Pizza and a Mobile App, a Delivery Disaster

by Kenneth Murphy

April 3, 2013

by Ken Murphy


Nothing should ever come between a man and his pizza. Or, to put it another way, an organization should really put a mobile app through stringent testing before it’s introduced as the only direct interaction that organization has with a large portion of its customer base. This just released SAPinsider Special Report on mobility has some important information that a certain unnamed pizza parlor in Norwood, Mass., could benefit from.

In January, I wrote about a positive customer experience I had with a furniture delivery, where the driver used an iPad to photograph the piece and capture my signature acknowledging delivery. Last Friday, a pizza delivery – with a smartphone as the customer conduit – didn’t go as well.

Being fairly new to our neighborhood, my wife and I are still experimenting with the local pizzerias. Last Friday night, as we’re wont to do, we ordered a large pepperoni and olive from an unfamiliar place after putting the kids to bed. Exciting, I know.  Anyway, about five minutes after placing the order and giving them my American Express number, the store called me back to say they didn’t take Amex, but they “could do it another way” with my zip code. I had no idea what this meant, but being that I was famished I eagerly gave them the zip, less concerned with identity theft than with getting my pizza on time . Besides, they had my street address for the delivery, so they could have Googled my zip code in about two seconds.

The delivery guy showed up at my door with the pizza and a smartphone, handing me both at pretty much the same time. After putting the pizza down, I was asked to enter my Amex number and zip into the mobile app – information they already had. Then he asked me to enter the four-digit security code, which raised more identity theft alarms – but with the hot pizza 5 feet away, I would have given him my social.

Of course, the app rejected one of the many numbers I had to enter – “authorization denied” is I believe what flashed across his screen – so as he was waving the phone around my front porch hoping for a better cell connection, I told him to cancel it out and I’d try to find some cash.

From a CRM standpoint, this was a disaster. I had to give them the same information twice (strike one), I was asked for information they shouldn’t have needed to conduct the transaction (strike two), and the mobile app inexplicably rejected the information (strike three). I tend to doubt the store took the same time and effort Lubrizol put into deploying a mobile app for its sales force after implementing an organization-wide SAP CRM solution, a story Features Editor David Hannon chronicles in the just released issue of insiderPROFILES.

However, because the driver was apologetic and didn’t mind waiting as I cobbled together the cash, which entailed rooting through the junk drawer for loose change, I didn’t hold the experience against the store. Who am I kidding?  The real reason is the pizza was exceptional, so unless someone from the store is maxing out my Amex card I m ight call again this Friday. I’ll just make sure to have cash on hand until they put their mobile app through its paces.

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