An increasingly competitive marketplace makes apps a vital ingredient in keeping customers engaged

An increasingly competitive marketplace makes apps a vital ingredient in keeping customers engaged

Are you a business or organisation that has lots of SME customers or members? Keeping them satisfied may seem a challenge in these competitive times where comparisons of a service you provide can be made against your competitor – all just a few clicks away. 

It need not be that difficult. In fact it’s never been easier to look like a hero and have those same customers becoming your fans.

The good news is that those same business customers will pay for the extras and love you even more. Why? Because you’re doing all the hard work for them. You’re doing the running around. You’re coming up with the better price and more importantly a compelling offering for them.

To be ahead of the competition, you also want this offering for your SME relationships to be relevant to them and you, useful and great value.

So let me give you a few examples so this all makes sense for you. We’re seeing more software vendors with SME customers very aware that there is more competition in their space. They need to go further. So what we’re doing is providing a branded app for their customers, which is integrated to their software.

And because the software company has come to us they are able to bundle the app at a very attractive price. An example of this is Cliniko software, which is a practice management system in allied health. Now with the app and a few clicks, any customer of the health professionals using Cliniko can directly book an appointment. The app also allows the health professional to send out free alerts and get busier when there are gaps in their diaries. The pricing too is made more attractive, which Cliniko cleverly promotes to its customers.

It’s a real win/win/win for the end customer, Cliniko and AppsWiz. Now that the health professionals are getting more value out of their software and have a further tie in through their app, is it likely that they will cease being a Cliniko customer? Why would they?

We’re seeing this further expansion through innovation in all sorts of relationships. It’s in the motor industry, professions and it’s just starting in finance.

In this article from late last year, McKinsey & Company highlights the urgency for banks to protect future digital revenue in the important area of customer payments. The key question is raised in the sub heading … “The average consumer’s banking relationship is dominated by making payments. So why are banks doing so little to defend their critical beachhead?”

It’s also clear that a new powerful ‘omnichannel’ for banking occurs with mobile apps. This is particularly pertinent for branded mobile apps allowing for digital coupons, loyalty points as well as alerts of a favourite or nearby retailer. 

There is much more I could add. The point I’m making is that whether it’s a financial institution looking to add value with additional reach through in-app payments for their customers or software vendors in a key vertical such as health; adding value is essential.

If you can do it with an app offering for your customers which ties in to your offering, it should make sense to add value. Of course what the deal consists of and how to make it work requires a little more time…

For your business to flourish, I urge you to look at engaging more of your customers more readily and more often than ever before.

Dennis Benjamin is the founder and chief executive of mobile apps specialists AppsWiz and the Informatel Group. He is an expert in the areas of mobile trends, mobile apps, apps for businesses, entrepreneurship, and startups.


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