Ordering food online has never been easier, but that doesn’t mean everyone wants to do it. In fact, the phone still the preferred method for most consumers. Trouble is, placing orders via phone means more room for human error, since anything from a spotty connection to bad hearing can lead to incorrect orders.
With that in mind, Domino’s just officially unveiled a method that could leverage the accuracy you get with technology without forcing people to go full digital if they don’t want to.
Its (his?) name is DOM, and while this chatbot-like being has been accepting orders online since 2014, this is the first time the AI-powered voice-recognition system will also be taking telephone calls. DOM can also answer questions when customers call to check on the status of their order.
“While many of our orders come via digital platforms, there are still millions of customers who like to call in their orders directly to their local stores,” Dennis Maloney, Domino’s Chief Digital Officer, said in a press release. “DOM can now take those orders, freeing up our store team members to focus on preparing orders and serving customers already in the lobby.”
Domino’s has quietly been testing DOM’s phone skills in a handful of company-owned locations over the last few months. Initial feedback was positive enough to expand the test to 20 stores, and Domino’s says it plans to implement the service in more sites over the next few months.
Meanwhile, Domino’s CEO and President, J. Patrick Doyle, noted (in the same press release) that the company’s goal is to “one day be 100% digital.”
The trailblazing pizza company is well on its way: Currently, 65 percent of its U.S. sales are digital, and Domino’s is continually testing new concepts and ideas, be they self-driving delivery robots or giving customers 15 different ways to order digitally on Superbowl Sunday.
But they’re not alone. Papa John’s claims 60 percent of its sales are digital and says it’s more like Amazon than a brick-and-mortar retailer. Likewise, Pizza Hut addressed its dragging sales by starting a loyalty program and allowing people to order via Amazon Echo. And Little Caesars recently filed a patent for a pizza-making robot, which means they too have an eye towards technological solutions.
So is pizza the new tech company? Actually, it’s a good route to test out these new concepts. The worldwide pizza market is currently worth $134 billion, and one doesn’t need a statistician to predict that the pizza-eating population isn’t declining anytime soon.
But as Domino’s implied when it announced this week’s news, not everyone is ready to hang up the phone and order exclusively through digital. “Voice is a more natural way for people to interact with technology,” Domino’s CEO and president, J. Patrick Doyle, noted in the press release.
It could be this flexibility that gives Domino’s an edge over its competitors. DOM gives the company a way to meet the needs of less tech-savvy customers without sacrificing its digital strategy. That combination could mean Domino’s is headed for absolute dominance sometime soon.