From being easily accessible to customers to enabling your entry into e-commerce, apps have a wide range of uses.
From the slogan ‘there’s an app for everything’ to a TED talk about interesting apps and the inspiration behind them, apps are more or less ubiquitous these days.
But, is that a fad, or is there some basis for the craze?
From the perspective of a business, there may well be.
Here are 4ways businesses can benefit from having an app.
Remaining in constant contact with customers
Smartphones have become an extension of our being.
Having an app helps a business remain in constant contact with its customers.
Through notifications and reminders customers can be engaged and informed about new offerings, promotions, and maybe even warnings.
For example, take this escape room in Chicago.
From opening a new escape game, to warning players about days it may be closing for renovations, it can send out all kinds of notifications through an app, keeping in constant touch with its players.
Customer loyalty programs
Notifications and reminders are good, but you know what’s better at building customer engagement?
Customer loyalty programs.
For example, a coffee shop could offer a free meal to customers who’ve made, say, a hundred orders above a certain value.
Do you really need an app for customer loyalty programs?
No, there are lots of ways to implement a customer loyalty program.
However, doing it via an app has a number of advantages.
- Continuing from the previous point, it allows you to constantly keep in touch with the customers, making them aware of what kind of loyalty-based deals they can access at each step.
- You can make the entire process - verification, payment, and collecting points - comprehensive.
- It makes the program more attractive - customers can see their points, and deals they’re eligible for, build up in real time.
This entices customers to keep returning to your store, and making purchases.
This is one way for businesses with real-life products (like a coffee shop) to enter the lucrative world of e-commerce.
Monopolizing the customer’s space
I have given the spiel earlier of how we’re all on our smartphones all the time.
And that gives any brand with an app a big advantage in the form of constant reminders and notifications.
However, the question is, can an app provide a larger advantage than just notifying customers of deals, product launches, and so on?
The answer is, yes it can.
Having an app can help your brand monopolize the customer’s online space.
What do I mean by that?
Let’s take it up with an example.
Say you run this escape room in Huntington Beach.
You release an app.
Through that app, you provide information, and other kinds of content, giving users ideas on spending time in Huntington Beach.
Chances are, after a while, when seeking ideas on ways to enjoy a Sunday evening in Huntington Beach, people will go to your app for ideas.
This keeps increasing your brand image.
The same kind of functionality can’t be done via email notifications, or blog content.
An improved customer connect
‘Customer connect’ can be realized via real-life customer service personnel.
However, app-based customer service fares better than live persons on three counts
- It is not subject to emotions.
- You can program it to follow a customer service protocol you devise, without deviations.
- It can coordinate actions, and deliver results faster than a human being.
A complementary human interface will still be required
Sometimes, the app will fail to understand customer requests, face program problems, or just be unable to handle a heavy load.
For such situations, it is essential to have a human interface to complement the app.
The 4 ways businesses can benefit from having an app are
- Remaining in constant contact with customers.
- Having an engaging customer loyalty program.
- Monopolizing the customer’s space.
- Improving customer connect.
In short, an app can move an offline business to the online world.