Can They Get You on the iPhone?

By | March 15, 2011

There were two incidents over the past two days that came together for me in a powerful way.

The first was while I was on Papa John’s website and noticed its iPhone app. I thought, well, of course. How many times do I think ordering pizza for dinner on my way home from somewhere? There are lots of good pizza places around. Whoever makes it easiest for me wins the business, right? Creating a mobile app for takeout pizza is a no-brainer.

The second was yesterday when I scanned the QR code on the cover of a printer’s self-promotion mailing. The code took me to a traditional webpage that on my phone looked to be in 2-pt. type. iPhone screens are a decent size, but navigating the page was difficult. I could zoom in and move around, but if I had been looking for something specific, I would have had trouble finding it. Kudos to the printer for getting its toes wet using QR codes, but I wondered how much thought had been given to the experience of the user once they scanned it.

Then I thought — Papa John’s.

Printing is a lot like takeout pizza. You often don’t realize you need something until you’re out of the office, doing something else, then — bam! — you remember what it is you need to do. If that happens to a client of yours, how easy is it for them to use their phone to access your website and contact you? To place an order? Check on the status of a job?

If cellphones are today’s laptops, shouldn’t we all be as concerned about the mobile B2B experience as we are the in-office experience?

Just like great pizza, there are lots of great printers out there. How seriously are you taking your customers’ mobile experience with your company?

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5 thoughts on “Can They Get You on the iPhone?

  1. Patrick Whelan

    Yes, the company that makes it easiest to do business with will most often get the work and the customers/buyers will find a way to justify the price AFTER the purchase decision. Staying top of mind is one of the first steps to take regarding ease of doing business. Lots more as well.

  2. Jason

    I order from the pizza place that has the best pizza. I don’t care how easy it is to order bad pizza, I just want the good stuff. An iPhone App is great but it’s just a marketing gimmick if the company can’t produce a quality product. I didn’t realize calling a pizza place and telling them what you want to order had become so difficult that we now needed an app for that.

  3. Heidi Tolliver-Nigro Post author

    I don’t see it as a gimmick. I see it as customer retention. Any time you can get a customer to buy into a deeper relationship with you, the better.

    Sure, you can call the local pizza place, too, but from the customer perspective, it only works if you order the same thing all the time or you know the menu by heart. From the pizza shop’s perspective, they’d rather you were looking at a menu where you could be upsold, whether by adding toppings, a drink, a dessert, or something else.

    That’s where Papa John’s is smart. You can order off the rack, but you can also take the standard pizza and customize it. Browse the available standards, pick one, then adjust and tweak based on your preferences. You do this visually, actually looking at each option, which has a marketing benefit of its own. “Oh, I hadn’t thought of adding THAT!” Then there are the upsells at the end. I’m sure Papa John’s sells a lot more toppings, sodas, cheese sticks, and other things using a mobile site than they would just with a phone call.

    That’s where printers can learn from them.

  4. Elizabeth Gooding

    And… once you have downloaded the app to your phone they can send you information on specials, send you coupons, alert you if your order is delayed and do all those nifty things that smart loyalty marketers recommend. If it’s a gimmick then it’s a gimmick like slicing the bread before selling it. ;-0

  5. Richard Wright

    I would strongly recommend that what ever direction a printer goes to extend client information, they make it device neutral. Good design and a bit of planning can go a long way to make information usable on smart phones. Don’t try to guess your clients preferences for technology. Provide basic info, and always include a phone # where they can call and speak with the right person.

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