The mobile phone has transformed from a calling device to an accessible, affordable mini-computer with the emergence of the superfast Internet. As a result, a large market of mobile software applications, or apps, has permeated our phones, and thus, our everyday lives. This has consequently given rise to what we know today as ‘App Culture’.
With the far-reaching embrace of mobile technology over the past decade, it is impossible to imagine a world today without apps. Whether ordering last-minute groceries, paying your electricity bills, or ordering food, apps make everything easier! The emergence of this pervasive app culture has altered the traditional ways of businesses and redefined the earlier acceptable standards of user experience and customer satisfaction.
Back in 1983, a young Steve Jobs first envisaged what would later be known as the App Store. He imagined a place where software could be sold over phone lines. In 1993, IBM launched the first-ever smartphone with features such as the contact book, calendar, world clock, and calculator, which according to some, could be classified as ‘apps’. Since the original App Store launched with 500 apps, it’s hard to say which one was the first. However, as different smartphones were unveiled with time, respective customer bases were created by them.
Apps have become an indispensable part of modern life. But, while the term ‘app’ is now popular parlance for software applications designed to run on mobile phones, it becomes essential to dig deeper to find out whether the app itself is a product or a service or merely a means to access a particular service. Broadly speaking, an app could either be a product by itself or a means to reach a product or a service. Service-based apps like ‘Uber’or ‘Yelp’, as we know, have completely transformed the industry.
Amidst the many allures and marketability of service-based apps, an important question remains to be asked: Is an app alone capable of providing everything that a consumer is looking for?
There is a vast difference between a desire to deliver a great customer experience and living up to that statement. As a result, services with human interaction as a focal point of their offerings are limited and sometimes even adversely impacted by their app-only approach. Service apps are fantastic tools to enhance customer interactions, reinforce brand values, highlight business propositions, and are instrumental in gathering value-driven buying habits data. Still, it is pertinent to note that the app is not the service by itself. Instead, the service often exists outside the app, where real people interact with real consumers, providing experiential treatments or solutions.
It is wise for businesses to utilize apps to engage customers by delivering rewards programs, easy access, location finders, gaming experience, and more. However, one must realize that apps do very little to manage and uphold service quality and standards. Hence, human intervention, relevant training of employees, and holding them accountable to the promised standards are critical to the success of any service-based business. In the new economy, we are choosing algorithms over people. Services that focus their efforts towards providing a seamless quality experience to their customers, digitally as well as in-person, not only experience higher app retention but also higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.
At LifeUno, our goal is to ensure that our one-stop solution app is an efficient way to access our curated quality services at your doorstep. We ensure that the human touch is not compromised at any step while using our best-in-class service app to access them.