The food and beverage industry has changed over the years, along with the customers’ expectations. Not only is it enough for a company to have a website and be present on social media platforms, they also have to provide nutritional information to their customers. There are so many different kinds of diets and nutritional guidelines people follow, the most successful companies will make it quick and easy for their consumer to see what is in their food.
With laws changing over the past ten years, many companies have already had to make the changes to provide the nutritional information of the food they serve. Many times you can now look at a restaurant’s menu and be able to see the caloric intake of the items in the entrée. This is definitely a good thing, because many times people are unaware of the amount of calories actually in certain items. I absolutely was unaware that at some restaurants even their salads are over 1,200 calories, and that’s something you would initially think is healthy choice.
Customers want things as easy as possible, especially when it comes to trying to stay healthy or follow a diet plan. There are many different apps out there to help track, but I personally enjoy using MyFitnessPal, which was purchased by Under Armour in 2015. The app has come a long way over the past five years that I have been using it. Including being linked with Under Armour’s other apps like MapMyRun which I discussed in a previous blog.
Now it is easier than ever to count calories and track your daily macros. You can break up your day into four categories; breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. They even have a section to keep track of the water you consume throughout the day. When you set up an account you can set a weight goal and the app will suggest the caloric intake in order to reach that goal in a designated time, also based on activity level.
The app also finds trends in your eating and if you eat the same breakfast for three days in a row will automatically ask if you would like to input it the following day, instead of having to manually add each item. Another great benefit is that you are able to create your own recipes and once you input all of the ingredients once you can save the recipe for future use.
One of my favorite features in the app is the bar code scanner. Instead of having to type in the product name, you just scan the barcode and it will find the item for you with the calories and nutrient facts. The app also keeps track of your daily steps, and can also be synced with MapMyRun to incorporate your daily workout.
If you are in search of an app to track your daily caloric intake, and set goals for yourself I highly suggest downloading MyFitnessPal.
The realm of the customer service industry is so vast and encompasses many different companies. Almost every company you interact with is going to have the customers experience on their mind. Making things simpler for the consumer is a huge goal for many companies, because the simpler it is to access your website, app, social media platform, or products the more likely the customer will have a positive experience and keep coming back for more.
The health and fitness industry is vast, with many companies, products, and expected experiences from the customers. Everything from the clothing line the customer decides to wear, to the food they consume, to the gym membership they subscribe to are all part of this ever changing industry. The better experience the person has with the brand the happier they will be and the more likely they will recommend your product or service to others.
I am going to focus on the running industry and the awesome customer experience I have had with MapMyRun by Under Armour. I grew up playing multiple sports, but after a reconstructive knee surgery during high school, I stopped playing the sports competitively and took up running as a hobby. During my senior year of high school I completed my first half marathon for my senior project.
I continued running through college as a hobby with my mom, and have now completed five half marathons along with numerous 5K’s and 10K’s. I have tried many different methods for tracking my runs and pace, from watches, to self-pacing, to fitness trackers that attach to your shoe. Each had their pros and cons; however I was never completely satisfied with any of the options.
My mom recently showed me MapMyRun and I after my first use, I was shocked that I didn’t find that app sooner! It is very user friendly and extremely accurate. Not only does it track your walk or run, but will give you pace and distance updates at the desired intervals you set. It keeps all of your runs under your workout history so you can easily compare to previous times, and set new goals for yourself.
It also has the option to set goals for yourself, whether that includes weekly mileage, number or workouts, or the amount of time you want to complete each week. I personally like setting a weekly mileage goal and every walk or run I complete it updates my weekly goal so I know how many miles I have left to complete that week.
They also offer an upgraded in app membership plan where you can have access to distance specific training plans for 5K, 10K, half marathon, full marathon, or customer distances. This is unique and allows many to find the right fit for them to keep them on track with their workout regimen.
If you are looking for an app to track your next walk or run, I highly suggest downloading MapMyRun. Easy to set up, and instantly you will be able to start tracking your progress and see your progression over the coming weeks.
Target is a great company aiming to exceed customer expectations. Whether you’re shopping in their store, online, or even placing an in-store pickup order, they go above and beyond to ensure you have a memorable experience. With the impact of the Social Age, Target is a company that knew they needed to keep up with the impact of smartphones and social media platforms. Making the shopping experience easier for customers’ as well as helping them save money is one of Target’s goals.
In comes Cartwheel! (Target’s Mobile App). Easily downloadable onto any smartphone (just head to the App Store or Google play) and you will instantly start saving money on your next trip to the store. From its launch date in 2013 to present day Cartwheel has saved Target customers a whopping $931,146,057. This number will continue to rise with the plethora of offers uploaded daily to the app.
