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Thrive Point-of-SaleWed, Nov 13, 2013 @ 02:41 PM5 min read

Waldo Cooney’s Pizza- Using Technology to Connect with Customers

Waldo Cooney’s Pizza has been a staple of the Chicago area since 1981. When owner Gary Cooney decided to get away from the corporate world, he took his skills as an executive chef and created a successful operation that is still going strong to this day. Seeing great success with his new customer rewards program, Waldo Cooney’s Pizza Rewards, Gary talks about how the SalesBuilder loyalty program has helped him reach out and keep his customers coming back happy.

Gary Cooney has been a long time customer of Diamond Touch POS, almost from theWaldo Cooney's Pizza Online Ordering beginning.  “When the business started, all we had was pencil and paper. It took a lot of time and effort to keep the orders running smoothly. Switching to Diamond Touch made the whole process easier, with quicker orders and faster service.” Gary feels that customers are the heart of his business. “Along with the caller ID and the ability to keep detailed customer information, we can make each customer feel like they are part of the family. It really helps to build rapport with each one.”

Knowing this, keeping the customers happy was priority one for Waldo Cooney’s Pizza. It was when he sat back and looked at his marketing and loyalty efforts that he felt something was missing. “We were big on lazy customers, sending out lots of mailers and post cards, however it was very time consuming.” You get a feel of how much time this took when he talks about the process. “First we would have to look through a customer database and find out when they had been here last. From there, we would divide up the mailers into a thirty, sixty and ninety day piles, depending on how long it had been since the customer had visited us.” As you can imagine, this wasn’t cheap either. “If you want to send out a decent card, it will cost you some money. Then you have to pay for stamps and come up with a coupon that will work for the customer, all the while taking time away from other things.” It wasn’t always a guarantee that the card would reach the customer either. “People would move, give us the wrong address and the cards would come back. It was a waste of money, time and the return of interest was just not worth it.”

Granbury Solutions acquired Diamond Touch in 2010, bringing with it a host of great products. One of these is SalesBuilder, a powerful marketing and loyalty tool. Once Gary began using SalesBuilder, he hasn’t looked back. There are several aspects that he loves and he talks about how it has helped his business. For one, it has greatly improved his marketing. “Sometimes it can be difficult to gain new customers and you spend a lot on advertising. People forget that once you get those customers, you want them to stay happy. They are the heart and soul of the business and we want to keep them coming back. Now all I have to do is grab their e-mail and we can put out our own specials whenever we want.”

Now that he has eliminated direct mailing, does he feel SalesBuilder is a better alternative? “Just from sending the e-mails, we have saved at least 600 dollars a month on direct mailing. I can advertise for free every week, giving them incentives to visit even more.”

Knowing this, he believes that the automation is one of the biggest boons to his business. “Ever since we have started SalesBuilder, we can put out our own specials whenever we want. It also reaches out to the customers without us having to do anything. When they haven’t visited us in awhile, birthdays, or even when they have earned rewards. It gets them to come back and keeps them coming back much more often.”

His customers have loved it every step of the way. “Once you explain to the customers they are getting rewards, they are on board. They also love the reminders! Pizza is a food you can eat several times a week, but we are a full serve restaurant too. Now we can easily advertise and let people know about everything else we offer. Everyone is looking for something and using SalesBuilder makes it easy enough that we can concentrate on providing great customer care.”

While SalesBuilder is fully automated, it still needs the customers to reach full potential. Gary has taken several measures to ensure customers know about it. “We have a link on our website that explains all about the program, plus every time a customer calls we explain about the great offers and ask if they want to join. We also have surveys sent out through SalesBuilder to check on them and keep our customers coming back. They are definitely the core of the program.”

Along with all of this, SalesBuilder also integrates directly with his point-of-sale system, tracking customer sales and offer redemptions. “The integration is great and we couldn’t have done this without it. The cost of labor to run the loyalty program without integration is just too much.”

Besides integrating with his POS, SalesBuilder also works great with the online ordering program, Let’s Get, another Granbury product. Gary is just as happy with the results he has seen from online ordering. “Let’s Get is working out great, very convenient for people. There are lots of customers these days who only want to use online ordering, plus the average check is much higher.” This is due in no small part to the ability of Let’s Get to up-sell to customers as they are ordering their food. “The pictures are what really help to sell the product. You have a lot of control over what people see too. Besides the pizza, the customers view all the sandwiches, desserts and other food we offer and you can’t do that over the phone. I wish I had started online ordering years ago.”

Gary continues to reward his customers every day, with great offers, excellent service and delicious pizza and Granbury Solutions will be there with him every step of the way.