I love when a company surprises me with something that's both cool and convenient.
Dominos did that when I ordered a couple pizzas from their web site last night.
After selecting the pizza, toppings and crust and, I clicked “Order.”
Up popped the “Domino’s Tracker” – an application that shows you exactly where your pizza is in the preparation and baking process. At first I thought it was nothing more than a novel idea – a little bit like the NORAD website on Christmas Eve, where you can visually track where Santa is at a particular moment, as he makes his annual world tour en route to your house.
That's when it hit me...
The Domino’s Tracker could make my life easier, by telling me when I should leave the house to pick up the pizza, to get it at just the right time. How many times have you arrived too early, and had to wait around, or too late, after the cheese no longer has that delicious just-melted texture?
With the Tracker on my computer screen (or my smartphone), I could see exactly when the pizza was going into the oven, about to leave the oven, and being boxed and prepared for pick up.
But this blog post isn’t just about pizza; it’s about what a company can do to add value to a normally mundane experience; adding value by making it both fun and functional. And this concept can be applied to any business, if you can bring yourself to think outside the pizza box.
Think about the product or service that you market, sell or service. Now think about all that goes through the customer’s mind, as she goes through the process of researching, selecting, ordering, installing or using your products or services. What does the customer think about, and what actions does she take throughout the process? What assumptions does the customer have to make? What information can you as the seller provide, that would be useful to the customer? What action steps can you perform for the customer, to make her life easier?
Domino’s went through this same thought process when they created the “Domino’s Tracker.” It solves a simple, but persistent problem that every customer has after ordering take-out:
“Exactly when will my order be ready?”
But the “Tracker” isn’t only practical. (Only practical can be boring, and soon taken for granted.) Domino’s makes it engaging by delivering the information in a fun-to-follow-format that inevitably draws your eyes to the progress meter. And they make it more personalized by allowing you to select any of several themes for your Tracker. And you can even change the theme mid-stream, if you like.
Most product companies try to differentiate their offerings by focusing primarily on the product. But while Domino’s has taken steps to improve its pizzas, they’ve also enhanced the customer experience beyond the pizza, by delivering useful information that every customer can appreciate, and delivering it in a way that’s fun and engaging.
In fact, the next time I order pizza, I’ll probably order it from Domino’s again, just so I can watch the Tracker. But I’ll also know exactly when to stop watching, and when to start driving to go get the pizza.