6 Small Businesses that can Benefit from Mobile Apps
We live in a mobile world. The average smart phone users spends nearly five hours every day on their devices and 92% of this time is spent interacting with apps. Whether it’s sharing information on social media or buying tickets for a concert, more activities are occurring through apps than ever before, and small businesses need to keep up with this trend.
Benefits of Small Business Apps
Many small business owners haven’t ever considered developing an app for their business either because they believe it’s too expensive or they think it’s only for stores and restaurants. Neither of these beliefs are true. An app can boost sales of goods and services in nearly every industry as well as:
- Support customer communications;
- Create a personalized client experience;
- Improve brand recognition;
- Increase client loyalty;
- Enhance marketplace visibility; and
- Differentiate your business from the competition.
Developing an app tailored to your business is easier than you think and cost effective. Whether you gain new clients, increase customer loyalty or step ahead of your competition, the return on investment (ROI) is significant.
Small businesses in nearly every industry can benefit from a company-specific app, and here are six to consider.
Traditional and Non-Traditional Healthcare Providers
Doctors, dentists, chiropractors, massage therapists, physical therapists and more share a specific challenge: getting their patients or clients to come for their scheduled appointments. For small practices, each no-show has a significant impact on their bottom line and financial stability. With a personalized healthcare app, you can schedule appointments and send reminders with an option to reschedule if needed. With this app there are fewer missed appointments, which results in improved cash flow.
With an app you can also request post-visit feedback, which can be posted as a review. This option allows you to promote your business to potential patients and clients. In today’s digital age, 84% of people trust online reviews as much they do personal recommendations and the app lets you take advantage of this fact to grow your practice. You can also include a map, contact information, hours of operation and other details to give potential information to your target audience.
In addition, you can use the app to create a loyalty program, especially for massage therapists, chiropractors and other specialty care practices. You can also share information on discounts, new services, staff changes, etc. to keep your current patient and client base engaged and in the know.
Child Daycare Centers
Flyers get lost in a child’s backpack and emails go unread. As a result, little Suzie and Jimmy are crying because they can’t go on the fieldtrip since they don’t have a signed permission slip. For child daycare programs, an app is the best way to keep parents informed about what’s happening at the school and remind them of tasks they need to complete. This can include:
- Initial and follow-up reminders of parent and/or child task deadlines;
- Announcements of special events, plays, award ceremonies, etc.;
- Reminders of scheduled school breaks; and
- Requests for donations, such as food, plates, etc. for a party.
An app allows you to create and disseminate the personalized information that parents need in a format that is most likely to grab their attention.
Doggy Daycare Centers
Today’s pampered pooches often spend the day with their friends at daycare rather than staying home alone and destroying the couch cushions out of boredom. Apps are an effective tool to keep pet owners in the know about limited holiday hours of operations, behavioral issues their pet is displaying, and the availability of new activities, such as a wading pool in the summer.
For providers that provide additional services, the app can be used to schedule grooming sessions or boarding stays. For doggy daycare programs that offer packages, such as buy 10 days of care and get one free, owners can use the app to track how many days they have left in their package.
Loyalty programs can also be created and managed through a doggy daycare app.
Similar to human healthcare providers, veterinarians need to manage appointments, including sending reminders to the pet owners of upcoming scheduled visits. Reminder can also be sent for:
- Upcoming care needs, such as vaccinations;
- Follow-up homecare plan after a procedure;
- General seasonal needs, including tick and flee treatments;
- Pet license deadlines; and
- Scheduling next physical.
Through the app you can request feedback on their experience that you can use to promote your business. You can also create a loyalty program that offer discounted services for long-term customers or other special perks. In addition, the app is a great way for pet owners to contact you in case of an emergency.
Salons and Spas
Salons and spas are places that make a woman feel pampered and special. Enhance this personalized experience with an app that places them at the center of the process. Depending on the app design, guests can use it to schedule services and manage their appointments. With this app you can also send reminders about whatever services you offer, from cut and color to hot stone massage and salt cave sessions, to assure that they arrive on time.
You can also use the app to:
- Promote products and services;
- Promote upcoming events, i.e. mother/daughter spa day for Mother’s Day, etc.;
- Share information on time-specific sales or discounts;
- Create and manage a loyalty program; and
- Offer referral discounts.
The salon and spa industry is extremely competitive and an app can differentiate your business from the competition. It also makes it easy for people to access your services and keep them coming back for more.
Auto Repair and Body Shops
Similar to the other industries, great auto repair and body shop service delivery begins with scheduling an appointment. Whether the car is coming in for routine maintenance or dent removal, the owner needs to drop the vehicle off to get things started. With an app, you can:
- Schedule the drop off;
- Send an estimate;
- Record the receipt and acceptance of the estimate;
- Keep the owner updated on the status of the work; and
- Inform them when the car is ready to be picked up.
This ability to quickly provide necessary information increases customer satisfaction and helps you stand out from the crowd of competition. Using the app also allows you to focus on providing the service rather than spending time on the phone with the owner.
An app delivers great benefits to a wide variety of industry businesses. Take advantage of an app to grow your customer base and deliver exceptional customer service.