Building an App to Engage Your Customers

1/04/2016 - Posted by Emily Healey

We’ve had a look at the ways apps can be used to empower your employees, so now it’s time to see how they can be used to better engage your customers. By giving your customers access to your app, you’ll be reminding them of your business every time they open their phone. With the right app, you will be able to increase your name recognition, deliver more focused advertising based on your customer’s habits, preferences and location, take some of the pressure off your staff and much more.

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Building a customer-focused app can really help boost your brand. You will be able to market to your customers a lot better and with more direct advertising that they actually want to receive. One way an app can help do this is with your customer’s phone’s GPS. They can enable it to receive location-based special offers such as sales and deals that are available near them in real time. Another way is by offering customers special discounts or prizes for mentioning your company on social media. This can easily be done with just one click in the app when they connect it to their social media accounts.

Offering customers practical and convenient before care makes service smoother for both of you. In-app reservations, for example, mean the customer can easily make a booking around their own schedule, instead of having to worry about when to call and then having to jump back and forth between their phone and their calendar to coordinate the best time. Push notifications can also be used to remind customers of their upcoming bookings and even to suggest they make a new booking if it is for an ongoing or periodical service such as a haircut or renting a tennis court. A lot of information customers enquire about can be made available in an app, such as stock or availability of a range of products and services.

Apps that utilise a phone’s GPS provide an extra level of convenience and accessibility to your business. You can use it to allow location-based information such as nearby real-estate listings when your customers are out house hunting or a map of your retail store that shows exactly where to find certain products. Utilising GPS is also a great way to help customers navigate temporary spaces like at events. Whether you’re the organiser or will just be at a certain stall, stage or conference room, you can make sure people know exactly where to find you on the day.

Sales can be facilitated much easier with the help of an app. You can allow customers to scan and pay for items themselves directly in the app which will then send them a digital receipt. Customers can pre order takeaway items ready for pick up at their chosen time. You can digitise your loyalty program with a scannable barcode so your customers don’t need to worry about carrying another card around with them. Or if your products are listed online you could allow customers to add items to a shopping list or wish list that they can come back to or share with their friends.

There are also a lot of ways an app can help you provide better aftercare when a customer has made a purchase or used your service. If they have purchased a product that requires installation or assembly you can include set up guides in your app that the customer can click through one step at a time. If you provide lessons or tutelage you can use push notifications to remind your student of exercises they should be doing in between lessons or send out reminders of when their next lesson is coming up. An app is also a really great place to keep a customer support section and it will keep any feedback you receive private, allowing you time to promptly and more effectively focus on it.

One of the really exciting ways businesses are connecting with customers is by offering more fun and unique apps. The aim of these is to get your customers using your app more often. One way companies have found to do this is by offering special access to a live webcam that showcases interesting aspects of their business. This could be anything from watching puppy playtime at an animal shelter to a behind-the-scenes look at how your products are made such as baking bread, making candy or brewing craft beer. Another popular choice is designing a game around a product or service you offer, that customers won’t be able to stop playing. These are great indirect ways to create customer engagement and brand recognition because even people who have never heard of your business before will often download the app just for the novelty.

There are many different ways that businesses can use a custom designed app to engage, and better serve, their customer base. It can be used to digitise tasks already being performed to take some of the stress off staff on the ground or you can use it to radically change the way you do business and connect with your customers. The options are endless and ever changing but whichever direction you choose to go in, there’s an app design that can help you stay ahead of the game.

When you’re ready to start building an app to engage your customers and grow your business, Pascoes Software Engineering can help. You can find further information on the range of mobile application packages that we offer below.

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