Smartphone users need only have apps on their device that provide them with specific resources, entertainment, or otherwise, value. If you don’t use it, lose it, right? Yet each time a mobile phone is purged of an unnecessary application, a service feature is abandoned that a developer very well may have spent months meticulously designing.
For a small company to have a mobile application is a pretty big deal; and while having a simple run-of-the-mill app can get you more attention (SEO), going cheap on building one may cost dearly later.
Here are things to bear in mind when creating a mobile app to ensure ultimate user satisfaction – and to place a metaphorical safety belt over it when your customer embarks on an uninstallation spree.
Is it Glitchy? | Nobody, absolutely nobody, is going to waste a lot of time on something slow or malfunctions at the drop of a hat. Is the app difficult to use, requiring a substantial amount of time to truly understand how it works? Is the appearance and navigation just overall – not good? If it is cheap, looks cheap, and behaves cheap, you may get what you pay for… which will most likely not compensate you for what you actually did pay. The national average for building your own app starts at $25,000. Ouch.
Sending Too Many Or Not Enough Push Notifications. | Much of this plays into the purpose of why a user downloads in the first place, but nonetheless often a relevant cause for unsubscribing. Push notes are more invasive than a post on social media and behave as a text message. To remain completely silent on your company’s end is better than sending bothersome notifications that more or less say, “I’m here!”
Send a promotional offer that YOU as a person think consumers could benefit from; at a time your average joe would care to hear about it (i.e. Right before 5pm when the world is about to leave work). Remember that push notifications are statistically opened more than twice as much as marketing emails are. Notify customers only about what you believe could comply with the reason they downloaded the app in the first place; using geo-fencing as an additional strategy when applicable.
Not Understanding the Purpose. | The mastery of knowing your client’s needs at any time, at any level of frequency will help you better understand the role your app will play in the hands of that customer.
Because a user downloading your app is an invitation into their life. Push notifications that can alert them anytime, at anywhere, all the while holding probably some of their private information.
Before investing in developing an application, ask yourself:
- How often will it be used?
- What will it be used for?
- Are these benefits worth downloading an app to receive?
Because these are the questions your patrons will be asking when they see your logo hit the app store.
The truth is, not every small company needs an app. However, nearly any business that provides a mandatory service can have success in the mobile world if they are able to eliminate the fluff, and bring only value and functionality to the table.
But first, be honest with yourself – if you simply want an app because you like the idea of your brand floating around town on people’s iPhones, it’s never going to go anywhere. If an app means giving out a free downloadable PDF version of your site with some clickable buttons, forget it. Consumers can come and go on your site whenever they like (that is, if it is mobile friendly).
Think about any great mobile app, excluding the big names like Facebook or Gmail. Do you have a banking app? Wonderful, isn’t it? You can deposit checks straight from your phone and know your checking, credit, and savings balance at all times. It is personal. It caters to your needs. What about a music app like Spotify or Pandora? Listen to the music you want to. If one of them irritates you by not having the selection you want, you can delete it. But all of them drive a specific purpose, carrying only what is necessary.
Now ameteur apps. A local restaurant, coffee shop, or hair salon. How many of those do you have? How many “made the cut”? Ask yourself – would you use your app?
Be like the big names. Strive only for excellence and provide a commodity the customer cannot afford to live without.