Oakman Group case study

The importance of delivering a great customer experience

With the rising cost of living impacting customers and rocketing energy bills, and inflationary pressures affecting hospitality businesses, providing great customer service has never been harder or more important. But for the Oakman Group, their new approach to customer satisfaction has resulted in improvements across its entire portfolio of venues.

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Working alongside Feed It Back, the customer experience platform, the business has been able to improve guest satisfaction across its 39 sites to speed up its recovery following COVID-19 and better protect itself against current and future economic challenges.

The Oakman Group is a collective of pubs and restaurants across England. The business appointed Feed It Back in June last year to improve the quantity and quality of insights it was able to collect on its customers’ experiences.

Feed It Back’s dashboard, which includes data such as customer surveys, social reviews and customer posts on social, allowed the Oakman Group to assess almost every corner of its business – from the speed of service to menu quality and value scoring.

Kelly Beard, Head of Marketing at Oakman Group, said: “Making customers our priority is key during cost-of-living challenges if we want people to continue visiting our venues.”

“Like every hospitality business now, we’re constantly reviewing our pricing to make sure we deliver quality service whilst remaining profitable. Having the value score data from Feed It Back gives us the confidence that, should we need to raise our prices on certain menu items, customers continue feeling like they’re getting excellent value for money. Having the data to make informed decisions like these during our weekly trading calls has become hugely important to us.”

Alongside the customer satisfaction benefits, the Oakman Group has been able to utilise its Feed It Back Net Promoter Score (NPS), a measure of customer loyalty, to improve consistency at its growing number of sites.

Since the beginning of 2021, Oakman Group has acquired 11 new venues across England, taking its entire portfolio to 39.

Beard continued: “One of the biggest challenges for a hospitality business like ours, which is growing so quickly, is making sure that we maintain that consistency and 5* service across our sites. With Feed It Back, we get instant insights into any new venue we’ve acquired which allows us to react quickly, should we need to.”

“The menu insights part of Feed It Back gives a dish a happiness score for every item on our menu. These scores have been particularly useful for us, as previously, we made decisions about the dishes on our menus purely based on sales data.”

“With the menu insight we get from Feed It Back, we can now overlay dish sentiment to help inform these decisions.

For instance, if a certain menu item has low sales but a high dish rating, we know we need to push it more from a marketing perspective. On the other hand, if a high-selling dish has a low rating, some elements of the dish may need addressing or improving. These insights have transformed the way we build our menus.”

The Oakman Group posted strong financial results in July this year, with sales up by 79% compared to the previous year. The business’ improved customer qualitative scores, measured using Feed It Back, were also mentioned in its financial results.

Dan Hawkie, Managing Director of Feed It Back, said: “These are challenging times for hospitality businesses. Customers are wearier than ever about spending their money in pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels, so venues need to make sure they’re indispensable in their communities.

“The Oakman Group has achieved that across its sites. They’re actively using the data they receive through their dashboard to make informed decisions about menu choices, pricing, customer service strategies and staffing. I’m so pleased they continue to see the value the Feed It Back platform provides, so much so that it was mentioned by the Oakman Group in their latest financial results. This was a huge achievement for our team.”