino's set up staff training and induction centres can help Domino's to have well trained staff. Domino's have only training centre only for managers but other staff induction and training centres are important too where staff could do their online induction front of someone and could ask and learn if they are not sure for something. This will prevent employees to borrow other people help to fill up their exam questions and provide them platform to learn. (www.facebook.com)
Feedback method helps organisation to improve their weaknesses and to have good relationship with their staff, customers and suppliers. If an organisation doesn't has feedback method then management never going to know what their weaknesses are and what they need to bring changes. Feedback method on the other hand is the best communication system with your valuable customers.
Share your feedback to grab the lucky draw gifts and coupons. (www.dominos.co.uk)
Scratch the card on your Pizza box and use the unique sort code mentioned on it to tell us about the quality of food via email or sms(Text message).
This will help you win free coupons and get discounts on your next purchase. The code can also be one of the lucky draw codes. This will help you win prizes like Watches, I pod and LCDs. The code will be applicable only after the answering certain question related with dominos service and quality of food.