Does the customer always know best? This has long been a rule adhered to in customer service – but how much should it influence a brand’s content strategy? Is basing your content strategy around this concept a recipe for success or disaster? Figaro Digital spoke to Anthony Leung, UK Social Media Manager at Pret A Manger, to learn more about Pret’s unique approach to customer feedback. Read on to discover how the brand has harnessed the power of customer voice to achieve success in its recent launch of Veggie Pret, and in the brand as a whole.
The Personal Touch – Making The Customer Voice Valuable
Pret has incorporated customer feedback to be “central” in every aspect of the brand, Leung explains. “We’ve made customer feedback central to what we do. It’s on our packaging, our website, and on our social media. When customers see that across all aspects of the brand, this enforces how valuable our customer’s feedback is to us.” Pret is in constant dialogue with its customers, and this approach was showcased in the recent launch of two Veggie Pret stores in London. This idea came to life in summer 2015, when Pret’s CEO Clive Schlee wrote a blog post discussing the opening of cafes selling exclusively meat-free food. After receiving 10,000 votes in response to the blog, Pret set up a Veggie pop-up in Soho, which eventually turned into a permanent shop following 20,000 positive comments from the public.
Allowing customer feedback to directly influence its content strategy has been hugely successful for Pret; after the overwhelming success of the first Veggie Pret, it has opened a second in Shoreditch, and rolled out veggie fridges in stores across the country. Also, the incorporation of customer feedback into all aspects of its brand, from recipes to its window displays, has allowed Pret to really connect with its customers in a personal way, and emphasise the value of their customers’ feedback. This approach allows Pret to “engage in meaningful conversations” according to Leung, improving its service and making its customers happy.
Following Through – The Importance Of Real Life Changes
It’s all very well asking for customer feedback, but following through is essential to customer satisfaction. Proving to your customers that you are listening to what they have to say, by actually acting on it, is essential. Leung explains: “If you ask for feedback, customers need to see that their voices have influenced changes”. He describes this as central to Pret’s special relationship with its customers on social media, because “they can see their tweets turn into real life changes in the shop and actually taste the difference they’ve inspired.” This also increases User-Generated Content (UGC), as customers see that their comments are listened to and are encouraged to engage. “Our social media content revolves around inviting customer feedback, then showcasing the new recipes our chefs have created in response to that feedback…our food is visually eye-catching, so it lends itself nicely to pictures and videos on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter”, Leung says. A quick scroll through Pret’s Instagram makes this approach immediately clear – the Veggie New Yorker, for example, was a monthly Chef’s Special that made its way into the main menu in response to customer feedback. Actually tasting the difference they’ve inspired means Pret customers feel their feedback is welcomed, but more importantly, acted upon.
Pret has proved that making customer feedback central to their brand can equal great success. Welcoming customers to engage, and then acting on this engagement and being inspired by it, is a key part of their strategy to provide “innovation that meets and goes beyond the customers’ expectation”.