In the fickle restaurant industry, it’s not enough to serve award-winning recipes with the most professional and friendliest service. Restaurant owners today must be ready – and willing – to use the latest technology to gauge customer engagement and improve loyalty.

Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que is the latest to incorporate web-based technologies in its mission to increase long-term guest loyalty. Hofman Hospitality Group, which owns Lucille’s, recently hired Pedanco, the hospitality industry’s first cloud-based engagement and recovery platform to that organizes and analyzes guest feedback across multiple channels to optimize engagement.  

“We needed to ensure the complaint or compliment was routed to the appropriate team member, and most importantly, that the response was timely and impactful,” Craig Hofman, president of Hofman Hospitality Group, told Loyalty360. “After testing Pedanco’s cloud-based solution, it became clear quite early on that it was the ideal solution to help us consolidate and streamline our guest feedback and recovery process from many channels.”

Pedanco targets inefficiencies in the guest recovery process, according to James Polanco, the company’s co-founder.

“Hospitality companies are not effectively addressing issues and pleasing customers immediately following a negative experience,” Polanco said in a release. “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.”

Lucille’s has incurred steady growth since it began in 1999, but had no unified way of tracking customer engagement until hiring Pedanco, which was created by San Diego-based web applications and development firm DevelopmentArc.

Hofman Hospitality Group has worked with DevelopmentArc for many years. When the time came to streamline Lucille’s guest feedback and recovery process, especially the effectiveness of their response to feedback emanating from their “Contact Us” tool on their websites, Hofman looked to Pedanco.

Pedanco helped Lucille’s not only organize its website feedback, but also the restaurant’s survey data through InMoment and its social feedback, which is collected through the New Brand Analytics platform.  Now the team has a single system to manage all guest feedback, including phone calls at each location.

Once Lucille’s started using the Pedanco system, it was able to respond to more than 14,000 customer issues and average customer response times have been reduced from one week to 24 hours. This quick turnaround means frustrated customers have less time to voice their complaints publicly.

Additionally, comp cards and mailers were mailed within three days – instead of two weeks - further enhancing customer loyalty. And because Lucille’s can now see how much is being spent on comps across districts, the company has been able to stop cases of customer fraud.

Pedanco: Help for a complaint-heavy industry

Pedanco gives a restaurant’s entire team the ability to track and address customer complaints in a platform that encourages transparency and accountability.

“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,”  Aaron Pederson, Pedanco’s co-founder and CEO, added in a release. “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% drop in revenue.” 

The system is said to accelerate resolution by 20%. Pedanco is able to integrate other feedback platforms, functions on all operating systems, and can be accessed on any tablet or mobile device.

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