Since its release in early 2011, the Intuit Online Payroll mobile app — available for iOS and Android — has proved a valuable resource for employers on the go. Now the software, which enables small-business owners and managers to pay employees from their smartphones, has joined the elite group of titles to earn five stars from customers of Apple’s App Store.
“If you’re an Intuit Online Payroll customer and you use our [web-based] product to run your payroll, there may be times in your life when you don’t have the convenience of being at a computer,” says Stephanie Bowker of Intuit. “Intuit Online Payroll mobile is a way to truly have payroll ‘in your pocket.’ At any time, you can pull out your phone and run your payroll to pay your employees and contractors.”
Bowker believes that the recognition of the mobile app’s utility is both well-deserved and long overdue. In fact, she and her team worked hard to make it happen: When they noticed that the software hadn’t received much customer feedback in the online marketplace, they decided to approach people in a more inviting, personal way.
Showing Some Love
By early 2012, the Intuit Online Payroll mobile app had a 3 1/2 star rating in the app store. Looking to increase both the number of customer reviews and the app’s total number of positive ratings, Bowker met with her team to hash out a plan.
“Out of this brainstorm session, one hypothesis was that if we provided our users with a quirky, fresh, ‘rate this app’ experience, we would attract [existing fans who] would be more inclined to give us a rating or review,” she recalls. “I approached a couple of our team members and discussed taking advantage of it being the month of February because of Valentine’s Day.”
Bowker envisioned a love letter to customers as a way to entice reviews and ratings in the Apple App Store. “The idea was extremely contagious,” she says, and a team was assembled quickly to test the concept.
“I met with our designer Kylie Tuosto, and I brought in staff writer Gwen McLean to create the messaging,” Bowker reveals. “After finalizing a design concept, I went to my manager who was able to find us resourcing.” With the help of her team’s exceptional engineers, the love note was promptly coded — and ready the day after Valentine’s Day.
“Overall,” Bowker admits, “I am really grateful to my team members [Eric Wong, Long Le, Gary Li, and Dan Hing], who were able to build, test, and deliver the product in just a week’s time.”
A Meaningful Reward
“Stephanie and I — and all of our team — spend eight hours of every day thinking about our customers and their mobile payroll needs,” says Ariege Misherghi, senior product manager for Intuit Online Payroll. “That’s all we do. We are obsessed with giving them really high-value app experiences. We have a whole dedicated team of people that do this. And we love this. We really want to make their experience delightful.”
Misherghi adds that the Valentine’s Day love note enabled the team to fully convey its affection for Intuit’s small-business clients and the genuine desire to receive candid user feedback. “We were finally successful at connecting with our customers on a personal level,” she says, “and they reacted really positively to that.”