Tracking the customer experience and driving loyalty in a mostly walk-in business

Pho, a 27-strong site of healthy Vietnamese street food restaurants, really know how to deliver an exceptional customer experience. But, with the majority of their sales coming from walk-in customers, they didn’t have the same touch points to communicate with their customers as some of their competitors. They needed a system to track the customer experience, communicate directly with their end-user, and drive loyalty, so they turned to Feed It Back.

LIBBY ANDREWS, Marketing Director at Pho, said: “Stephen and Juliette Wall opened the first little Pho in Clerkenwell in 2005. Now, we have 27 restaurants across the UK. As we grow the business, it becomes more and more of a challenge to communicate with our customers directly and ensure that we are consistently delivering the best customer experience. But with the use of technology – particularly Feed It Back – we’ve found a way to improve and track our customer communications across the board.

“Before choosing Feed It Back, we reviewed a range of systems that allowed us to track feedback and NPS scores. This insight allows you to benchmark your offer, so you can truly understand how your customers are feeling, how your sites are performing, and what you need to do to improve.

“We knew we had to do it, we just needed to decide who with. Feed It Back stood out from the crowd because, in addition to tracking NPS scores and social reviews, their platform enabled us – in particular, our managers at site level – to directly communicate with our customers, quickly and efficiently, so that we could drive loyalty and return visits.

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“Communication was vital for us. The majority of our custom comes from walk ins off the street, which is great, but it does mean we miss out on a number of touch points to engage with customers.”


LIBBY ANDREWS, MARKETING DIRECTOR, PHO

“Communication was vital for us. The majority of our custom comes from walk-ins off the street, which is great, but it does mean we miss out on a number of touch points to engage with customers. We wanted to know who our customers were, whether they enjoyed their experience, and, if not, why. We wanted to reward our team members who went above and beyond and share key learnings with the group when things didn’t go to plan. With Feed It Back, all of this is possible, which was (and still is) very attractive.

“Feedback gives you powerful knowledge. If someone has had a negative experience, you can influence it.  You can reach out and understand what was wrong via Feed It Back’s Guest Engagement module, acknowledge their complaint and do all in your power to get them back through the door and recover the situation.

“Equally important is when someone has a positive experience. Our policy is to reply to all feedback, positive or negative, truly listening to what the customer has to say and making them feel valued. Often a very simple surprise and delight tactic, such as offering a free round of drinks on their next visit, can drive tangible customer loyalty, which is priceless in today’s competitive environment.

“Rather than managing remotely from head office, the Feed It Back platform allows us to empower the general managers to take responsibility and reply directly to customers. This gives power back to the team members on the door. They are responsible for the reputation of their site and the entire customer journey, which doesn’t end when they pay their bill.

“This gives each general manager accountability, which is crucial. All of our teams get involved in feedback from the top down. Head of office has access to log in and gain a bird’s eye view of the business; something our founders enjoy doing from time to time. This isn’t a check and balance on employees, it’s entirely transparent, and everyone has bought into it.

“Loyalty is very hard to measure, but with the Guest Engagement module, you can see which sites are winning the battle for return custom. You categorically know what is working at site level and can share best practice with the wider group. It’s a live system and you really can get obsessed with checking it, but the hard part is taking a step back and letting the team members and processes deal with situations without getting drawn into the nitty gritty.

“This is the new breed of loyalty. Forget stamped cards and loyalty points, customers want to be acknowledged. They want to have a dialogue with businesses. Brands need a voice, whether that’s across social, in the restaurant or via online review sites. The message has to be consistent and you have to be on the ball, otherwise you’ll lose the battle for covers.

“Loyalty is very hard to measure, but with the Guest Engagement module, you can see which sites are winning the battle for return custom. You categorically know what is working at site level and can share best practice with the wider group.” Libby Andrews, Marketing Director at Pho


LIBBY ANDREWS, Marketing Director, PHO

“Feedback isn’t just limited to mystery diner visits, or bespoke feedback forms. It comes from everywhere: across social media,on review platforms, in person,over the telephone. With the Feed It Back system, all this data is efficiently rendered into one easy to use platform, so that we can spot trends, attribute accountability and, ultimately, save a lot of operational time, allowing us to focus on the customers in store.

“It’s not our style to push customers to leave a review online. Instead it’s much more fitting of our brand to let customers post organically and the platform allows them a quick and efficient way of doing this, but also picks up any posts that have been made across the various social and review platforms. It’s a safety net, that allows us to engage with customers and manage our online reputation.”

We would like to thank Pho for the use of images and contributing to this case study.