Speed and Hospitality: On-Time Delivery was not Enough at RPM Pizza

Speed and Hospitality: On-Time Delivery was not Enough at RPM Pizza

In 2011, RPM Pizza (the largest U.S. franchisee of Domino's Pizza) made major improvements in its speed-of-delivery service by improving its percentage of on-time pizza deliveries by 17 percent. However, according to an independent third-party mystery shopper survey, RPM ranked last among its major competitors in hospitality--demonstrating how a company can get overly focused on one component of their business while letting other key components slip away.

So in 2012 RPM committed to changing its culture from being solely an operationally excellent organization, which they called being "Brilliant at the Basics," to also being known for being a world-class hospitality company. They started by creating a "day in the life of a customer" video, to teach their employees to view things from the customer's perspective.

Remember, many employees have never been their own customer, have never needed the services and products their company provides, and cannot comprehend what the customer's mindset is. Therefore, they do not relate well and find it difficult to empathize, be compassionate, and anticipate customer needs.

Think about the last time you ordered pizza to be delivered to your home. Why did you do that? It was critically important for Domino's employees to truly understand the "why" piece. Were their customers hungry? Yes, but they could get food from thousands of places to satisfy their appetite. Why pizza, and why Domino's?

Bringing the vision to life

This is where the "day in the life of a customer" video, titled Creating Smiles, played a major role. To illustrate RPM's service vision, to really make it come to life and not just be another stale company quote, the video needed to show all the benefits of what delivering great pizza in less than 30 minutes really provides to its customers--beyond just filling their bellies. This video showed people being in a rush, with their busy lives, some away from home traveling, others trying to get home from work and get the family fed. In certain instances, it showed people trying to please everyone's tastes, and wanting to spend more quality time with their loved ones instead being in the kitchen preparing food and having to clean up afterward.

When a "day in the life of a customer" video is done well, watching it makes it obvious and clear what your company's customer service vision statement should be.

At RPM, it was vital that every team member understood that they were not just making and delivering pizza, but that their purpose--what their customers truly needed from them--was easy and simple: Domino's pizza delivered to their door, exactly as they ordered it, promptly, by someone smiling with genuine hospitality.

Thus, the customers smiled because their lives were made easier. This ensured that every team member clearly knew why their service vision was "Creating smiles by making lives easier." This is a great customer service vision that is measurable, accountable, and trainable. At RPM, their three pillars are: Operational Excellence ~ Customer Delight ~ Deliver the WOW.

Customer Satisfaction Scores

By 2013, RPM Pizza's service culture had made a drastic turnaround. Not only was its customer satisfaction score significantly better than the previous year, but it also hit the highest score in RPM's history.

John R. DiJulius III is the author of The Customer Service Revolution and president of The DiJulius Group, a customer service consulting firm whose clients include Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, The Ritz-Carlton, Nestle, PwC, Lexus, and many more. Email him at john@thedijuliusgroup.com.

Published: February 10th, 2016

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