AID17630: One classic advertising and
service recovery strategy used by companies involves turning a disadvantage
into an advantage. For example, a small car rental company who did not meet
customer expectations, ran a campaign “we are trying harder”.
Recently, the Domino’s pizza chain
took such an approach to the extreme. Marketers developed an advertising
program to address the problem of slowing sales in a declining economy. The
first wave of television commercials featured clips of consumers in focus
groups, discussing Domino’s, providing statements such as "Worst pizza I
ever had; devoid of flavor", "Domino’s pizza crust is to me like
cardboard" and "The sauce tastes like ketchup".
Domino’s had been able to maintain
its market share during the economic downturn. At the same time, employees and
company managers were concerned about the quality of the products being
offered. The advertising program was created to apologize for poor quality
pizza with the promise to do better by creating pies with improved ingredients
and better recipes, which lead to a complete menu overhaul during 4 years
beginning in 2008. "We think that going out there and being this honest
breakthrough to people in a way that most advertising does not" explained
the CEO, Patrick Doyle.
Some marketing experts expressed
concern that consumers would not listen carefully to the message. They would
hear the part about poor quality but not the part about improving. Doyle
believed that the risk was worth taking.
When the roll-out of new and improved
pizzas at bargain prices commenced, a new advertising campaign was launched,
featuring the comment, “We are only as good as our last pizza. So tell us how
yours was” followed.
Domino’s had already introduced the
pizza tracker feature to its website, which allows customers placing an online
order at the Domino’s website to follow the progress of the order from the shop
to the front door. Users receive an email directing them to the order tracking
page within seconds of placing an order and without having to refresh the page,
are told precisely when their pie is placed in the oven, checked for quality
assurance and dispatched to their home. The pizza tracker informs the customer
who was responsible for an individual pizza during preparations and delivery.
Following the completion of the
transaction, the customer can provide feedback directly to the store where the
pizza was made, which opens lines of communication with individual stores and
managers rather than the larger corporation. The pizza tracker program insists
that individual store owners will listen when customers are dissatisfied. By
naming the actual individual responsible for any service failure, the store
manager can improve operations on an employee- by- employee basis. Throughout the
next apology campaign and a new emphasis on customer feedback, sales increased
dramatically during the next two quarters.
The company once again was willing to
risk customer backlash, even mildly taunting the pubic with the “Oh yes, we
did” tag line. Time will tell if these two maneuvers will generate
long-lasting, positive effects for the company
a. Evaluate the Service Recovery
System of Domino’s and suggest a few other innovative methods to recover the
b. Create a Service Blueprint for
Domino’s home delivery operations covering all the various methods of placing