The intersection between digital, social and physical experiences.
Like many of you I’m always looking for tools to help me in my day-to-day life. I’m a huge fan of mobile apps like Google Maps, Yelp, RBC Banking and The Weather Network to name a few. And many brands today are creating digital products and services to add value to their customers. For example, we worked with Manulife to create a branded mobile travel packing app for busy travellers on the go.
Life is very, very busy and I use these tools almost on a daily basis. A few weeks ago I woke up on a Friday morning and checked my email. I had a message from a client asking if I had time for lunch later that day. I had an opening so I replied back and said I would book something.
I love food so my OpenTable app gets lots of use. If you have never used OpenTable to find and book a restaurant, I highly recommend it. On my way into the office I pulled out my smartphone and fired up the app. Here’s the series of events that followed:
1. I did a quick search for my favorite places near my client’s office; found a restaurant, picked a time and booked it. Done! Awesomely simple. I should add one other note. My guest has a food allergy. The system allowed me to mention this and send a special request to the restaurant. (I had totally forgotten that I’d added a note to the booking until our server asked me which one of us had a food allergy. Double awesome.)
2. The app sent me a confirmation and prompted me to send an invite to the rest of the party. I did.
3. After a very busy morning of meetings, the system sent me a reminder a few minutes before the reservation with a map and contact details just in case I was running late. Off I went. Great lunch, great conversation, great meeting.
4. About 24 hours later, OpenTable closed the loop. They asked me for feedback about my experience. It was a very short questionnaire with questions about the food, ambiance, service and noise level (I love this question). They also asked me to write a brief review.
5. Finally, OpenTable topped up my Dining Rewards Points via their loyalty system.
How would we improve the experience?
You are probably asking yourself what OpenTable could improve upon. Well, I had to stop and think about that question as well. After all, I love this service and use it all the time. Given Delvinia’s approach to creating seamless digital customer experiences, here are a few suggestions that I thought of.
Sharing We all know that dining out is a very social experience and I like the fact that OpenTable does not disturb me during the meal. But I’m a little surprised that there was no way for me to share the experience to my social networks during the feedback survey. According to AskingCanadians, 86 per cent of consumers want to hear what other customers had to say. OpenTable provides an option to post a review on the OpenTable site. So, to be fair, I could have logged onto the site, looked for my review and shared it on Facebook afterwards. However, it’s a bit of a bumpy process.
Mobile My entire booking and invite experience was done on the go, on my mobile device. But when OpenTable asked for feedback, I needed to be on my laptop. The feedback system was not mobile friendly. I love the fact that they ‘closed the loop’ but we believe it’s important to offer a seamless customer experience across screens. I hope that OpenTable focuses even more on the mobile experience in the future.
Loyalty Retaining customers in a hyper-connected world is never easy. I love the point system OpenTable has set up. It’s easy to use and follow and it works. However, by incorporating gamification into the app, OpenTable could increase consumer engagement even further. Think Foursquare. According to AskingCanadians, one in 10 smartphone owners deliberately check-in using an app like Foursquare or Gowalla. If the economics work for the business model, I would suggest providing more points for diners who provide feedback or write a review. Perhaps diners could also collect points for checking-in at locations.
What would you do to improve the experience?