Before we even say a single thing on the “how” of mobile apps as tools for improving your business it is important that we all get on board with the “why” of the matter. Last time I checked this was not 1948 and people didn’t flock around the small family-owned shops in their nearest vicinity because it was the only good option and because their parents used to play in the streets with the owner, good old Mister Jenkins.
The modern market is pretty saturated and people have a large number of options – from huge corporations to the smaller businesses that can deliver high-quality goods. Add to this the fact that online shopping is way less of a hassle and mostly a cheaper option, and we quickly realize that physical businesses need to step up to the plate and use some of the available new technology to their advantage. It’s human nature to trust what we know and develop strong ties to groups and organizations, so improving customer loyalty should be a priority. Here is how mobile apps can help you achieve this goal.
Using custom apps lets people know you are willing to go the extra mile
Mobile apps can help make the experience of walking into a store or restaurant far more interactive, interesting and allow your customers a wider range of options. A simple thing like allowing customers to create a wish list, allowing them to make mobile payments or to browse through the shop’s inventory on their mobile device will improve their overall experience and save them some time. This lets people know that you are in this game to provide a quality service, connect with the customers and learn and improve. Some excellent examples of apps from companies that put their clients needs first:
- CommBank Kaching by Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Apps make it easier to reward your customer’s loyalty
A lot of people will come in, spend some cash and then leave never to be seen again, but there are those that come back time and time again, providing your business with a steady revenue stream. You want to focus on that loyal base that provides you with the most business. Little rewards and prizes will let the customers know you appreciate their loyalty and that they will be hard pressed to find better treatment elsewhere. Apps like LoyalBlocks allow you to quickly recognize the loyal customers – those that have downloaded the app – as soon as they walk through the door and send a customized reward their way. A few companies like Virgin even create a customized Smartphone for their loyal customers. Letting people know that they are appreciated is the quickest way to their hearts.
They help keep your customers updated on the latest news
People are always looking for the most cost-effective product or service. At times finding the best deals can mean wasting a good part of the day going from store to store or doing research online. An app can allow you to keep your loyal customers updated on upcoming sales, allow them to be the first to try out a new product and even offer them special deals and discounts that are not available to the general public.
Apps allow you to educate your customers
People often make decisions based on very inconsequential details, e.g. a teenage girl buying a particular laptop because it is pink. An app can provide your customers with information about your products and services, give them the opportunity to look at all the available options and then make an informed decision. It can be as simple as looking up the nutritional values of the products on their wish list or a bit more interactive and fun, e.g. dressing up a mannequin in in different clothes to see how well they go together, so they can get a general idea of what they want to buy.
Apps allow you to get more personal and get some solid feedback
All the previous paragraphs are good examples of how apps can make coming to your shop a more personal and friendly experience for the customer, but apps can also allow you to acquire some useful data like the shopping habits of certain customers so that you can tailor your service to their needs.
Utilizing new technologies like smartphone apps to your advantage, you can significantly improve the way you connect to the customers, give them plenty of useful options and motivate them to stay loyal through rewards and the increased quality of service. They say you can’t buy loyalty, but you can strive to earn it.