Mobile Apps Empower Your Customers

Mobile apps are considered to be on top of the trend when it comes to addressing customers. But when does the empowerment come into play? As mobile phones have evolved, cool stuff began to happen with the users. Some literally became addicted to using their phones just like it happened with the early PC games back in the 90's. A smart phone is not just a mobile phone anymore and it stopped being one more than 8 years ago. It does all kinds of stuff now, from payments, keeping track of our activity, creating appointments, navigating, recording our memories, being informed, watching content, reading and so on.

Basically, apps are the reason why a smart phone is such a strong mobile device. Apps offer us functionality, apps bring us new ways of doing the same stuff, easier ways, more exciting and hence the empowering we were talking about. We're now communicating in more ways than ever, it's fun and easy to do it. We're now able to express ourselves in ways we never thought they were possible. The access to knowledge is at our finger tips.

Given the fact that 10 years ago mobile apps didn't even exist, one might say the industry is at its beginnings, but most of the mobile apps developers have a solid software development background. So they have taken their past experience and have transitioned their ideas and skills into developing mobile apps. This was possible when the technology has been sufficiently developed as to allow them to create very complex stuff, that looked good and had a great functionality in a easier way than before.

I truly believe that this is just the beginning, these are just the first steps in this industry. For example let's imagine a hairdresser. What could a mobile app do for a hairdresser? Their clients usually call in to make a reservation, at the agreed date and time. Sometimes they forget they have previously booked a spot in the barber's diary and time is wasted. Things could move ahead in this way as well, but what would it happen if the hairdressers had a mobile app?

If the hairdressers had their own mobile app, their entire process could be different. The client opens the app to make a reservation. He can see the hairdresser's schedule and pick the desired time slot. He will confirm it by the touch of a button and the hairdresser will be notified. The event will be added in both the client's and the hairdresser's calendars.

Then, when the reservation date approaches, the app will notify the customer, making him aware about his schedule. This means a low level of missed appointments is expected.

When the customer arrives to the location, based on Geo-location services, the app is "aware" he has arrived. If he wouldn't have been around the shop by the time of the reservation, the app could have send him one more message, or offer in advance the option to reschedule, so that the hairdresser could fill up his schedule with some other clients and not waste time waiting for a customer who might not show up.

 Collecting feedback from the customers and showcasing them afterwards is a technique very often used by businesses. A mobile app can be designed to ask for feedback and to make it easy for the customer to offer it to you. From star ranking systems, to written feedback, or even giving the chance to record a video as a recommendation, mobile apps can do the job just great.

 So, back to our hairdresser. After the client leaves the location, the app can be configured to send a thank you note, or an email. This ensures that ongoing communication is kept between the company and its customers, raising awareness towards their brand.

The conclusion is that mobile apps can change the way we do our day to day activities, can improve our lives and simplify our workflows. Mobile apps are a real addition to our lives and we benefit by using them day by day.

Businesses must at least consider if a mobile app could benefit them as well, as technology has evolved and very cool things are possible, things that 10 years ago we wouldn't even have dreamed about.

 Dan Dobre