Since 1999, Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que, an award-winning restaurant concept with 19 restaurants in California, Arizona and Nevada, has enjoyed an exceptional reputation for its savory, Southern-style food and down-home, friendly service. Yet, as the concept continues to grow, Hofman Hospitality Group, owners and operators of Lucille’s, realized the company could benefit from the ability to easily integrate and analyze guest feedback to quicken recovery and increase long-term guest loyalty.
In 2013, Southern California-based Hofman Hospitality Group turned to Pedanco, the hospitality industry’s first, cloud-based guest engagement and recovery platform that organizes and analyzes guest feedback across multiple channels to optimize engagement, accelerate recovery and restore guest loyalty. Pedanco, created by DevelopmentArc, a San Diego-based web applications and consulting firm, fills a void in the industry for a solution that can easily integrate and facilitate action from guest complaints received in the restaurant as well as through emails, phone calls, surveys, tablets, social media, and restaurant websites.
Before integrating Pedanco into its internal communications system, Lucille’s had no unified method for tracking what types of issues were occurring company-wide. After implementing the Pedanco solution, Lucille’s has responded to more than 14,000 customer issues across its 19 locations and average customer response times have been reduced from one week to 24 hours, enough time to keep many customers from moving online to publicly voice complaints. Comp cards and personal mailers were mailed within three days, down from two weeks. Consequently, because they were able to pinpoint exactly how much money was being spent on comps across their districts and locations, Lucille’s eliminated several cases of customer fraud.
Additionally, Lucille’s began using real customer feedback as a tool for training and human resources.
According to Craig Hofman, president, Hofman Hospitality Group, customer complaint issues were no longer a significant focus of weekly staff meetings. “In an increasingly expanding social environment, it is critical that our team members have the technology and tools to respond to customer complaints as efficiently as possible. At Lucille’s, customer satisfaction is our top priority and Pedanco has allowed our team to be more responsive and actually create even more loyal customers.”
How Pedanco Works
Pedanco’s proprietary technology enables a company’s entire team to track the life of a guest complaint from submission to resolution by centralizing all actionable customer feedback into a user-friendly platform that fosters transparency and accountability among team members, who are assigned to engage and resolve the issue. The system accelerates resolution by as much as 20 percent. With a focus on productive customer engagement, Pedanco is capable of integrating other feedback systems to allow for seamless communication and guest recovery. Pedanco functions with all operating systems and can be accessed on tablets and mobile devices to allow conversation management from any location.
“Today, the public has a multitude of ways to air complaints making it much more difficult for companies, especially those in the hospitality industry, to respond effectively and in a timely manner,” said Aaron Pederson, Pedanco’s co-founder and CEO. “These companies have at best 48 hours to respond to a complaint before customers turn to social media. A one-star dip on Yelp can lead to a 9 percent drop in revenue. The Pedanco solution allows companies to gain control and engage immediately with customers before the issue negatively impacts a client’s reputation or profitability.”
Among its many features, Pedanco includes tools to maintain consistency in responses between restaurant locations and team members from small operations to large chains with hundreds or thousands of locations. With Pedanco’s analytics dashboard, companies can view trends in conversations, verify that team members are responding to customers in a timely, consistent manner, and intercept breakdowns in communication before they negatively impact a client’s operations, reputation or profitability.
“Pedanco tackles the inefficiencies in the guest recovery process,” said James Polanco, co-founder of Pedanco. “Hospitality companies are not effectively addressing issues and pleasing customers immediately following a negative experience. Pedanco solves this problem and our clients are already experiencing a significant shift in how their employees resolve complaints and that has made a positive impact on their bottom line.”
Signal Hill, Calif.-based Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que (lucillesbbq.com) offers award-winning, savory, Southern-style food in 19, full-service, high-energy restaurants throughout California, Arizona and Nevada. Signature slow-smoked barbeque, flavorful appetizers, soups, salads, burgers, sides and desserts are served with a large helping of down-home, friendly service. Lucille’s restaurants are reminiscent of a Southern roadhouse replete with its distinctive front Southern decor, and also offer Live Blues entertainment in the Flying Pig Lounges. Family-owned, Lucille’s has plans to expand its unique brand of Southern hospitality to more locations in the future. For more information, visit lucillesbbq.com, facebook.com/LucillesSmokehouseBBQ or twitter.com/Lucilles_BBQ.
DevelopmentArc LLC is an application and consulting firm specializing in creating highly compelling experiences using web-based technologies. Founded in 2008 by Aaron Pedersen and James Polanco, DevelopmentArc has helped a multitude of companies, from Fortune 500s to seed-round startups, create powerful solutions for their customers. Most recently, the company launched Pedanco, the hospitality industry’s first, cloud-based guest engagement and recovery platform that organizes and analyzes guest feedback across multiple channels to optimize engagement, accelerate recovery and restore guest loyalty. Visit pedanco.com for more information.