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Practical customer engagement examples #1

Author's avatar By 15 Aug, 2011
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Pizza Express’ multichannel QR code

Nothing makes an idea or concept come to life better than a story or an example. So I’ve decided to create an ongoing series of posts simply showing some of the best examples of engagement I’ve seen. These are both as part of campaigns and as engagement devices on web, mobile or social network sites.

If you know of anything I should feature please drop me a line.

Pizza Express iPhone QR code

Pizza Express – from QR code to iPhone App payment

Over the last six months the rise of QR codes for multichannel customer engagement and marketing has reached a tipping-point. Providing an easy way to use a smartphone to scan a small code in the real world and immediately access information or a service online means QR codes have started to crop up on posters, newspapers and even TV ads.

All too frequently these QR codes are simply used to link to an existing page on a website, however Pizza Express’ use recently caught my eye as an excellent example.

Like many parents I love the UK based restaurant chain. The food is a cut above the norm, they’re one of the most child-friendly outlets on the high street and their service is usually exemplary. On a recent visit I noticed a paper wrapper on the glass flower vase at the centre of the table featuring a QR code and promoting their new iPhone app.

Pizza Express table showing QR code vase

Pizza Express provides free WiFi so scanning the image using an iPhone and installing their app takes a matter of 30 seconds. Once installed the app offers the menu, find-a-restaurant, table booking, news and special offers. However most impressive is the mobile bill payment once linked to an existing PayPal account (again less than a minute).

Pizza Express iPhone app screens

After your meal enter the number at the bottom of the bill into the app, choose how much service charge you wish to add and pay. Confirmation is made on screen, via an email and more impressively in our case, via the waitress who thanked us almost immediately – a great joined up service.

This experience provides value for both the restaurant and the customer. For me, the customer, I feel in control. Lack of control is one of the most important triggers for undermining engagement. I can imagine for time-pressed business lunches this control might make the difference in me choosing Pizza Express over another establishment. While I’ve never had a service problem at Pizza Express what the iPhone app provides is a reinforcement of that service brand value that is central to the food chain’s appeal.

For Pizza Express, they now have a direct route to market to me on a device I spend more time with than anything else in the world. They can capture data on my in-restaurant purchases and begin to understand that I’m not a regular visitor to any one store but instead a regular visitor to the chain – something thaat would previously have been difficult if not impossible.

Finally, Pizza Express has created a short-term talking point at the centre of the table that can travel beyond the restaurant to allow the brand to be talked about online – as witnessed here.

Download the Pizza Express iPhone app

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