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Domino’s Broadcasts Good, Bad, and Ugly Customer Comments Above Times Square

Leon Kaye | Wednesday July 27th, 2011 | 0 Comments

This post is part of a series on Stakeholder Engagement sponsored by Jurat Software.
Domino's at Times Square, photo courtesy Leon Kaye

Domino's at Times Square, photo courtesy Leon Kaye

Domino’s Pizza, the fifty year old pizza and fast food chain that has seen massive transformation over the years, is taking stakeholder engagement to another level.  Investors, employees, and franchise owners may not be necessarily thrilled about this new social media development, but as of Monday, Domino’s customers can tweet or submit their feedback via Domino’s Time Square Tracker.

The billboard shows comments from customers who have ordered from Domino’s and who then rate their experience using the online ordering Domino’s Tracker. That innovation allows customers to track the status of their pizza orders and offer feedback along the way.  The comments are visible to the half a million or so visitors who traipse near the corner of 44th and Broadway on a daily basis.  And customers who have their feedback posted on the Times Square marquee will get a link to the video clip of their comment rolling from right to left in bright red or blue.  Domino’s fans and foes can even send photos that may just be shown amongst New York’s towering skyline.  Previously the feedback was only shown to stores so they could see how they were performing.

So why display all customer feedback, positive and negative?  Some of it is practical.  More customers order their pizza online or by cell phone, so it enhances the “consumer experience,” as how marketing mavens like to describe the process.  Meanwhile, more of the conversation about a company’s performance is occurring on social media platforms, so companies can no longer behave reactively when its operations go awry.  To that end, Twitter comments also show on Domino’s customer feedback page–and the discussion can get dicey, but to Domino’s credit, they are allowing the comments to run unfiltered.

Here are some of the random comments, most of them negative, posted yesterday:

#DPZChicken forgot my 2 icing packages so I couldn’t properly eat my cinna stix…FU#KED my night over. Thanks dominos.

Just demolished wings and breadsticks. I forgot how good #DPZChicken yummy

#DPZchicken got some wingz @ 24th and Thomas here in Phoenix and i gotta say they was goodAF! Keep up the good work! #Satisfied

hey @Dominos, way too soggy. Wings should be crispy. Not good. #DPZChicken

#DPZChicken DOMINOS PIZZA IS MY FAVORITE BUT I WILL NOT ORDER FROM A COMPANY THAT DOES NOT TAKE CARE OF THEIR EMPLOYEES!

Interestingly enough, while the comments via Twitter were rather snarky, overall ratings on the company’s service gave Domino’s a strong thumb’s up:  4 1/4 or so out of 5 stars–and all of the reviews that the company showcased boasted 5 stars.  That is quite a difference from the conversation occurring on Twitter yesterday, which indicated that customers’ perceptions of Domino’s pizza and chicken were at a level down a few stars.

Nevertheless Domino’s has little to lose and a lot of credibility to gain by allowing its customers to banter about the company freely on Twitter and even allow the other feedback comments to scroll above midtown Manhattan–and they are not all positive.  Plus the company hit a rough patch a few years ago, but has come on strong with sales rebounding since 2009.  The conversations will occur whether or not Domino’s broadcasts them, so this is an opportunity for Domino’s 140,000 employees, at all levels, to have a two-way conversation, gauge what issues are affecting the company, and impart transparency.

The campaign will continue until August 23.

 

* 4:30pm, 7/27: There were some inaccuracies about an earlier vision of this post, so a clearer explanation of customer feedback vs. Twitter comments.  Apologies to Domino’s and its fine social media team- LK

 

Leon Kaye is a business writer and consultant, Editor and Founder of GreenGoPost.com and contributes to The Guardian Sustainable Business; you can follow him on Twitter.

 

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