Reaching and leaving a lasting impression on any customer requires the ability to tap into their emotions and elicit a positive response. Giving them a discount or sending them an email about your new product or service isn’t that impressive. Personally inviting them to try your new product and offering them a discount because you see they visit you often becomes more compelling. Creating a relationship like that through a mobile platform is easier than other digital mediums.
The mobile market in and of itself is enormous. 94% of the growing US population owns a smartphone and half of them make checking their notifications a top priority. Half of all smartphone users check their phone as soon as they wake up. 52% keep them within arm’s reach at all times. I bet you could have guessed that from observing the behavior of those around you.
You know that reaching the mobile customer is important. You know that to do that you have to provide value and connect in a meaningful way. However, both of those options can seem a little ambiguous at times. How, exactly, is your business supposed to reach the mobile customer?
First Contact with Your New Customers
First impressions mean a lot, so your business has to be prepared. In fact, as many as 6 out of every ten people who visit your site through a mobile browser will never return if it performs poorly. So, before anything else, you need to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. That means every page, image, and form resizes correctly and works. Proper testing is critical; not every device will display your content in the same way.
Once you have a decent mobile website the next step may be to move up to an app. With recent developments in the app world such as app builders and the coming implementation of “instant apps,” potential customers are beginning to expect the benefits an app provides.
When you want to get someone to use your app or try your product, connecting on an emotional level is key to giving them a great first impression. You can connect emotionally in a number of ways:
- Create Something to Share – Sharing is one of the best ways to create a connection. The key point here is to build something that users feel compelled to share. An exercise app could allow users to share a streak of success or a new personal record. Other apps could enable users to share savings on a given purchase, entertaining images, or valuable information.
- Tell Your Story – Every brand needs a strong point of view, a cause their customers can rally behind. It might be as simple as creating a fantastic product or service experience, or it could be something more altruistic. The point being, find a way to share your story that allows your customers to feel like they are a part of it.
- Have Amazing Products and Features – This is a given. Your products and services need something that sets them apart, but you probably already have this one down.
- Do Something Surprising – Positive surprises, like unexpected bonus points, a birthday discount, or even a secret status for frequent customers can all create moments where your clients can become further invested in your brand.
- Provide Excellent Support – Not everything goes smoothly. Occasionally something breaks isn’t delivered on time or happens to be too complex. Providing a high level of support for your customers with adequate compensation is necessary for times like these. If you can make clients feel like they really matter by supporting them when something goes wrong, you may have gained their business for life.
When customers download an app, they are usually giving you permission to collect data on the way they use it. That requires trust. The easiest way to earn that trust quickly is to give an incentive. If the incentive is good enough, it might just encourage your new customer to tell their friends and family about it, too.
An incentive can be a number of things. Free products, a discount, premium trials, contest entries and charitable contributions are all tried and true ideas. Whatever incentive you offer, make sure it is representative of what they can expect of your brand in the future.
Where a mobile website is limited in the amount of data it can collect and thus the amount of personalization it can provide, an app, in combination with a little artificial intelligence, can create an experience that feels tailored to each individual. Those experiences will help customers stick around and tell others about your brand.
Given that 23% of users will abandon or uninstall an app after just one use, reaching the mobile customer isn’t just about getting them to try your app or visit your website – it’s about giving them a reason to keep coming back. Bear in mind; your app doesn’t have to do everything that the leading apps do. Finding just one way to improve your customer’s experience is enough to start, and you can add more as you go.
Providing value can be as simple as sending notifications for discounts and specials or as complex as providing an augmented reality overlay for troubleshooting a problem. Whatever you choose to include, make sure that you make it easy for new users to find what they want – don’t overwhelm them.
During app development, or whenever you think an update is in order, consider surveying your audience. You could use email, your app, or a social media page to ask what features your clients would like to see. If you do choose to develop one of the more popular suggestions, those customers will feel like their feedback was valued. The popularity of these top app makers are making it easier to add features the customers are expecting.
Mobile customers are no more or less loyal than any other client. They are, however, more likely to choose what is most convenient. With the implementation of LBS (location based services) in many apps and mobile-friendly directories, a consumer can search for a product or service and find a list of nearby businesses that offer it. Similarly, the customers of online businesses are given an ever-expanding number of choices. How do you keep your current mobile customers and reach out to new ones at the same time?
Cater to the Individual
Mobile marketing is personal. If a customer feels like your brand cares about them, they are more likely to stay loyal. They are also 43% more likely to spread the word. To elicit that feeling, you have several opportunities. Over the long term, the quality of your customer support options, the extent to which a customer believes your brand values align with their own, and the amount of value they feel you have provided will be the determining factors.
However, 80% of customers who switch brands say they would have remained loyal if the company they were with made an effort to retain them, according to surveys. With an app, you have the ability to collect and filter data at an incredibly low price compared to what any other technology can offer. That data allows you to create messages targeted to specific customers and customer groups. It even lets you give them specific offers. Those messages contribute to creating the feeling that each customer matters.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Beyond messages, loyalty programs are a more active way of retaining customers. Mobile loyalty programs are most effective and one of the most requested features overall during app development with up to 73% of respondents making the request. Rather than having to carry around a punch card or yet another key ring tag, a mobile loyalty program makes gather points as simple as scanning a smartphone screen or just passing the phone over a particular scanner.
As mentioned above, creating features that encourage sharing are a great way to get customers invested in your app. To expand the reach of your brand, you will have to get social, too. Partnerships and shared campaigns can help maximize your brand’s reach. It could be as simple as sharing a mutual offer on your social media page. Or it can be as complex as incorporating another app’s features with your own.
In Conclusion: Remember to Serve Your Customers
Having a mobile strategy is key in today’s world. Many people are using their mobile device in some way with every purchasing decision. In order to guarantee that those customers choose your business and your brand, you must adapt. Be where you are most likely to be found. Focus on creating content, be it your app’s latest feature or your company bio, that resonates with your current customers and draws in more.
In every stage of marketing and development for your mobile platform, keep your approach customer-centric. If you’re still wondering how to build an app that will benefit your customers ask yourself these questions. What have they asked for? What have they complained about? How can we incorporate the latest mobile trends and technology to create a more convenient and intuitive experience for our customers? If you can answer these questions and implement those changes within your business’s mobile experience, you will succeed in reaching out to the mobile client.
Andrew Gazdecki is the founder and CEO of Bizness Apps – making mobile apps affordable and simple for small businesses. We’re a do-it-yourself iPhone, iPad, Android & HTML5 app platform that allows any small business to simultaneously create, edit, and manage mobile apps without any programming knowledge needed. Think of us as “WordPress for mobile app creation.” Many of our customers are mobile app resellers — marketing or design agencies that use our platform to cost effectively build mobile apps for small business clients.
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