My corporate experience was the perfect place to learn about the importance of the total experience, as every experience is custom created for each guest. It also taught me that long-term success is all about transactions, or traffic. The number of transactions is the one number that is real. Even for a single store operator, success is defined by how many times he opens the cash register and how much money he puts in every time. If he is opening the cash register fewer times every day, he should be worried.
After earning my undergraduate degree in aeronautical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur, India, and my MBA from Brigham Young University, I started my corporate career at Pizza Hut. Next, I worked with Boston Market, assisting the brand’s evolution from Boston Chicken to Boston Market, and I was one of the founding members of Einstein Bros., instrumental in determining the guest experience for the brand.
In my last corporate job, as vice president of marketing and operation services for Papa John’s International, I designed and implemented a guest-experience-focused online ordering system, the first system of its kind. Since the system’s implementation, the pizza chain’s revenue from online ordering has increased by more than 50 percent every year, and the company recently completed more than $1 billion in transactions. I was also part of the team that worked on the Pizza Hut v. Papa John’s lawsuit, which has become a benchmark for one of the most successful comparative advertising campaigns.
Since 2001, I have been the president and CEO of ZenMango, a marketing consulting firm working with a variety of companies that include restaurants, retail brands, service brands, nonprofits and charities, academic institutions, top golf professionals, and other guest-experience-driven industries. In the book, I have included the commonality from all of my learning, and that is the essence of using Customer Karma to build a long-term relationship with customers.