One of the most promising tools that has the potential to dramatically impact your inbound customer experience is the development and deployment of custom applications. While an investment is required to produce them, here are ten compelling reasons why every business that is committed to growth should seriously consider making that investment.
- Set Yourself Apart
At a time when anyone can do a quick Google search to find and research the competition, most of us are constantly challenged to differentiate ourselves (or if we aren’t, we certainly SHOULD be). Custom apps provide an excellent way of realizing that differentiation, provided that your app offers a value-added service that your competition already doesn’t… and he who innovates first, and most often, wins.
- Make Yourself Easy to do Business With
One of the best uses of custom apps is one that makes it easier for your customers to do business with you. Consumers today are looking for ways to make their life simpler, and anything you can do to do so gives you an advantage over the competition, i.e. it spoils them.
- Empower Your Customers
If your custom app allows your customer to explore and compare options and make informed decisions, your customer will feel empowered. An empowered customer is always more likely to become a raving fan.
- Increase Automation
A custom app can not only empower your customers, it can also enable employees to be more productive by automating some tasks that they may currently do manually.
- Build Loyalty
Providing a custom app that uniquely allows your customer to access critical information, provides additional insights, saves them time, or gives them capabilities they would otherwise not have, makes that customer much less likely to stray to another competitor.
- Relish Built-in Lead Gen
By gating your custom app, i.e. asking for a small amount of contact information (which is not only fair and reasonable, but can be used as a gauge of the app’s uniqueness and perceived value) allows you to capture more viable leads, and gives your sales folks the advantage of knowing something about the prospect that they would otherwise have no way of knowing.
- Reduce Up-front Cost
Apps can often be built incrementally, rather than having to have all of the desired bells and whistles right out of the chute. This not only potentially reduces upfront costs and reduces time-to-market, but also allows you to gather customer feedback and roll suggested changes/enhancements/features into future releases of the app.
- Revel in Seamless Integration
One of the distinct advantages of building your own custom apps is that they can be built to seamlessly integrate with your other systems. Many of the apps you use today may already have APIs (documented automated interfaces) that you can take advantage of so that your custom app can read from, or write directly to, your existing in-house systems, e.g. CRM.
- Promote Sharing
While any piece of quality content has the potential to invite sharing (or even go viral), the unique qualities (above) of a custom app can substantially increase that potential, i.e. when you save your customers time and money, or make them more confident and delighted with their decisions, they are likely to share that capability with others.
- Close More Sales
Best of all, for most of the reasons cited above, custom apps can have a significantly positive impact on how many sales you close. And because you are automating the process of engagement, your cost-per-customer-acquisition can be dramatically reduced.
The use of custom apps will continue to be a winning opportunity as businesses strive to differentiate themselves in an increasingly clogged marketplace. Of course, not just any app will do, i.e. it takes creativity, planning, quality execution, and a solid marketing plan to realize the benefits of custom apps.