An interview with the CEO of Krispy Kreme, Tony Thompson
In March 2015, KPMG Nunwood launched its 2015 US Customer Experience Excellence Report, which evaluated the leading brands for customer experience in America. The results showed that the US, were in fact, delivering an experience more superior to that of the UK and a particular topic of interest for us was the ‘Have A Nice Day’ culture at work in the US.
Krispy Kreme is a brand that did exceptionally well in the rankings, finishing in 7th place. Standing out for meeting Expectations and acting with Integrity, Krispy Kreme has worked hard to improve the in-store customer experience including the implementation of its S.W.E.E.T. (Smile. Welcome. Engage. Enhance. Thank) service programme.
This Q&A session with Krispy Kreme CEO Tony Thompson, looks into the emphasis Krispy Kreme puts on customer experience, and why it proves such an important part of their business.
Tony, could you provide a quote on what makes Krispy Kreme stand out in customer service?
Our service culture (hospitality) is our mission statement brought to life. We truly believe and live our mission “to touch and enhance lives through the joy that is Krispy Kreme.” All of our accomplishments and our confidence in future successes of Krispy Kreme are only possible because of our talented and passionate team. I want to express my sincere appreciation to my fellow Krispy Kreme team members for their commitment and outstanding work in creating one-of-a-kind experiences and joyful memories for our guests and customers each and every day around the world.
What do you think has driven your success in the customer experience?
We believe that there are three key factors that have led to our success for nearly 80 years. The first two being that we have both a best in class product, and a brand that is truly iconic and beloved around the world. And the third, but no less important, as it is truly the tie that binds the first two together, is the team of almost 4000 ‘team members’ who are passionate about our brand and its products. They work hard every day to add a little bit of joy to the lives of everyone who enters our shops. These are attributes that many companies can only dream of, and for Krispy Kreme to have all three going for us is something we do not take for-granted.
What do you think drives your customers to rate the business so highly?
Krispy Kreme is quite simply about bringing JOY into the lives of our guests. What could be more joyful than a hot Original Glazed® doughnut, delicious coffee and a warm smile? However, our team members recognize that we are not just in business to make delicious doughnuts and coffee. They make it their daily mission ‘To Touch and Live through the Joy That Is Krispy Kreme.” It is that global mission and our brand pillars of being Good-Hearted; Fun; Simple; Genuine; Craveable and Promoting Sharing that drive the magic moments we share with our customers.
Has the business made any investments over the last year in order to improve its customer experience?
Our team has done a remarkable job driving customers into our shops through fun and craveable limited time offerings and promotions; we’ve also deployed a number of initiatives to enhance the consumer’s experience while inside the shop. Among those initiatives were a number of highlights, including the implementation of our S.W.E.E.T. Service hospitality program. S.W.E.E.T. is the promise that we make to our guests and to each other to exceed their expectations. EVERY interaction that we have with our guests has the ability to be a “S.W.E.E.T. moment”
In addition to the S.W.E.E.T (Smile. Welcome.Engage.Enhance. Thank) program, we’ve modernized team member uniforms in all US company shops; and introduced in-store doughnut and beverage sampling opportunities to provide a more inviting and interactive shop experience for our guests.
Social media has also played a critical role in how we interact and build relationships with our guests. We are actively engaging our fans across Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms and have begun a limited launch of our My Treats Loyalty App which allows customers to make mobile payments and earn rewards for their purchases.
How would you describe the culture of company?
Krispy Kreme isn’t ours. It’s everyone’s. We make joy, and that is something that can change the world. We take pride in this beloved brand and we pursue excellence in all we are and all we do. We strive to keep our Culture and Mission Statement in alignment and we are passionate about our devotion to fun, family, community and Krispy Kreme.
What’s next for the business to continue on the journey of Customer Experience Excellence?
While there are a number of exciting customer service enhancements in the pipeline, the most visible effort is our mobile guest engagement platform. We began testing the platform late last year, including introducing the new “My Krispy Kreme Treats” loyalty and reward program. The app allows us to reward our guests with points that can be redeemed on future visits. The app also offers stored value, which can be securely loaded and allows our guests to easily “pay and go”. In the coming months, we plan to add an e-gifting feature, which allows consumers to share the joy of Krispy Kreme with family and friends using reward points or digital stored value. A nationwide rollout is planned for later this year.
For more customer experience insights visit the KPMG Nunwood Customer Experience Management blog.