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Business - Written by on Wednesday, June 3, 2009 14:03 - 0 Comments

Naumi Haque
TV ads for iPhone Apps

Have you ever seen a TV commercial for a free mobile phone application? I hadn’t until just last night when I happened to see this while watching prime time TV:

The idea that a company would use costly TV ad spend to promote an iPhone app seems pretty novel to me, and yet at the same time completely natural. The bigger idea of an insurance company offering a mobile application is pretty cool as well. Nationwide’s app will:

  • Call emergency services
  • Help you collect and exchange accident info
  • Store your insurance and vehicle info for easy lookup
  • Locate Nationwide agents near you
  • Take and store accident photos
  • Convert your iPhone into a handy flashlight

If you happen to be a Nationwide customer, the app will also:

  • Help connect you with towing services
  • Help you start the Nationwide claims process
  • Find Nationwide Blue Ribbon Repair Facilities

Depending on how viral this goes, my only question for Nationwide would be, ‘Do you have the back-end processes in place to fulfill the promises made by this new level of customer service?’ Meaning, if I am connected to a claims agent or repair facility on the spot, will I be able to seamlessly send my accident photos and vehicle/insurance information via my iPhone? Will the response rate be equally as ‘real-time’ as entering the information into the phone, or am I going to be standing on the side of the road, on hold, wishing I had waited to get home to file the claim? Will the towing services be vetted for the same friendly and easy service I am receiving via my mobile device? Hopefully Nationwide has thought about these questions when designing the end-to-end customer experience.

My advice for all companies: New Web 2.0 channels are cool, but if you open a new channel, there had better be someone on the other end (and the processes in place) to engage the individuals coming through that new channel.

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