Speaking as a developer, mobile apps are so exciting because of their flexibility: a tweak here and a bit of coding there can enable them to do more or less anything. Focused little widgets of software stored on your smartphone or tablet, a mobile app is like that special screwdriver in that big old toolkit: it’s ideal for that one job, purpose-built and ultra reliable.
This is great news for businesses as well as code geeks like me, of course. Once I’ve crafted your latest app, you’ll have the ultimate user-friendly tool to offer to your clients and customers. This is good for you because it means you can provide another service, and add value to the experience of doing business with your company. Crucially, it also means you can enhance your customer relationships.
Apps are best when they’re streamlined because they should be so useful and seamless that they embed themselves in the daily lives of their users – and that means you suddenly have a powerful presence in your customers’ lives. Every time they use that app, they engage with your business and your brand – and create real-time data about how and when they do that.
We build apps that log every data event – a button push or a swipe, an upload or a shut-down. This gives you invaluable information about the behaviour of your clients – and, even better, it’s logged as it happens, in real time. This means you can follow your app’s most popular features, your most successful ad campaigns, and other usage statistics on the go, altering your activity and tweaking those app updates as you go.
You can tailor your responses, too – if a given user or set of users can be shown to be interested in a particular aspect of your offering, you can push user notifications to their apps which highlight information related to that interest. Likewise, you can utilise ‘signaling’ within your app in order to launch specific events when a user activates a certain chain of real-time data inputs; these may or may not be visual to the user themselves, but can improve their experience – and your ability to respond better to user activity.
From interactive communication to data analytics, the real-time information, and two-way dialogue, that is inherent in app usage has real power to transform the way your business interacts with its clients. Apps enable you to provide a service, of course; but they also provide the data necessary to enhance exponentially your ability to respond to the demands of your customers. In fact, you can often respond before they even know they’ve demanded anything.
Improving your app, and improving the experience of doing business with your company, will encourage ever greater user take-up – and that in turn will result in more data that can power your next level-up. This sort of virtuous circle will ensure that, if you monitor and make sense of your real-time data appropriately, you can maintain, expand and enhance your customer-base constantly.
And I’m not just saying that because I’m already itching to get back into that code and make that app even better. Although, y’know. I am.
It’s what developers do.