Six Ways Mobile Apps Can Enhance Service

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Six Ways Mobile Apps Can Enhance Service

Posted: 08/26/2013

Small businesses in all industries are developing mobile applications to help improve customer service and attract attention. The tactic is working: Nearly 70% of small business owners who have developed mobile apps have found them somewhat or very effective, according to our new AT&T Mobile Marketing Survey.

Need inspiration? These six scenarios help inspire and show you how a mobile app might benefit your business. (These examples are intended for illustration only. No real association is intended or inferred.)

Restaurant speeds reservation process. A restaurant owner wanted an app that would make it easier for customers to reserve tables and learn about daily specials and other offers. Because the restaurant attracted a younger clientele, he also needed to make good use of social media. He created an app that enables his customers to:

  • Make reservations.
  • See the menu, including daily specials.
  • Learn about discounts and other offers, such as free appetizers with entrees.
  • Use the restaurant’s Facebook® page to allow groups to pre-order from different locations.

The Facebook page makes it easy for a group to see who had confirmed a reservation and to make other arrangements, such as how to split the bill.

Pet supply store offers order tracking. The owner of an online company that delivers pet food and supplies knew an app could help customers place and track orders. She also wanted to encourage a sense of community among longtime customers. Her app helps them:

  • Order quickly and easily.
  • Place re-orders with a single click.
  • Track orders from purchase to delivery using GPS.
  • Post pictures of themselves and their pets on an online customer bulletin board.

The message board proves especially effective at engaging her followers. To the owner’s surprise, a customer named the online community, which the owner reinforced by including it in her marketing messages.

Health club simplifies scheduling. A health and fitness club offered so many sessions, lessons, and other activities, members had a hard time keeping track of what interested them. The club eased the situation by developing an app that:

  • Includes a regularly-updated calendar of events.
  • Allows members to check off the events they plan to attend.
  • Sends text reminders before each event they’ve signed up for.
  • Provides access to a billing page so members can track those events not covered by their membership.
  • Enables members to use the club’s Facebook page to schedule events with other members, such as a racquetball game.

The app not only simplifies matters for the club’s members, it also builds positive word of mouth for the business, which helps attract new members.

Ticket agency makes social connection. A ticket agent wanted to simplify routine customer activities. He also realized that his customers’ lack of knowledge about certain bands was hurting sales. He created an app that:

  • Alerts fans to upcoming events.
  • Links to videos of scheduled concerts.
  • Allows fast and easy ticket purchases and seat selection.
  • Links to a social media page, where customers can share messages and videos of their concert experiences.

The social media page not only helps people learn about bands, but deepens connections between the ticket agent's customers, increasing their loyalty.

Daycare provides scheduling information. A daycare center received a constant stream of calls and emails from parents. Some were confused about activities or needed to change arrangements, while others wanted to see how their children were doing. The daycare developed an app that enables parents to:

  • See an hour-by-hour schedule of activities.
  • Arrange early or late drop-offs and pick-ups.
  • Receive special announcements.
  • See their children via webcams.

The webcam feature is quite popular and even helps draw new customers to the business.

Auto repair shop explains servicing. An auto repair shop found that the frequent customer interaction typical of an average repair job slowed service. The business was losing customers and sales as a result. It created an app that:

  • Reminds customers of upcoming services.
  • Explains quotes and registers customer approvals for the work.
  • Sends an alert when a vehicle is ready.
  • Tracks loyalty points.

The app also helps customers know when they have enough loyalty points to receive a free service, such as an oil change or tire rotation. This helps increase the number of customer visits and boosts sales.

Still aren't sure if you should develop a mobile app for your business? Check out these resources:

AT&T mobile applications service can help you create and maintain a mobile app.

AT&T Messaging Toolkitâ„  can help you integrate your app with other mobile marketing tools and techniques.