A lesson in customer service from Papa John’s Pizza

In this week’s #assnchat (a Twitter chat held every Tuesday by association professionals trying to better the non-profit world), we discussed the importance of customer service. This is a perfect conversation for anyone in the professional world, really. I mean, let’s face it, no matter what your job title is, you will always either indirectly or directly be handling a customer’s needs. My advice–it’s best to learn early on that THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT (even when they’re wrong)! Thank you, Mom and Dad, for forcing me to work retail in college so I could learn this lesson right out of the gate.

But I digress. In yesterday’s #assnchat discussion, we talked about customer service gestures/practices that have stood out to those of us in the discussion. Personally, I’ve loved when people I’ve done business with take the time out of their days to write me a personalized “thank you” note.

Well, much to my delight, as I was talking to one of MultiView‘s Project Development Managers, Anna Wilson, yesterday after #assnchat, she told me about her pleasant experience with Papa John’s Pizza’s superb customer service. I was so excited, I had to share her thoughts. Here’s what she sent me after we talked:

papa johns“My boyfriend is a pizza fanatic, and we are pretty consistent with ordering pizza every Friday night. Just as consistent with his craving for pizza, is our consistency with ordering from Papa John’s Pizza. Every time we hear a knock at the door and get the pizza inside, it nothing less than hot, fresh and ready to be eaten!

However, this is not the only reason we order from Papa John’s week in and week out. Their customer service has always been above and beyond what we would have expected from a pizza place. On one occasion, we had received our pizza a few minutes after the projected time of arrival quoted to us. We didn’t bother to call in and complain because we were perfectly happy with our delicious meal. We ordered this on a Friday, and on the following Monday we received a call apologizing for the delivery delay. Neither of us had hardly even noticed! They proceeded to offer us 50% off of our next order. As a result, they got double business that week because we took advantage of the opportunity and ordered another within the next few days. On another occasion (more recently), again there was a delay in delivery time. Since this is rare for them, we again did not bother to press the issue. Within the next week, we received a coupon in the mail for a free medium pizza along with an apology on the “un timely service”—or so they called it.

Wow! I have been ordering pizza my whole life and not once have I received such customer service and actual acknowledgment from a company who takes care about their loyal customers. Just because of these few gestures, I reiterated the story to a few co-workers who were impressed! Not only is Papa John’s keeping our business with such standards, but gaining more because I’m sure I am not the only one bragging! The Word of Mouth Marketing Association estimates somewhere between 60-70% of our purchase decisions are based on what our friends and family say about the brand. With these types of numbers, you can see how something as simple as good customer service can go a long way.

We typically order online because they have weekly large pizza deals, it’s easy to customize, and they have all of our info on file. We are 1 point away from our next free pizza via our Papa Rewards! We will be sure to get that free pizza because there’s no doubt we will be putting in our usual Friday night order to Papa John’s.  Many more orders to come from two loyal customers!”

I don’t think I need to say much more after that because Anna hit the nail on the head. Proactive customer service will yield happy, reoccurring customers and also yield new ones. Take a few moments to think about how your company’s customer service can be proactive; and feel free to drop ideas in the comments below!

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