We’re all aware that for almost every type of business, keeping existing customers is much more profitable than continually trying to attract new customers.
If your customers are not particularly loyal to you, and you’re in a industry where your competitors are forever attempting to entice customers over to them with exclusive deals, cheaper prices, newer models, bonus offers and more – the daily challenge you face is to work on your ‘stickiness factors’ and glue your customers more permanently to you.
In some industries, stickiness is predicated on the time and effort and sometimes cost in moving to a competitor (think about the bank you’ve been with for a decade, ditto your health or car insurer). But not always.
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Mobile is the only media which is growing in usage. People spend around an hour a day on their smartphones, which in Australia contain an average of 33 apps each.
For a business, an app must solve problems for customers. They must save time, offer convenience, provide real time information, increase accessibility and maybe even save the customer money. Offering any one of these benefits or better still a combination of them will increase your customers’ stickiness.
In considering whether an app is right for your business – don’t just think about what’s in it for you (plenty), you must also put yourself firmly in your customer’s shoes. What does he or she want to do on the go? Value the most? Repeat most frequently?
Once you have created that list from a variety of sources such as your website analytics, sales force or customer service staff feedback, ordering patterns, customer surveys, seasonal trends, marketing campaign successes, etc, you will be in a good position to make a wish list for your business app.
Here are some thought starters:
- Are customers accessing your opening hours and store location finder most frequently on your website? Make this a key app feature.
- Do they appreciate advance notice of sales and special offers? Using free push alerts to tell them what’s available will be much appreciated.
- Are you a school/club/organisation needing to remind parents/supporters/members about upcoming events? The one-click addition of an event to users’ calendars through the app will earn you a gold star.
- Would people like to order your product or service on the go wherever they are? An inbuilt shopping cart in the app will facilitate this sale instantly.
- How about providing access to all your stock in real time? An app can integrate with data feeds you already use to provide an instant catalogue for your customers’ convenience.
- Do you have last minute or excess appointments available? Are you a healthcare provider, personal trainer or beauty therapist? Your customers would really appreciate being informed of these if they have been on a waiting list, or would jump at a discounted price.
- Would a centralised hub for all your social media make sense? Another great app benefit.
These examples are all features that AppsWiz routinely include in our clients’ apps, providing much added value to their customers. What comes next is the vital activity of marketing both the app and what it can do, as well as using ongoing social media and other forms of promotion. We assist with this function also, implementing mass SMS campaigns to communicate with our clients’ databases.
So it’s time to think seriously about your customers and what you offer versus what your competitors offer. Could your business do with a little more stickiness?
Dennis Benjamin is the CEO of AppsWiz.