“We’ve thrown out the rule book” – Oporto customer experience revamp unveiled

By Nick Hall | 24 Jul 2019 View comments

Iconic Australian fast-food franchise Oporto has launched a full-scale experience update, reviving its storefronts and reworking its training program. The new Oporto customer experience revamp comes after a lengthy research and develop project that saw Oporto seek direct input from customers.

The research found that while Oporto’s products were considered to be of exceptional quality and could be sold for an additional premium, further investment was needed from a premise and training perspective.

Michelle Draper, Oporto customer experience manager said the revamp allowed the brand to cement its position as a premium Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) offering.

“In the minds of consumers, Oporto is considered a premium product. We discovered we could easily match or exceed the rankings of the premium QSRs simply by redesigning the physical layout of our stores and investing more in our people,” she said.

Employee updates

As part of the Oporto customer experience revamp, the brand challenged employees to showcase their individuality.

“You can’t teach personality – it’s innate and needs to be cultivated by the individual,” Draper said. “But we can certainly aid the process of personality development by giving employees the tools and knowledge to be able to engage with customers in a meaningful way.”

The initiative started as simply as giving workers more freedom over the type of uniform they wore, and the results have been twofold. Not only are employees responding well the new culture focus, but it is having a resounding response from customers.

“Consumers want personality; they don’t want to be served by a robot,” Draper said.

“So, we’ve thrown out the rule book and we’re empowering team members to think for themselves, be hospitable and treat customers as if they were friends or family in their own homes.”

A key component of the Oporto customer experience revamp was additional product education and training, all aimed are better equipping workers with the tools for meaningful customer engagement.

Draper said starting out with cooking and preparation workshops, which included blindfolded sauce tasting, allowed the brand to really express how important a full-scale experience can be.

“It goes without saying that employees should know as much as they can about the product they sell. So, we’re training employees in ‘farm to plate’ so they know what the ingredients are and where they come from,” Draper said.

Consultation

The process wasn’t all workshops and tastings, however. Oporto senior brand manager Hollie Dent-Noble revealed that an extensive amount of time was invested into research and customer consultation.

“We went a little rogue in our stores, trying all sorts of crazy scenarios and then obtaining customer feedback,” Dent-Noble said. “It was fun and interesting to experiment but in the end, consumers want the most basic details taken care of, such as always being acknowledged the moment they enter the store.”

Store layout

The brand manager found that physical store design was critical to a customer’s experience and revisited the idea of fund divergence as a method for kickstarting a layout revival.

“We actually redirected our advertising spend towards the development of our employees and the presentation of our physical stores, believing the customer experience needed to live up to people’s perception of our brand,” she said.

The modernisation of the physical stores also served as a multi-faceted future-proofing device. As customers increasingly look towards ‘ease of service’ providers, stores must be able to meet demand, and Oporto saw boosting atmosphere and flow is a way to combat evolving trends

Oporto customer experience revamp

The latest Oporto customer experience revamp shows a significant step forward for the iconic Australian franchise.

Where the brand has always stood up is in its quality of products, however a renewed focus on customer satisfaction and experience is likely to bolster market interest moving forward.

Draper said that for the all the effort, research and development put into the Oporto customer experience revamp, the goal was as simple as ever.

“We want customers to leave feeling better than when they arrived,” she said.