Using mobiles to improve customer experience

Posted on June 16, 2011  /  0 Comments

This is not exactly BOP applications, but the spirit is the same. In our current research on how ICTs can help bridge information and knowledge gaps in agricultural value chains, we would like to come up with practical suggestions through which suppliers can make their customers happier and both can improve their financial condition, and who knows, even become happier human beings (I have been spending time in Bhutan, as you can see).

The excerpt comes from a longer story.

“It’s not true anymore that only the Procter & Gambles of the world can afford to do this,” he said. “You don’t have to run a wave of $100,000 focus groups across the country to learn things anymore. The most successful companies in the future, I believe, will be those who become progressively more and more customer-driven.”

That is the intention at Great Clips, the nationwide chain of hair salons. “The No. 1 reason we lose customers is because we make them wait,” said Tim Lawless, who owns Great Clips franchises in Indiana and southern Michigan. “That’s also the No. 2 and No. 3 reason.”

The online check-in option now being introduced at the Great Clips Web site, which allows customers to enter their ZIP codes through a computer or smartphone, checks the current wait times at nearby Great Clips outlets and lets customers choose the optimum location.

“It’s playing in Peoria,” said David Hands, who with his wife, Tanja, owns seven Great Clips locations in Peoria and the Bloomington/Normal area of Illinois, where walk-in customers have typically waited eight to 15 minutes for a cut. A recent cyber check-in, “a young guy on the go,” walked through the door, sat down and told Mr. Hands, “Thanks for giving me 10 minutes back to my life.” Only two months after introduction, Mr. Hands said, he is averaging 10 remote check-ins per outlet a day — about 10 percent of his business.

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