Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Lessons from Mobile Matters: Creating an App That Will Boost Value for Your Business and Consumers

Building an app could be the best decision for your company or it could be a decision that was solely made because “everyone” has an app. Have you created an app that hasn’t driven the type of results you wanted? Or have you been waiting to build an app because you want to make sure it will provide added value to your consumers? Our conversation on Mobile Matters with Dave Galante, Senior Director of Food and Beverage at Oracle, formerly SVP of Product Marketing at Mobivity, sparked a lot of thoughts around why mobile is important and how to make it a crucial part of your business. Spoiler Alert:  You can’t just build an app and expect it to perform as one of the top five on the Apple Store.  Get ready as we dive into how to make your app a successful channel for your company and create a worthwhile customer experience.

Make It a Value Add

No matter what type of app you’re building, you need to consider what your consumer needs and how this new channel will add value to the customer’s journey and experience. You have to ask yourself “what are my consumers getting out of this app?” Take the Domino’s Pizza Tracker App as an example – the sole purpose is to create a frictionless customer experience. Customers can track their pizza from ordering to delivery and all the steps in between. You can even order through voice activation. When you start to brainstorm how to build your next app make sure you aren’t just building it because other competitors have an app. Make sure you are finding the value proposition your customers will be able to experience through the app.

Loyalty Gamification Is Powerful

Does your company, restaurant, or store have a loyalty program that can be offered via mobile instead of a punch card? An example many of us know and love is the Starbucks mobile app. They have created a place for consumers to not only track their loyalty card status but be able to participate in Star Days and Star Dashes to gain more points towards a free drink. Many times I have been a handful of stars away from a free drink and will activate a Star Dash (example: buy three drinks in three days and earn an extra 50 stars) just to get my free drink. So yes, I do buy more drinks just because of the endorphins that come with collecting the 250 stars. Could your brand gamify the way you think about your loyalty program?

A brand that could do better at digitizing their loyalty program is IKEA. The IKEA family card is useful for discounts, etc. but I have always wondered WHY in the world I have to always have my card in hand for them to use it. Grocery stores do phone numbers, Starbucks has loyalty on a mobile app, and yet I have to go through an entire process to get a digital family card for IKEA. Nothing irks me more. Please IKEA, get some type of digital experience for your consumers to have our family member cards on. Is it time to brainstorm where your consumer friction points are and be able to enhance the UX through an app? Is your company currently a Starbucks, IKEA, or an in-between?

The Power of Reviews and Referrals

Do your consumers have the option to review their experience with you so your team can identify what is working and what may need to be improved? Whether the review is for how their app or dine-in experience was, it is crucial to be obtaining that information. Customer satisfaction is truly important and will help bring your customers back. If you don’t have a review system in place maybe it’s time to think about an SMS or app push-notification that engages your customers to review their recent purchase or experience with your brand.

Customer reviews are critical to understanding the friction points for the customer journey along with understanding the successes as well. With successes and failures though comes word-of-mouth marketing. (Yeah, that thing you don’t really get to control a ton. But wait… Maybe you can to an extent!) You may not be able to control what others say about your company but you can help nudge consumers to share their good experiences with others. Take Hello Fresh for example – when I first started using them (because I had a discount code from a friend) I received five free boxes to give away to my friends and family through a code! And if they used that code I earned credit toward another Hello Fresh box. This type of referral program kept me ordering for at least an extra two to three weeks. Could your business use a referral program to incentivize current customers to share your company with others? You could offer a referral program through your app or through an SMS campaign.

Creating an app for your business could enhance the customer experience if you have the right goals and value proposition prior to building it out. You don’t want to create an app that may cause friction to your customer journey or be offering the same value as your website. Make sure you keep the above ideas in mind as you brainstorm how to deliver your next app.