Not all businesses need an app, but it will always enhance a client’s experience. That is, at least, if the app does what it is supposed to without significant errors. And nowadays anyone can create an app with an app maker that does not require coding experience. You don’t need to hire an app designer or pay big money for UX design.
However, if you don’t go about designing your app with considered intention, you can get it all wrong. A bad app can drive clients away, and is worse than having no app.
There are certain things you need to do and others you need to avoid at all costs. Here are 5 things you need to know when creating an app for your business.
1. Send Out Betas Before Release
You can get your app done fairly quickly and may want to rush it out to your clients. But this is a recipe for disaster. No matter how many times you have used it without issues, you need to know how others experience it. They may try functions that you have overlooked, and come upon bugs or errors. Beta testers will let you know when they hit a wall.
If you release it immediately, users will let you know about problems, but it will come at the cost of bad reviews. When you are starting with bad ratings and reviews on an app store, it can be tough to turn things around. Bad reviews are always quick in coming, while good reviews require a push from your end. Even if you have quashed any and every problem, your bad reviews will dog you.
2. Be Prepared For Maintenance
Your app may work impeccably by the time you release it to the world. And yet, there may be issues even your beta testers did not identify. Still, this is only one reason you need to be prepared to work on your app consistently over the months and years.
The reality is that many bugs come about because of updates to mobile operating systems. A minor iOS update could lead to issues, and you should test your app again to make sure it still works as it is supposed to.
Then there is the evolution of your own business. The functionality of your app needs to keep up with any changes you have made, whether that is additional products and services, or simply a different way of providing those products and services. An app that only provides some functionality is more frustrating than it is useful.
Finally, if you haven’t updated your app in years, clients will think twice before downloading it. Many will assume that your app is defunct. Provided regular updates if only to keep your log up to date.
3. Innovate (or Copy)
Your business may provide a simple service and not technically need an app. If this is the case, you need to give clients a reason to download your app. This will require some forward-thinking on your part – as well as having an eye on what your competitors are doing. There is no shame in copying the functionality of other apps, as long as you add your own flavor.
So, if you offer legal services, your app should not just provide a convenient way for people to get in touch or make appointments. Create a database of FAQs. Create a chatbot to answer common queries. Make it so that your app is worth keeping on your client’s phone. This leads to the next tip.
4. Push Notifications Are (Kind Of) The Point
There is one major reason having an app is worthwhile for your business even if you do not need its functionality. It keeps your clients in a constant conversation with you. With your app on their phone, you can send regular (although not annoying) notifications that remind them of your existence. This can include special offers, prompts to buy your products or services, or simple holiday messages. Think of your app as an extension of your daily marketing strategy.
This is why it is important that people keep your app on their phones. It keeps you top of mind, even if your company is not one they would think of the majority of the time.
5. Inject Personality
No matter what your app does, it should reflect your company’s personality. It should talk directly to the type of clients you target. If you are a legal company that mediates divorce settlements, a breezy attitude is not the way to go. But if you are a provider of sports equipment, it won’t hurt to communicate with a light touch.
Ultimately, your app is about connecting with your clients. It ensures you are always in conversation with them, keeping your business top of mind. For this reason, you need to get it right, with excellent functionality and regular updates.