By Mark Nardone
Blue Cow Software
Are you mobile? Your customers certainly are. And if you want to keep up with them it is essential that your propane or fuel oil company invest in its own mobile phone app.
If you think that mobile phone apps are solely for huge corporations, you are wrong. According to Forbes magazine, “…many small businesses you interact with in your everyday life have their own dedicated mobile app… These companies are ahead of the game when it comes to taking their marketing to the next level.”
Why is a mobile phone app so important? Statistics show that the average American spends more than two hours per day on his or her mobile device. Customers want options in how they contact you. There’s a wealth of recent data citing the importance of channel preference on customer satisfaction. Customers expect businesses to communicate with them on their preferred channel, be it in person, online, or on the phone (fonolo.com). In fact, 66% of companies that saw a decrease in customer loyalty over the past year do not have a mobile app (Apptentive).
Mobile phone apps serve many functions: they can provide general information, up-to-date pricing, scheduling, search features, user account access, and much more. One of the biggest benefits of having a mobile app is that all the information you want to provide to customers – including such as sales and promotions – can be placed right in their hands through push notifications.
Here are four big reasons why your customers will use a mobile phone app to get in touch with your business:
- Convenience. Few people lug around a laptop computer. But everybody has a smart phone or tablet. Your customers are busy people, and don’t want to interrupt their schedule to deal to schedule a repair or check on a fuel delivery. If they can take care of doing business with you “on the go,” they will.
- Ease of use. A mobile phone app makes it easier for your customers to get in touch with your company. With just one touch they are in contact to place an order, confirm an appointment, or make an inquiry.
- Instant access. Technology has spoiled us. Just a few years ago we were all amazed by how easy it was to log onto a computer and find information on the web. Now we can’t be bothered to do all that typing, and only want to touch one button. A mobile phone app make that possible.
- Automated interaction. If a customer uses your mobile phone app to schedule a service appointment or delivery, they can get an instant response, and even receive reminder notifications a few days prior to an appointment. No waiting for a phone call or email. Due to this “direct personal connection” with them, they feel special being that they’re one of the first ones to get your messages.
Need even more reasons to take the plunge and add a mobile phone app to your company’s system? Try these facts:
- There are now more mobile phones than computers
- 64% of mobile phone time is spent on Apps
- Customers use mobile phone apps 6x more than websites
- On average people check their mobile phones over 150 times a day – once every 6 minutes
- 79% of smartphone users use their phones to make purchasing decisions and over 50% of those users make a purchase within one hour, compared to one month on a desktop
Despite the many benefits, many small- to mid-size businesses have been slow to adopt their own mobile phone apps. Part of the reluctance has been cost. Developing a mobile phone app that delivers desired functionality can cost tens of thousands of dollars. But CRM and management systems that incorporate mobile functions (like those in Blue Cow’s Ignite® software suite) have made this feature more affordable. Plus the app can be tied directly into your client database and account base.
If you’d like more information on how a mobile phone app can help your propane or fuel oil business reach more customers, click here. Or call us at (888) 499-2583.