Loyalty-conscious brands are now, more than ever, looking at engagement strategies. We’ve heard from industry leaders who say that it’s time to think of loyalty and retention as a relationship between customer and brand that is not limited to transactions. Now, thanks to a case study from Service Management Group (SMG), interested parties can get a glimpse into how Krispy Kreme Japan has overhauled its customer experience approach to create these kinds of relationships.  
 
When Krispy Kreme first came to Japan in 2006, consumers greeted the arrival of the brand and its sugary American confections with enthusiasm. In the natural course of events, that enthusiasm began to dissipate with the passage of time. The brand had to act.  
 
Its leadership realized that it needed to shift its focus from opening new stores to enhancing CX at its existing ones. According to the SMG case study, “By addressing gaps in CX (particularly at bottom-performing stores), [Krispy Kreme] hoped to increase customer loyalty and become a long-time-loved brand in Japan.” Essentially, the brand decided it was time to heed the Pareto Principle. 
 
In 2016, Krispy Kreme decided to perform some research to figure out which CX strategies were working and which weren’t. As such, the company launched a CEM program designed for capturing real-time feedback. This enabled the company to understand how customers feel about in-store experiences. 
 
Krispy Kreme found that customer satisfaction and average spend were higher when store associates mentioned campaigns and programs or when the associates explained the brand’s products and services. It was also revealed that associates best performed these tasks when promoting Krispy Kreme Rewards, the brand’s loyalty program, and the program’s mobile app. 
  
The brand took several measures to act on these insights. First, it added an “Asked if a Loyalty Member” question to its CX survey in order to see which stores weren’t meeting brand goals. Training modules for employees were also added to the brand’s app, which enabled employees to provide feedback. In addition, the company got in the habit of sharing monthly survey results across the company, enabling associates to see the effects of following through on these loyalty initiatives.  
 
These policies saw positive results. Chiefly, the company saw app membership increase fourfold. It also found that its service standards were met more frequently, and products and services were explained more often. Associates were more likely to mention promotions and campaigns to consumers. 
 
Overall, brands across industries are making efforts to increase employee engagement. In turn, this can drive customer engagement. Krispy Kreme’s research shows just how effective this strategy can be. 

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