A lot has happened since the last time people were excited to do simple math on calculators on their phones. We now keep track of our health via wearables. Apps have surely progressed a long way in terms of their functionality, ergonomics, aesthetics, accessibility and platform dependence/independence. One should wonder exactly where these apps are heading and what role they can play for a business. The first apps were simple like a clock or a calculator pre-embedded within our mobile phones. In that era mobile phones were brand new concepts and alarm clocks and calculators were seen as exciting features of the devices. These were obviously restricted to each manufacturer and individual OS. However, “add-on” features (or apps) that helped one address basic needs through mobile devices were a hit from Day 1 and now they have seeped into our lives and sealed their places. In fact, several e-commerce engines have shut down their desktop web sites and serve customers only via apps today. In the future we might see an emergence of banks whose only branch is probably going to be the app you find on your phone. Despite this rage, people don’t want to install too many apps on their phones. Those already installed have become redundant entities in our mobile repositories. Certain businesses know customers don’t regularly need to visit their apps and hence the utilization of the same is meagre. In such a scenario, how do we maximize the use of apps and change the losing sheen of the brigade to a business advantage?
Instant Access: Apps which can be accessed instantly and disposed of after using are clearly the way forward. They are light to use and time saving. No need to install and eat up device memory either. This way an app still does its work without the headache of browsing apps stores and waiting for the app to be installed and registered.
Predictive Feature: It is important that apps behave as per customer’s needs and requirements instead of being static concepts forcing one to work as per their will. For example, if a customer has recently activated his debit card, is it possible for the app to first feature ATM location options for him instead of other predefined static steps? Predicting a customer’s needs using data analysis and presenting him services tailored around that is becoming the need of the hour and adds an edge to customer service.
Platform Agnostic: What is even more important is that apps are independent of the platform they work on. It does not rely on an Android or an iOS or Windows and only cares for customer service making it less of a hassle compared to those store visits. In fact, these can also be pushed to customers through a traditional SMS.
Connectivity to Contact Center: Taking customer service a step ahead, an app having constant connectivity to your contact center gives it an edge that completes the entire customer service cycle. If agents are aware what a customer was doing on the app before approaching them, it makes the engagement and query resolving process even faster. It also helps tap customer transaction data helping in providing even more effective predictive service to them in the future.
The face of apps is changing and it is essential to adopt them with the right approach in a business to maximize benefits and cater to changing needs of customers globally.