#RIC18: For Dunkin’ Brands, Data Identifies CX Pain Points

Paul Murray, Director of Digital Experience, Dunkin’ Brands


Data can provide retailers with a lot of answers — but in some cases, its most useful function is identifying which questions the retailer needs to ask. Paul Murray, Director of Digital Experience at Dunkin’ Brands, shared several real-world examples of how the retailer used surveys, analysis and AI technology to figure out why the expected didn’t happen or the unexpected occurred.

At the Retail Innovation Conference session titled Closing The CX Chasm, Murray was joined by ERDM Founder Ernan Roman. “Customers have unprecedented and unmet expectations about personalized value,” said Roman. “There’s a chasm between the customer experience (CX) fantasy that brands have versus reality.”


The first case study involved the launch of Dunkin’s loyalty program in 2013. “We had a huge wave of enrollment at the start, because we already had a very loyal base of customers,” said Murray. “But we came down from that initial ‘big boom’ a little faster than we had expected.”

To find out why, Murray’s team surveyed a wide range of customers: those that had completed the program enrollment; those that had begun but failed to complete it; and those that didn’t enroll at all. The retailer discovered that a key drop-off point during the enrollment process was occurring when users had to enter their credit card information. “Some people didn’t have their card information handy because they didn’t know they would need it,” said Murray. “Some people came back with it, but others walked away and didn’t return.”

Armed with this insight, Dunkin’ improved its retargeting efforts with more succinct information and added alternate payment tools such as digital wallets. “We put all the education information in a paid media spot, because we had to get it across to people to close the gap,” said Murray. “The result was that we were able to lower our cost per acquisition by 6%, and people came into the process better prepared.”

Another time when more digging was needed involved weather-based promotions delivered via the Dunkin’ mobile app. Traffic-building promotions sent out during inclement weather such as winter storms weren’t as profitable as the retailer had hoped. “We did an email survey to determine what people’s redemption motivations were,” said Murray. “The insight we discovered is that the people we were promoting to were going out in the storm anyway. These were plow drivers and first responders, and sometimes a Dunkin’ Donuts was the only place that was open. For others, they were never going to come to a store, because the bad weather broke their usual patterns.”

The retailer shifted its approach to building basket sizes versus increasing the number of transactions: “We tried to sell them sandwiches, so they would have coffee to stay awake plus food,” said Murray. “The result was improved profitability among the redeemers. This was a case where all the data indicated that weather-based promotions didn’t work, but we just needed to dig in more.”

Watch a video of the session here.

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