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Sqwid – Social Hospitality Discussion with Pi Pizzeria Founder Chris Sommers

When dining at a restaurant, customers may be very happy with their meal, or they may be dissatisfied. Either way, they will often forgo expressing their feelings to the house manager and head straight to social media. Business owners can monitor such chatter via any number of online reputation management and monitoring tools, but merely locating the chatter is not enough.

Chris Sommers, founder and owner of Pi Pizzeria, identified a need to better serve his customers that happen to use social media, and worked with developers to build a new social hospitality tool called Sqwid. Business owners can respond to social media mentions from within Sqwid, and can include a clicakble reward in the response. This allows the business owner to interact with both happy and unhappy customers in a very powerful way. At the height of their satisfaction or dissatisfaction, the business owner is there with a reward, and the customer feels listened to. Chris walked me through the administrative panel of Sqwid (where the merchant operates the product), and from a business owner’s point of view, I have to say it’s pretty cool.

Another aspect of Sqwid that we did not discuss on air is a business’ marketing spend. Many are using daily deal sites right now to drive foot traffic, but there’s a problem. Many of the first-time customers are there because of the deal, and they will not return. Often, they do not properly tip their servers because they calculate gratuity on the discounted tab. And the business basically receives 25 cents on the dollar over a 60 day period. If you don’t run the numbers and don’t understand your costs, using a daily deal site can be financially devastating to your business. Using a service like Sqwid is a different kind of marketing spend – you use it to strengthen your existing relationships. When publicly taking care of customers online, everyone else can see how you handle your business, and may decide your business is worth patronizing. That is a profitable way to increase visibility and foot traffic.

Thanks to Angela Hutti for having us on the air, and thank you Chris Sommers for the Pi Pizzeria award. I’m writing this blog post on a Saturday morning at 10:30am, and frankly I’m surprised I haven’t already redeemed the award. Time for breakfast hours at Pi!

Here’s a link to the story on Fox 2’s website, in case the embedded video above does not cooperate.

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