When we open the dialog for mobile applications in any enterprise, the common misconception of the management is that “we don’t sell anything, why should we have a mobile presence?”. How do you know your customers, how do you stay in contact with them, do you have an active crowd on social networks?
Know your users, provide benefits in your app
The mobile app can play several roles regarding your customers and the relationship you want to build with them:
- understand the app use; what are the scenarios played out, what features are valuable, what screens are not even reached, what are the usual paths the user is following
- understand the bottlenecks and capture the errors
- distribute news about the company or the app updates
- open a feedback channel
- promotion and offers for current or potential users
Dual role for apps
The dual role (functional and promotional) is due to the frameworks already put in place by Google and Apple, but mostly by the business model where the first commandment is to capture the audience and then monetize.
The mobile app is the essence of what are you interested in your customers and being close to their intents. It cannot get more close than this and you have the opportunity to speak to the right/converted audience.
Converted users may convert other users
If your customers are buying from you, if you are relying on them for references, if promotions are bringing new customers then an app to reach to your audience is much cheaper than any advertising:
- permanent contact with customers, always knowing if they have used your services, are happy about them or sensible to any offers
- instant feed-back
- direct channel for rebates/offers
- funnel for referring to new customers
- keeping your presence fresh in customers’ memory
- knowing about their habits regarding your business
There is another facet of your mobile apps that is not discussed publicly, where it collects more than allowed or the official tone is that users are not monitored outside the usage of the app. It is not always true, as a small scandal started off for Tim Hortons app in Canada. Breaking the trust of users by collecting data not agreed on is disappointing and creates a sentiment of distrust in any enterprise app, no matter how immaculate is company reputation.