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Its Raining Apps: The 4 Ws for Merchants

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VOC on Mobile Apps

Consumers are swarmed with various mobile apps being launched every minute by some merchant or the other. It is heartening to see the effort on the part of Organizations to launch a mobile app as medium to communication.  According to Vivek Venkatesan, a seasoned Banker, “The battery life of most mobile devices is still a far cry. There is no point downloading apps which you would use once a quarter. Its meaningless.”

Mrs.Rakhi Rewat, an upcoming entrepreneur, says, “Now I have 4 devices, and I don’t carry all of them all the time. Now, which app do I download where..is a question.” Clearly we have more devices per person and more apps per industry that a consumer could use.

Jog Markhandeya, who runs a mobile store outlet himself, has discontinued using many apps for the advertisements that have started streaming through them. He is plain irritated. But then the mobile app players have to make money, we reason, to which he says,”I click the advt mostly by mistake and never by intention. And these app companies just design it so that you keep clicking the advt by mistake. That is not ethical.”

Meera Iyer, a long term ICICI Bank customer, opined that she was one of more satisfied customers of their Internet Banking but is irritated with the recent ‘push’ on the website where it always forces the consumer to acknowledge downloading the mobile app now or later. Without clearing this message, she says, she cannot move forward with her transactions. And then there are constant reminders to download the mobile app.

CSAT360 spoke to a sample but vast group of consumers. Lessons are below:

Where, When to launch; What; and for Whom

  1. A native app makes sense for multiple transactions by a consumer, at least one per month, a browser accessed app for occasional use
  2. Size of app has a bearing on how long it lasts with the customer. Ensure it is less than 1 MB for quick acceptance
  3. Regular upgrades of apps are good for more frequented app, or else, that is the time you lose your presence in the device
  4. Accept that sometimes your portal or call centre may be a more preferred channel than an app. So have the app, but keep sprucing up the channel that is frequented more.
  5. Security is a big concern for financial transactions. Inform consumers of the security ensured in your technology PLUS what compensation you would provide should there be a security lapse PLUS what could be a lapse on the part of consumer that you will not take care of.
  6. Statuses of transactions are welcome more as SMS or email alerts by consumers than having to open an app for the same.
  7. Consumers whose only connect is to pay bills to a merchant, prefer payment comforts of a portal than merchant specific app
  8. If your app is content heavy, offer a cloud option to store and download to local device a selection (Example some Elearning app and music apps as well as game apps)
  9. By and large, consumers were not happy with the search results where there was an option to search within the app for a content. This technology may need improvement
  10. Don’t ask for data that you don’t actually need. At least 42% of consumers had dropped out of downloading an app just for this reason at some point or the other. (Chitra, a student says, “why should they know my contacts). It will be good to inform consumers about why you need access to their data, profile, contacts and to what extent are you using those.
  11. When you have enabled a review link, ensure it is regularly seen and responded to. Most customers check the reviews, but ignore giving one most of the time, but when they do, it seems they don’t get any response.
  12. A tentative date for the next upgrade would be welcome for the more popular apps
  13. Size of update is a MUST
  14. Keep advt to a minimum or non-intrusive for transaction apps by merchants. Decide: do you want the transaction more or the click on the advt.
  15. ALWAYS have a help tab in every app that immediately sends a message from the consumer to your app-master

Please watch this space for more tips.

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