Technology….it is fascinating. It simplifies things for everyone.
With almost all the adult population in North America owning mobile phones and other communication devices, QR Codes have become an important part of everyday life for both businesses and consumers.
“You may have noticed those black and white square thingies showing up on our marketing materials recently says Tim Charlick, a member of the customer support team. “These are “QR Codes” and we’re using them to promote our products and keep our existing customers up-to-date.”
“Online, you visit a website, continued Charlick, “you click on a link that interests you and visit that new site to view a picture or information, or download or play a video. All access becomes possible in a virtual world.
Our physical world is a little different. Nothing is clickable when you see it on the street. You can’t go into a grocery store, pick up an item and click it and get recipes using that item. You can’t click an item in a museum to learn of its origins.”
In a nutshell, QR codes (short for quick response) link the physical world to the web.
They change the way we access information. A QR code can appear on anything that can be printed on. When the code is read by a QR code app on your web-enabled smartphone, the phone converts the code and directs it to an address anywhere on the web so you can immediately access information that is useful to you. No links to write down or remember, no notes to take.
“Trenton Refrigeration is taking advantage of and using this technology to try to streamline and simplify our customer needs” Charlick says.
“Our ads and brochures are limited in physical size; we can’t tell the whole story, and we certainly can’t offer customer interactivity on paper. But, when a user scans a QR code in our ad or brochure, it directs their device to the relevant area of our website. For example, scan the QR code for our Quiet Unit, and you are directed to a page that links you to product features and benefits, detailed specifications, an interactive energy consumption analyzer, details of current promotions and links to distributors and sales reps. We could never fit all of this in a full page ad.”
For Events or Showrooms, Charlick explains that QR codes have become the ideal vehicle to link the physical world back to the website where they can provide greater detail.
“Our banners for trade shows and dealer showrooms are now sporting QR codes” says Charlick. “It’s similar to what we do in ads and brochures, but here the user can get products details in a flash while the product is right there in front of them. Again, it’s all about connecting physical places with additional online experiences that enrich the brand experience.
“When a customer buys our product, our relationship with that customer has just begun. Our customer’s perception of our brand is majorly impacted by the experience of actually using the product. We want to support them after the sale and offer them easy access to the most up-to-date product support resources. The QR code printed on the front cover of our Product Data booklets (PDI’s and PDS’s) links the user to the most up-to-date version of that item – they scan the code and the latest PDF shows up on their device.”
But Charlick is excited that QR codes do so much more for Trenton Refrigeration and its efforts to better service its customers.
“The QR code carries information with it that helps us learn more about them”, he explains. “We know which ad they responded to or which flyer they scanned. In some cases, we even have a general idea of their physical location when they used the code. The more we know about our customer, the better we can serve them, and the more successful we are.
So What’s Next?
Mobile technology is a smart move for all businesses. Millions of North Americans are looking up QR codes. While they may still be in their infancy, it is clear that QR codes elicit results. We’re just starting to realize the potential for linking the physical world to the web.
Charlick sites a particular instance for Trenton Refrigeration’s use. “Imagine if a technician were up on a roof working on one of our units” he says “and by scanning a QR code on the unit they were linked directly to documentation and support materials specific to that particular unit? What if a potential customer wants to know how much energy the Quiet Unit would save his client… and by scanning a QR code, we could deliver results based specifically on the climate and hydro rates for the city the unit will be used?” It is obvious that QR codes have a place within the industry.
In order to read QR codes your phone must enabled to do so. Scanning apps are free to download.
To figure out what app to use on your phone, do a Google search for the model of your phone and the phrase “QR reader.” In general, you just download and install the app, start snapping pictures of QR codes and you’re on your merry way.
Do you have an idea how Trenton Refrigeration might use QR codes to promote its products or help support our customers? We’d love to hear any and all ideas