Case Study: Domino's Pizza Transactional Survey


Since the rise of web surveys, we’ve talked about real-time feedback. Domino’s Pizza is carrying it to the next level. Working late last night, I ordered a pizza online for me and a co-worker, and it actually built an image of the pizza (shown in the corner) as I added toppings.  But even the survey itself changed before my eyes, as the cook and delivery person were assigned and appropriate question wording was updated dynamically!

Where most restaurant sites give you a confirmation page, Domino’s gives you a Pizza Tracker: a dashboard for your pizza delivery.
The handy progress-bar/thermometer keeps you glued to the page:
Domino's Pizza Tracker
But wait, there’s a five-question survey. “Help Us Get Better” – a compelling subject line. Then a likelihood-to-recommend question followed by a customer-experience assessment using superlative language: “We want your ordering experience to rock. How was it?” That’s a friendly, conversational question that sets a high bar for five-star ratings, which is what is ideal from a measurement perspective. Here’s a closeup of the survey box:
Domino's Pizza Survey - Step 1 
But wait, I can’t answer the other questions yet, because they know the pizza hasn’t even been delivered. I get the validation message “Can you let us know after your order arrives?”  
Domino's Pizza Survey - Step 2 
It’s a unique problem because transactional surveys are never delivered during the transaction. Normally transactional web surveys are sent a few hours or days later, with rules to screen out respondents who waited a week to reply, as they are assumed to no longer have a clear recollection of the transaction. Want the clearest possible recollection of the transaction? Ask them in the middle of it in an engaging fashion.
The actual question itself blew me away. “Christopher custom made your order. How did everything taste?”  I can’t talk some of our customers into integrating their surveys with their CRM systems using standard APIs, and here Domino’s built a custom application that not only infuses data for Christopher in real time (behind the screen no doubt is an employee ID) but actually updates the text of the survey once they know who it is. (I now know the guy who made my pizza by name, something that hasn’t happened to me since high school.)
Asking the question with this wording was no doubt carefully thought out, but I’m of two minds about it.  First, it’s clear that this rating reflects on Christopher (whose pizza making skills are excellent, by the way) and that my answer will have an impact on Christopher of Domino’s #3723 in some way. That’s good, and I like it.  On the other hand, unlike the wording of the customer-experience assessment, this wording encourages ratings inflation:  I really don’t want to give Christopher a low rating. I too well recall the joy of being a short order cook. (To the patron of McDonald’s #3570 in the spring of 1987 whose Quarter Pounder patty was absentmindedly cooked twice: I am so sorry.)
And just because the staff at Domino’s are showoffs, they do it again on the third question, updating it once they know that John is the delivery person:
Domino's Pizza Survey - Step 3 
“How did John your delivery expert do today?” dynamically replaces the previous and overly corporate wording of “Our goal is exceptional delivery. How was your delivery experience?” (For the record, I usually like my delivery experiences with epidurals and don’t-get-me-started on how Ridley Scott had to have been inspired to film Alien by an awful delivery experience.)
The last question, an open-ended question, is as friendly as they come, from “Use this handy box” to the request for “advice, grumblings or compliments”:
 Domino's Pizza Survey - Step 4
Finally, Domino’s does something pedestrian, limping across the finish line after an amazing race. The confirmation page asks me to call them if I need a response:
Domino's Pizza Survey - Step 5 
Call them? Can’t I text them or something? Certainly I should call if there is something wrong with the pizza and I want it fixed this minute, but this would be an appropriate place to ask for my email address if I wanted a response. They’ve already had me give them my physical address and phone number when placing the order. Still, a minor quibble to a phenomenal transactional survey.
Let’s recap:
  • Domino’s took a customer-service question (“Where is my pizza?”) and transformed it into a hip, Web 2.0 opportunity to conduct a transactional survey.
  • Domino’s made sure that its transactional survey didn’t detract from the actual customer experience but actually enhanced the experience.
  • Domino’s has set themselves up for a large response rate.  At a minimum, many people will rate two questions, and if they leave the web page open (thanks to the joy of tabbed browsers), then when they come back to their computer after eating their delicious pepperoni-half-onion-mushroom-pepper pizza, they will answer three more questions.
  • Domino’s has tightly integrated their feedback platform with their operational systems, to the point where they make it clear to me by name the cook and delivery person that I am rating. (John, I should point out, was very friendly and seemed genuinely interested in what exactly Vovici does in its hallowed halls.)
  • Domino’s demonstrated the utmost respect for respondents: the questionnaire was short and sweet and even conversational. Yet this is not a five-question survey, though respondents only have to answer five questions. Behind the scenes they integrate the feedback with the order itself and the operational data, collecting:
    1. The respondent’s phone number
    2. The address, allowing geographic analysis by city and state, and—by using the zip code—demographic analysis as well
    3. Whether this was an order sent to a home or business (specified with the address)
    4. All the attributes of the order itself
    5. The fact that they tried to upsell me the Buffalo Chicken Kickers® and I declined
    6. The time and date of the order
    7. The cook
    8. The delivery person
    9. …and some other fields I’m probably not thinking of
Domino’s has set itself up to do some incredibly sophisticated analysis of this customer feedback. This is the best example of a transactional survey I’ve seen since that whole swim-with-the-dolphins answer-a-survey-on-a-waterproof-PDA thing.  
Domino’s, when it comes to transactional surveys, truly you are the upper crust.

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