For Dave Cozzola, a love of pizza runs deep. His Italian ancestry instilled an appreciation for delicious food and it was a central part of his early years. His uncle regularly took a young Dave and his brothers to sample pie at Chicago's best pizzerias. Years later, Dave turned favorite bread recipes into pizza crusts and began experimenting with various sauces, inviting friends over for regular pizza parties at his house. His friends talked him into opening a shop, and in 1987 Cozzola's Pizza was born. Now, nearly 25 years later, Dave's pioneering use of offbeat and healthy ingredients has been adopted by the mainstream. But his commitment to his customers is what really sets him apart.
We sat down with Dave to discuss how the technology he uses makes a difference in his operation. Since 2007, his FireFly pizza point-of-sale system has helped him manage effectively, gain new customers, and even get some time to relax at home (rarely).
“By far, my favorite feature with the Firefly POS system is that it allows me to support the store remotely from my basement. I can also keep tabs on what is happening while it's happening. There are a ton of things I like about the software. It's feature-rich and incredibly powerful. Of all the products that I looked at when we bought, it offered the greatest flexibility and sophistication."
Customers For Life
Customers are at the heart of Dave’s business, so keeping them happy is his top priority. “One simple marketing strategies I have used is to export my new customers. I just mail merge the list into a personal welcome letter where I introduce myself as the owner of the business, thank them for giving us a try, and tell them what we’re all about. I want them to know why they made a great decision to buy our pizza. And I’ll give them an offer - like $5 off their next order. The POS system makes this easy to do and it’s very effective.”
Once a customer becomes a regular, the FireFly system can help smooth over the occasional rough spot. “I love the FireFly customer credit feature,” explained Dave. “If we make a mistake, we just issue a credit in the POS system. Customers love it when they call up and we tell them that we owe them a free pizza because we put pepperoni on instead of sausage last time. They can’t believe that they don’t have to remind us. We can take a bad experience and turn it into something that will keep a customer forever.”