Mobile apps are part and parcel in today’s digital landscape, as customers depend on them day in and day out to buy groceries, pay bills and even consult doctors via telemedicine. Software companies in Sri Lanka have also therefore adapted to build for mobile, in order to give clients the leverage they need to stand out in their respective markets. With competition fierce as users now have multiple options to choose from for any product or service, brand loyalty is a rare occurrence, and abandonment has become all too common.
Add to this the content overload that customers experience via social media; regular posts and ads alike feel more like clutter than actual value. So how are businesses able to cut through all this noise? Mobile apps aren’t necessarily a novelty, but they definitely offer businesses the opportunity to truly stand out from the competition, through exclusive access, rewards and targeted branding.
In this article, EFutures explores how mobile apps can be transformative for CX, and how certain trends are further helping shape customer experiences in the world of mobile. We’ll also cover:
Offering customers a convenient means to access the products and services you offer is hands-down the most convincing reason for mobile app development. With more users connected online via their mobile devices, offering your products and services where they are can be a highly effective way to create brand exposure as well as elevate sales. While retailers can share special mobile-only discounts via push notifications, banking apps can provide access to bank balances and fund transfers from anywhere, and at any time.
An increasingly virtualized lifestyle has also propelled businesses to build a mobile presence, so their customers have instant and round-the-clock access to products and accounts. All-round and convenient access for today’s fast-paced customer is enough to download a mobile app, thereby making the case for businesses to build, scale and maintain one in the interest of retaining their customers.
Mobile apps also offer the convenience of remembering user preferences following the very first interaction or transaction. While this ability is also available across desktop websites, the element of on-the-go access makes mobile apps stand a level above. Saving one’s preferences can eliminate the need to remember any the next time one enters the app, while also speeding up transaction processes for repeated payments. This further benefits customer retention rates, as customers now have a one-stop, go-to option for conducting their routine commitments any time at all.
Positive experiences that happen repeatedly across any endeavour are bound to instil heartfelt trust. Mobile apps are no exception. However, software companies and marketing teams within businesses are both responsible in order to successfully make this happen. As mobile apps generate user data and feedback, both teams need to identify likes, dislikes and other preferences to revamp app capabilities for improving engagement rates in the future.
Customer service also plays a massive role in all of this. No mobile app alone shall suffice in winning the hearts of customers, as repeated positive experiences are a group effort wherefore different teams do their duties to help customers when they need it. This also includes intelligently handling any negative experiences, as resolving customer quandaries quickly and as per the expectations of the customer can drastically help businesses with retention, and even long-term loyalty.
A strategically designed mobile app shall serve as a tool for all of this, thereby making it a worthwhile project for even the smallest of companies to invest in.
The global outsourcing market has been at the forefront of accessing and getting familiar with the latest trends in technology. With modern software development companies implementing these within the digital applications they build for clientele, businesses that depend on software outsourcing providers have the advantage of scaling faster than their in-house counterparts.
Chatbots and virtual assistants are very commonplace across websites and mobile apps these days, and for good reason. Adept at resolving repetitive or frequent inquiries, chatbots free service personnel to handle inquiries and tasks of a more complex nature instead. However, modern chatbots aren’t simply delivering answers from a static knowledge base; they are powered by AI to help detect the right course of action for each customer, while machine learning algorithms further train chatbots to improve accuracy rates, through generated big data.
This form of conversational intelligence has also paved the way for sentiment analysis of aggregated big data, to help businesses gauge what customers really think about their brands, products and services. Natural Language Processing (NLP) is an AI sub-technology that paves the way for accurate sentiment analysis, by identifying emotions within language.
Combining chatbots and other virtual assistants with conversational intelligence can be valuable for understanding customer opinions, likes and dislikes. In turn, layering on intelligent chatbots powered by AI can be a boon for mobile apps, especially if businesses experience high customer volumes or have no starting point for analysing customer sentiment.
Self-service tools have skyrocketed during the past few years, owing to an increase in remote working as well as the need to purchase goods, pay utility bills and transfer funds without having to visit a physical store. The industry of software development in Sri Lanka has also therefore adapted to meet the needs of businesses that aim to offer self-service capabilities to their customers, in the interest of improved retention and engagement.
As a matter of fact, businesses now exclusively incentivise customers to use self-service tools in order to purchase, engage or transact, via discounted rates and fee waivers. While there are multiple ways to offer self-service, mobile apps are the ideal self-service tool for both customers as well as businesses, as almost every user has access to their own smartphone or tablet.
Other self-service options include kiosks, which while offering easy access to digital products and services, require in-person access to use. The banking industry has significantly embraced the self-service concept, as many brick and mortar branches function with limited agents and their online banking apps can drastically help reduce in-person customer volumes.
Any digital application today requires cyber protection in order to keep data and network perimeters secure, while also enabling stringent compliance to local and/or federal regulations. As software outsourcing companies scale to build high-quality mobile apps for their clientele, they also need to embrace DevSecOps in order to design, develop, test, deploy and maintain mobile apps with a security-first approach.
Identity management is one of the biggest cyber security concerns that businesses and software developers alike possess; businesses need to ensure only an authorised user is accessing their mobile platform. Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is a common yet highly effective method to verify user access, via layered verification options such as One Time Passwords (OTPs), one-time verification links, biometric recognition and app-based authentication.
Contextual awareness further helps streamline identity authentication, as different MFA types can be delivered depending on the variables surrounding a user’s login attempt. This can offer increased protection across mobile apps that deal with sensitive data, while giving businesses some peace of mind when it comes to overall in-app cyber security.
Businesses can connect with prospective customers more easily than ever before through mobile apps that have Augmented Reality capabilities. Whether it’s suggesting routes to drive along or nearby cafes based on the image your smartphone camera captures, brands can significantly drive engagement through the sheer convenience and speed offered by AR.
Additionally, computer vision technology can detect text from an image which can then be automatically translated. These technologies offer travelling customers massive value, thereby being highly sought after by app companies that specialise in geomapping, travel and hospitality.
Mobile apps are increasingly resourceful for users and businesses alike, and they’re here to stay owing to the stellar CX they provide. As businesses position themselves across the digital landscape with mobile apps that will enable their customers to access relevant information, products and services from anywhere and at any time, users are able to engage in self-service in the interest of not having to visit a brick and mortar store in person.
Other trends such as AI, AR and conversational intelligence further propel mobile apps towards being more resourceful and valuable, as users can help themselves to product and location suggestions with a quick scan of their smartphone cameras. At EFutures, we understand the impact good CX can have on our clients’ organisations. Therefore, repeatedly creating positive experiences for customers can therefore help build trust and loyalty – two characteristics that are rare to come by these days, from customers.