When technology disturbs the business: Dominos story

Till now I have always heard of technolgy as an enabler; that bolsters the business.

Technology makes production/service faster and increases efficiency, usually leading to more money, so those in business tend to be the first to adopt new technological trends. Without a slightest of doubt, technology has changed the ways we do business; not limited to that, technology has changed societies and way people behave n interact.

Though, some businesses are left behind in the technology game. I would like to quote a recent experience I had at Dominos.

Me and a friend were excited to have our lunch at Dominos last friday. While there was a pizza free with another medium sized one, we thought of negotiating the price as we needed only one! Obviously, the guy at the counter got away saying this isn’t in the policy; which made sense. (later did not)

While we were at the counter, a couple of more friends joined us and we decided to take that free pizza we were leaving. However, it was denied to us as the cheque was generated and the computer software would not accept any changes in the same again. This came as a big surprise to us!!

While we were still at the counter and asking for the offer which was boldly mentioned across the counter was denied because the computer didn’t accept the same. Strange, isn’t it?

We had a little argument with the guy as we just made a loss of Rs 500, but realized that it wasn’t his fault as he is accountable for number pizzas sold that needs to show in computer at the end of the day. Other customers at the counter were also surprised listening at the excuse. While the guy at the counter wanted to give us the free pizza, he could not! Finally, we paid for another pizza for our lunch!

Surprised to see, business operating according to a billing software! The moral of this short story is, make technology work according to the business not vice versa; the day your business starts operating within the limits and possibilities of technology, there will be more dissatisfied customers, employees and bottomlines! “This situation wouldn’t have occurred, if it was not computerised billing”, said the dominos guy at the counter.

Also, while we were discussing about the same over our lunch, it reminded me of a dilbert situation.

Dilbert: Don’t reduce the price of your product. Make it two for the price of one! People will think its a great bargain, but actually its only a huge inconvenience; and wait for customers who will forget to fill the rebate forms.

Then I realzed, why they don’t offer a pizza at reduced price, which actually became a huge inconvenience!

What are your views on this?

Satyam is a Consultant with Infosys Ltd. and editor / founder of marketinomics.com. When he is not talking about Digital Marketing or dreaming of CRM strategies, he can be found on a treadmill. He enjoys travelling, reading and listening to music! Catch up with him on twitter at @xatyam