When and how to create an app for your business
A common question among companies is: “Does my company need a mobile application?“ Our experience tells us that it will DEPEND. Not every business or company needs an app. There are many aspects that you must tend to when managing a company. These aspects must be taken into account to answer the question of when and how to create an app for your business.
However, your company may gain in productivity, sales, branding, etc., if it has a mobile app. In this article, we want to define a series of issues which you could come across.
We have raised the following questions or assumptions to determine whether you need a mobile application or not. If your answer is yes to any of the following questions, then a mobile solution can help you solve the problem that you have detected, but not forget to determine when and how to create an app for your business.
Why does my company need an app?
Your company may need a mobile application for many reasons. One of the most useful reasons is to improve productivity by means of an app, something that we’ve already discussed in a previous article.
We would now like to help you determine if your company needs a mobile application or not. And also determine when and how to create an app for your business and under which case does your company fall and which solution do you need to improve your business results. So, does any of the following situations apply to your company?
#1: I use apps like WhatsApp, software like Excel or even paper to manage internal processes.
This situation may be happening in your company. And it is probably not the most efficient way to manage some processes. We mean things like allocating meeting rooms, shifts, holidays, etc. and like elaborating collaborative calendars and the like. And also when having to share large volumes of documents such as invoices, proposals, agreements, etc.
These are just a few cases where Excel tables or paper calendars can help. However, the more complex a company is, the more complicated managing all this will be.
A good solution to this problem may be to get an internal mobile application to manage all these processes. The application’s purpose would be to streamline all these processes automatically without having to delegate these tasks to someone within the company.
#2: I need to manage customer reservations and appointments more quickly and efficiently
Let’s delve into this situation. You have a large volume of customers who contact you — via phone or e-mail — to book your company’s services or make appointments. You need at least three or four people completely dedicated to handling this task alone. So, why not create an app and get customers themselves to self-manage this task?
- Beauty centres
- Healthcare centres
- Public institutions
It’s much more useful when the customer makes these reservations on a recurring basis. Like for example when booking a paddle court in a sports centre or when making an appointment with the physiotherapist or with the hairdresser. By making this task easier we will be able to streamline these processes and focus our efforts on other internal tasks.
#3: I want to improve the quality of my service. Can I achieve this through a mobile application?
You may be managing all of your company’s aspects efficiently. You may not need to create an app to fasten processes. All this being said, a mobile app can nevertheless help you improve the quality of your service.
Let’s go back to the previous examples. These ranged from gyms to study centres or car workshops. An app can improve the service in such places but it can also provide the customer with extra services. A driving school or a public examinations preparation centre can create an app to enable customers to take preparation tests, for instance. The following are some options at your disposal to offer an extra quality service:
- Offer an extra service
- Simplify product reservations or making appointments
- Simplify mobile payments
- Offer unique and personalised discounts to promote customer loyalty
#4: Will an app improve my sales-related tasks?
Let’s go back now to a company’s internal aspects: it’s very likely that an app may help you with your company’s commercial aspects. Your sales department will surely value very positively the possibility of having a mobile application.
You’re probably considering the possibility of creating apps of this kind for your sales agents due to several reasons:
- It‘s a unique way of ‘introducing’ your company. And it’s beyond the traditional means. Bid farewell to the classic PDF or PowerPoint.
- You will achieve a true connection with the customer. The customer will be able to ‘interact’ with the brand right away in his/her very first contact through the app.
- Your brand will obtain better reviews. Customers will generally value your brand more positively if it offers this kind of service.
- Visibility for your success stories and collaborations. Ideal showcase or portfolio for business visits.
- Easier to show. You’ll be able to introduce your company on a tablet or on a smartphone with a good screen. There is no need to carry paper documents or computers around.
- You’ll always have it with you in your pocket. You’ll be able to make a quick business presentation at an event you are attending, even if you only carry your mobile phone with you.
A mobile app can help you with your sales-related tasks for many reasons. It’s needless to say that you must be very sure about how the app is going to be so that it really proves an asset for your sales agents and has something to offer to your potential users. It’s not worth developing an app just for the sake of it.
#5: I want to promote customer loyalty among my users and customers with a ‘mobile’ profile
Customer loyalty is a key matter to any company. In order to achieve this with customers with a more ‘mobile’ and ‘technological’ profile, we must ‘speak the same language’ as they do.
In such case, the key may be to develop an application aimed at those users who manage many aspects of their lives with their mobile devices. You will attain a direct connection with your customers to promote customer loyalty through personalised notifications, offers, promotions, reminders and contents that are interesting for each customer in particular.
Many kinds of companies can benefit from such applications. Supermarkets are a clear example of this. By enabling the possibility of accessing personalised real-time offers and discounts through its app, a supermarket will boost customer loyalty and repeat purchases.
#6: I want to boost my company’s mobile sales
This is a clear example that creating a native application may not always be the solution. Increasing your mobile sales may be a reason for creating an app.
But to the extent of our knowledge, there is a step prior to it. This step is creating a version of your online website that’s more efficiently adapted to mobile devices. It must be done before considering when and how to create an app for your business.
Creating the app can be the second stage towards achieving this goal. However, the first one will always be optimising and simplifying your website.
Streamlining payment processes and making them easier is essential to boost mobile sales. The easier the payment process, the more will your sales increase.
If have already completed this first step and want to enhance your mobile visits and sales further, it’s high time to develop your m-commerce store app.
These applications are usually related exclusively to businesses that already have their own online store in website format. It will be a way of broadening your market and finding new customers. But also to promote customer loyalty and multiply sales among customers.
#7 My goal is to streamline internal and customer communications
This goal is strongly focused on improving the company’s internal productivity. And also on saving time for your customers. It’s certainly one of the options chosen by many companies when developing applications.
Communicating with customers and company internal communication can become complex. Especially if a team has many members or if we are managing many customers at the same time.
Creating an in-house communication app can prove very useful for sharing customer information. But also to expedite the process of sending invoices or documentation. And also to manage and solve customer questions — or even to register customer service issues. A bot might also be an interesting option for your company. It may be very useful for solving the customers’ most basic issues in real-time.
#8 I want to modernise my brand and my company. But how?
If your particular situation fits this assumption, you are pretty sure that investing in apps is an option that suits you. And it’s precisely so due to the high volume of users who have their mobile devices with them even if they are on their computers. However, how can I take advantage of this? There are many ways to do so. In fact, all options above are good examples of how to do so.
You may even achieve this with an idea other than the ones we have been discussing before. Define your primary goal and create the app based on that goal. If it’s a brand issue you can afford to be more creative and focus less on the commercial aspect. However, you will also be obtaining less revenue. Your app must be different if you want to maximise resources and multiply revenue. If you want it to address an internal modernisation, the approach will also be different.
Does none of these assumptions fit your particular situation?
In case your situation doesn’t fit these assumptions but still believe that an app could be the solution, we will be happy to hear from you. Create your app project on our platform and we will contact you to see how we can help your business out.
If you are already sure about what kind of app may be useful for your particular case it’s then time to press ahead. The first step is to put your app project into writing and then start looking for app development professionals. Will you count on us to find them?