It’s true when they tell us that it’s much more effective to keep an existing customer than it is to bring in a new one. The biggest brands of today know this and understand the vital importance of boosting customer loyalty in order to develop long-lasting relationships with consumers.
With the rise of smartphones and tablets, companies are finding all-new methods of customer communication that are not only effective, but are also relatively inexpensive to implement. Any company introducing apps and new media into their strategies have seen a vast improvement in ROI, in most cases, improving overall sales by copious amounts.
Listed here are some fantastic ways to approach an app-based campaign that will assure success and get you well on your way to nurturing and growing your customer base.
Keep it Simple
Don’t over-bloat your initial app with a million features and tools that will confuse first-time users. Keep things simplistic and easy-to-figure-out. A customer is generally able to decide if your app is worth deleting within the first 30-seconds of using it, so try to keep the functionality and design as user-friendly as possible.
Think about the various age groups that will be utilizing the app and design it accordingly. Novice mobile users will feel alienated by anything too complex so try to emphasize a design that reads easily and functions as clear as day.
Make sure you test the app thoroughly and concisely. It wouldn’t even hurt to have people of various ages and expertise-levels beta test the software for you. Take plenty of notes on where people run into problems and then adjust accordingly. Doing this sort of testing over a few different stages can make all the difference between a smooth app launch and a complaint-prone app launch.
With apps becoming the popular norm for business everywhere, plenty of them are quick to spot the trend, but ultimately end up releasing an app prematurely without initially focusing on proper research. Value is an aspect that ought to be taken seriously and companies will find it most beneficial to dig just a little to see what problems they can solve for their customers via an app.
Imagine yourself in you customer’s position – With the hundreds of thousands of apps on the market, what makes your app stand out? Is your app useful enough? Play to the role of your consumers and figure out how you can make their lives easier when it comes to doing business with you.
It’s also important to make your app truly unique. Don’t create something that is essentially a carbon copy of information that can be found elsewhere on the internet. Instead add functionality and purpose. Give people an actionable utility to rely on instead of a glorified informational hub that hogs of precious storage space. When you make something that is practical… or useful, then it WILL be used.
Provide Social Engagement
The social capabilities of an app are vital in today’s market. People love to socialize and share great things so it is only natural to implement such features.
By influencing users to engage with each other, it allows deals and promotions to be much more widely spread. Harness the power of your current-loyal customer base and include them in spreading your brand’s social proof.
Utilize Pre-Existing Loyalty Programs
It can be a daunting task to conjure up and develop a loyalty program from the ground-up, but luckily there are pre-existing programs out there that can ease the process for you. Some companies offer fantastic solutions to companies looking to implement loyalty programs into their business model, saving an immense amount of time and resources.
Using examples like the above-mentioned, it is made easy to fully integrate into your very own apps, making for a splendid combination of services that will convenience your existing customer base and potentially attract new ones.
API’s for popular shared loyalty programs generally function within other apps to create a seamless transfer of user data across multiple platforms. And with a system in place that is tried, tested, and true amongst countless other vendors, you can give your customers exactly what they need, without having to worry about the necessary hassles and headaches.
Case Study: Virgin Air Flight Specials
Talking about these strategies is one thing, but witnessing these tips in real-life scenarios can be quite beneficial as well. Virgin Air Australia implemented a successful app campaign that serves as a glowing example of a company utilizing apps to satisfy their customers tremendously.
Considered a flagship app, Virgin Air offers up a noteworthy effort in their Flight Specials app. It functions as the name would elude to, in that it offers up special deals and discounts on a variety of flights that are otherwise not found anywhere else online. This not only keeps loyal customers alert, but it also provides an immense value by making the app worth having for potential travelers.
Furthermore, the app contains several built in functions that make their customers lives much easier, such as management of bookings and online flight check-ins. Domestically, the company has also launched mobile boarding passes which further facilitates the process of flying by eliminating paper printouts and waiting in long check-in lines at the airport.
Learn and Prosper
Delivering an app can be, at first, an exhausting experience, but there is no doubt that it is a invaluable tool, once harnessed properly. Don’t think of it as a set-it-and-forget it tool, but instead as a platform to learn more about customer activity and to hear their feedback from. Apps play a pivotal role developing customer relationships and trust, so if you can succeed at developing a useful one, then your brand is poised to win.
Mary Ann Keeling is a freelance writer and a business consultant for small and medium businesses who works from her home office in Australia. Her busy schedule is often interrupted by social network updates from her colleagues and friends. You can connect with her on Twitter @MaryAnnKeeling.
Image courtesy SOZIALHELDEN e.V.