Illustration of a herd of sheep and one very obviously standing out from the rest

These days, there is an app for just about anything. From airlines to financial institutions to 4-H clubs, many organizations use mobile applications to communicate with and service their customers.

But just because it seems like everyone has one doesn’t mean you need one right now. Although there are many benefits in enterprise mobile application development, you must first ask if your business is ready. Do you have everything you need to make enterprise mobile app development worth it?

Self-assessment: Do I need a mobile app for my business?

We can now use apps to scan tickets at concerts or sporting events, confirm doctor appointments, and make our vacation pictures just a little lovelier. Nearly every industry has a mobile application in its orbit.

This can cause a serious case of mobile app FOMO (fear of missing out).

Because staying current with relevant technology is crucial for a competitive edge, this FOMO is understandable. But before you commit to strategy, design, and development costs and resources, get your team together to ensure everyone is ready for mobile app development.

Get started with a few questions:

Do we have a strong social media presence?

As a marketing channel, social media quickly went from “Is it worth it?” to “We’re not relevant if we’re not on it.” But that doesn’t mean that every enterprise-level company has—or needs—a strong social media presence.

However, if you’re social savvy, you already have a great way to advertise your mobile app. YouTube ads, Facebook ads, content showing how useful your app is, real-time ratings, and unique branded experiences are just a few ways you can use social media to get more app interaction.

If your social media presence is less interactive and more static, consider becoming more communicative with customers on social media before you launch a mobile application.

However, you need to understand how to use social media to boost your mobile app use. Customers who are already comfortable interacting with you are much more likely to use your app.

Do we sell products and services online (and want to sell more)?

Many e-commerce customers don’t remember a world in which they couldn’t buy something on a smartphone. Buying everything from shoes to cars on your smartphone isn’t just possible—it happens all the time.

Even if your web sales are booming, a mobile application could be exactly what you need to push your sales goals over every hurdle you encounter. With a mobile application, you’re not just connecting with customers—you’re providing opportunities for monetization using in-app offers, purchases, and rich media.

Meet each generation where they are.

We’re at a point where several generations are using the same technology to buy things. To succeed, you need to meet your customers where they are, and today, many of them are shopping on their smartphones. It’s not about convincing customers to buy on your app instead of your website. Rather, it’s about getting new customers to discover you through the ease of your app.

Once the app is on a smartphone, there’s your logo, constantly advertising your products or service every time someone looks at their phone.

Obviously, knowing your different consumer audiences is crucial. Again, get the team together to discuss what your customers need in a mobile app—or to determine if they need one at all.

Would mobile app development solve a major customer service problem?

No matter a company’s size, the customer service department is crucial, but it is often viewed as a massive cost.

Turning your customer service department into a profit center isn’t a new idea. But too often, companies focus on cutting departmental costs instead of providing comprehensive service that allows customers to solve many of their problems. A mobile app can help with that.

Enterprise mobile applications can:

  • Give customers answers without them ever contacting customer service.
  • Use canned messaging and bulk actions for frequently asked questions.
  • Point the customer to useful content that can help with their issues.

By considering what would make things easier for the customer when developing your app, you will decrease your customer service costs. For example, let’s talk about pizza.

How mobile apps made pizza personal

For decades, the pizza delivery model was the same across companies: You call, you order, someone brings your pizza, and you pay when they get there.

It’s not rocket science—but how many orders wind up at the wrong house? Or how many times does an order get lost in the shuffle because someone threw away the wrong piece of paper? Or how many times have hungry customers sat on hold, waiting for what seems like forever to order their thin crust with mushrooms?

That’s why most pizza chains now have mobile apps. With a well-developed mobile application, pizza chains can deliver more accurate orders, thrilling customers. Some in the pizza delivery world (like Dominos) have taken their apps to the next level with coupons and special offers, but they still make ordering a pizza as simple as talking to an app. This feature also makes ordering pizza more inclusive for customers with special needs.

Do our competitors have mobile apps?

Sure, you have your own brand and do your own thing. But paying attention to the competition is crucial.

If everyone in your industry is using a mobile app, you should do the same. We’re not talking about keeping up with the Joneses. We’re talking about ensuring you’re interacting with your customers in a meaningful—but simple—way. If your customer can order from you on their smartphones, they can provide a customer review or share an offer on their smartphones.

There are so many ways to have meaningful interactions with your customers on a mobile app. If your competitors have developed a mobile app and you haven’t, they’re getting the bulk of the customer quality time.

Is our audience ready for a mobile app?

If you’re reading this and thinking, “My customers had a difficult time adjusting to buying online—they’re not ready for mobile yet,” then don’t start developing a mobile app quite yet. Creating tech just to create tech is a waste of money and time, so if your customers won’t use an app, don’t develop one.

However, ensure you’re basing these decisions on actual data and metrics. If you decided five years ago that your customers aren’t easy technology adopters, a lot has changed. Grandparents now have Zoom conversations with their grandchildren—and active social lives thanks to dating apps.

Make sure you still know what is best for your customers.

(Note: Also, make sure you have the right team.)

Make the right business mobile app development connections

So you’ve answered the questions, and now you’re thinking, “yes, we need enterprise mobile app development.” Or maybe, “we need to update our current mobile app.” Maybe you’re thinking that you would love to get your senior managers thinking about mobile apps.

Have more questions? We’re happy to discuss.