Here are Target’s three main goals for Cartwheel:
- Choose offers on the things you love (5-50% off the price of hundreds of items)
- Scan your barcode at checkout
- Save money, feel good
For those of you who do not currently have the app, I’ll break it down a little further on how you can start saving today and increase your overall experience:
- You can choose to sign in with Facebook, Google, or create a Target account
- Once you sign in the savings begin
- Tabs are broken into three groups:
- For You: Suggests discounts based on previous purchases
- Categories: Fast and easy way to sort through discounts
- Collections: Featured discounts like; Easter, Hot Deals, Top Grocery
- If you want to add an item just select and it’ll add to your checkout cart
- Want to see if an item has a discount?
- Click the scanner on the top of the screen and scan the barcode of the item
- The more you use the app the more offers you will be allowed to add to your cart
- Check the My List tab to keep track of your offers as you shop
- Ready to checkout?
- Just hit the bottom checkout button and the cashier will scan the barcode
- Now you just saved some money in a simple and easy way with the app
Target is creating a great shopping experience, and tailoring deals and discounts to the needs of their customer. The more you shop and use the app, the more specified your deals will become. It is clear that the customer is one of their top priorities.
Next time you’re on your #targetrun make sure you download Cartwheel. You’ll save money with this user friendly app, and have a great shopping experience!
I have to admit initially I was a little skeptical about how Uber and Lyft could change the industry. I wasn’t even sure if I would want to hop into someone’s personal car and trust that they would take me to my destination. However, that left me, along with many others with the only other comparable option; a taxi. Taxi’s have dominated the industry for years, but with the disruptive technology that Uber and Lyft brought to the market, taxi companies are losing their competitive advantage.
In the Social Age, almost everyone has access to a smartphone. Making the dominance of Uber and Lyft that much more present. All you have to do is log into either of their apps, press a button to get picked up and you are on your way. I try to avoid getting into a taxi at all costs anymore. These two companies have changed the industry as well as the customer’s overall experience.
Here is a little breakdown of Uber, “Sign Up to Drive or Tap and Ride”:
- Download the app and create an account
- Choose your ride and set your location
- 24/7 availability
- Rate your driver (I’m sure most wish they could have rated a taxi experience)
- Levels of experience:
- Economy (UberX, UberXL, UberSELECT)
- Premium (UberBLACK, UberSUV, UberLUX)
- Accessibility (accessible for wheelchairs, or carseats)
- Carpool (UberPOOL)
Here is a breakdown of Lyft, “A ride whenever you need one”:
- Download the app and create an account
- Choose ride, set location, and see the cost before committing
- Option to tip your driver in the app
- Amp: Light up emblem that sits in the dashboard
- Levels of experience:
- Lyft Plus (6 or more passengers)
- Lyft Premier (luxury sadan)
- Lyft Line (Carpool option)
As you can tell both of these companies provide similar services, and many drivers are registered with both companies, which you can tell by the posted emblems in their cars. I think the competitive advantage these companies provide compared to taxi’s is the option to differentiate your experience. There is a car available for every situation, as well as different sized groups. I have used both Uber and Lyft and have never been disappointed by either company.
Next time you’re on your smartphone download the Uber or Lyft app, depending on your preference, or if you prefer to sign up online they both have great websites. Your ride experience will be much more pleasant, and make traveling around that much easier and enjoyable!
Photo: Car Decals
Today’s changing technology allows for companies to get creative when thinking of new and innovative ways to increase a customer’s satisfaction. The overall experience no longer stops at emails, websites, or social media platforms. In order for a company to stay competitive they need to utilize all areas, including mobile apps. With many people spending numerous hours a day on their smartphones it is critical that a company take advantage of this fact.
Mobile apps are an easy way for a company to engage their customer and tailor their message specifically to each person. With the ease of having the app readily available on a smartphone the customer has one less step to take when searching for what they need. No need to have to search for a store on the internet, just open the app and shop away. Designed for mobile use, these apps make it quick and easy to find what you need at your favorite store on the go.
Take Target for example; along with their Target Mobile App they also have a savings app called Cartwheel. They are utilizing their consumers’ smartphones to their advantage. The mobile app allows the customer to search for the specific store they are shopping at. You can easily see if items you are looking for are in the store, and even includes the aisle location. If for any reason the item is out of stock it shows nearby stores, or allows you to purchase online. Making the customer’s shopping experience that much more enjoyable.
The Cartwheel app is a great tool honing in on a customers desire to save money. Once downloaded to your smartphone you create an account and let the savings begin. The more you use the app the more it customizes to each customer’s specific needs. With hundreds of deals each day, Target is allowing their customers to save money in an easy an efficient way. With everything being available right on your mobile device this is sure to increase the overall customer satisfaction.
Target is only one example of a company maximizing their technology utilization by using two different apps to engage the customer and increase their experience. I encourage you to find your favorite store and see if they offer a mobile app. I am sure it will make your shopping experience more enjoyable and most likely save you some money as well!