That was how it all started.
The place did undergo some change towards the end of the second generation Hank's tenure. This was more out of necessity to survive, thrive and make it a source of living while facing intense competition from the mushroomed pizza corporate. They opened one more store in the town, introduced contemporary and extremely upbeat customer seating facilities; added washrooms modernized the kitchen with the state-of-art equipment, introduced computerization, and changed the lighting and created an ambience which is ideal for an excellent meal. The upgrade Hank's pizza store could give any pizza corporate outlet a run for its money.
The third generation Hank joined the father after finishing an MBA. His first setout was a mission for the business. The mission is to be the first and the only eat out choice of the town and also expanded the number of outlets from two to six, business multiplied four times over a period of six years and there seemed no looking back for the Hank's pizza store. But still something bothered the junior most Hank and he constantly felt that there were losing out business to other pizza chains stores.
Hank with his latest management knowledge did try and put an effort to figure out what was amiss with the business while managing the operations of the business. Good amount of time was spent balancing the cash books, ensuring there were no stock outs and creating innovative marketing plans to increase pitfalls and ensure return customers. But still there was something amiss. To identify the problem and find solution for it, Hank III hired a management consultant and gave a free rein to them to identify the problem. On studying Hank IIIs style of functioning, it became evident that Hank III was looking at the business from the operations perspective and not from the customers' perspective. The consultants deputed mystery customers to identify and rate customer experiences at various store locations. The consultants, after a four week study identified that the customers were comfortable going to a specific store and undertook focus group studies to identify the reasons thereof. (Keerti)
Focus Group Studies - What are they
Focus group is a form of qualitative research. In this method of research a group of people are asked about a product of an idea from their individual perspective focusing on various attributes. (Wikipedia) A great deal of information can be achieved by conducting focus group studies. (Free Management Library)
They came up with an astonishing fact which did not strike Hank III till then which was that the customer experiences were not uniform across the six stores and the expectations built at each store of the next possible experience was different and hence the strong customer location loyalty was being built which was good for an individual store but harmful overall to the business. To arrest this trend the consultants recommended that there be training department set up and train the different categories of staff so that the Hank's Pizza store delivered uniform customer experiences and WOW at all store locations and they identified the following training programs be conducted as a pre-cursive before embarking on a new marketing initiative.
1. The customer promise
2. Managing Customer experience
3. Customer orientation
4. Service orientation
5. Service with a