February 20, 2017

Potbelly Drives Steady Growth With A Focus on ‘Strong GMs’

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On Potbelly’s (Nasdaq: PBPB) latest earnings call, CEO, Aylwin B. Lewis, identified the main value drivers of his business responsible for their steady year-over-year revenue growth as well as the expansion of the brand by roughly 60 stores come end of 2017.  

Outside of new unit openings, growth of back line business, and digital marketing initiatives – ‘Strong GMs’ ranked as the top value driver that has lead to more operationally efficient and profitable shops to date. As part of this initiative, the executive team has invested more deeply in an area coined as the Potbelly Advantage by introducing operational tools and a refined labor model aimed to reduce GM work week hours and enhance energy levels and results. 

At the core of Potbelly’s value driver initiatives is an unrelenting commitment to upholding a tradition of operational excellence by directing the efforts of a GM towards improving the customer experience and unlocking greater profitability.

Tattle Partners’: Strong GM’ Approach

Naturally, when the executive team of a 30-location restaurant chain chose Tattle as their CXM partner, it came as no surprise that they too identified ‘Strong GMs’ as a transformational value driver tied to store performance.

Based upon the brand’s approach, Tattle customized a strategy for its GMs to execute a customer experience management platform giving GMs the ability to easily manage relationships with their customer base while also using the platform to increase guest satisfaction, drive repeat purchases, increase app downloads, and improve online reputation.

Through the first 30-days of launch, we quickly discovered the correlation between each of the 30 stores’ guest sentiment levels to unit revenue as well as a correlation between guest sentiment and GM response rates to feedback. In summation, the more engaged a GM was in utilizing the platform, the higher the guest satisfaction became at their store.

Through more than 1,200 Tattles in 30-days from guests consisting of roughly 15 questions rigorously detailing their customer experience, we amassed a robust sentiment data set. Through this curated information, we were able to provide an actionable strategy highlighting how GMs can improve upon it’s store’s bottom-line.

Here are the major takeaways listed below:

1 – Customer Retention Approach:  

Over the first 30-days, our partner had collected 92 Tattles from customers who were dissatisfied by their experience and indicated they were ‘unlikely’ to return. Annually, these customers represent $31,100 in revenue based upon their frequency of visit and the average check amount. The higher performing GMs saw this opportunity and responded with Oops! Cards for Free Meal to drive the customer back in store!

2 – Online Reputation Improvement: 

Roughly half of the 1,2000 guest feedback submissions had been 5-Star Tattles. Through our commendably high Tattle to public review conversion rate, roughly 15% of these Tattles would convert for publication by customers to highly trafficked review sites for others customers to see. The higher performing GMs spotted this opportunity and asked their customers to spread the word!

3 – Rewards Program Member Increase: 

In total, more than half of our brand’s guests who Tattled indicated that they were not participants in the rewards programs despite their high frequency of visits. Coupled with the ability to track CTR app download attribution, our brands target these customers for reward program conversion. Again, the higher performing GMs identified an opportunity to drive ROI knowing that reward members generally spend 150% more than annually than other guests!

Similar to the focus of Potbelly’s ‘Strong GM’ value driver, Tattle was used to implement a strategy designed to empower GMs and drive profitability through maintaing a more operational efficient customer experience management process. 

Tattle works to customize strategies for our partners based upon their customer service ethos and priorities. Our Customer Success team works diligently to analyze insights gathered, determine an actionable plan and direct from GM through CEO to optimize the account in areas from staff training through sentiment data reports.

We are passionate about creating strategies around the needs of our partners with a focus on ROI and guest-centric culture to hit their targets and grow shop profitability.