Apps with Utility: How to Roll-out an App that Streamlines a Workforce

Apps with Utility: How to Roll-out an App that Streamlines a Workforce

by Mar 20, 2018

While the metrics vary, experts estimate that the cost to attract a new customer can be up to seven times as costly as retaining one. This matters because companies that succeed with customer retention will grow top line revenue and bottom line margin.

One of the most critical ingredients behind customer retention lies in customer service. It should always be clear to your customer that your company is ready to exceed their needs and solve their problems. Did we mention, it should always be quick?

In the modern age, customer service often takes the form of a mobile application. This can be a tall order, but an important one to consider. An application with robust utility will improve customer retention and boost client satisfaction. Period.

 

Applications that deliver on-time

 

When it comes to utility-company applications, customers often think: “clunky.” As with most enterprise technology applications, a phased approach can help your team get started on the right foot. By stepping in slowly, your team will be able to adjust usability errors, reduce initial costs, and build a great application over time.

Whether energy, water, or telecom, there are countless strategies to boost customer service. Let’s jump in on the enterprise side and look at maintenance and service technician applications.

 

Phase One

 

A first-phase rollout should aim to establish an app with features that drive efficiency and capture critical metrics. A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that is thoughtful, helpful, and properly measured is the ticket to an impactful next phase. An MVP that gains the trust and traction of its users early will increase the chances of a product seeing prolonged engagement at later stages.

Although the specifics can vary by industry, below are examples of Phase One features that we have seen accepted in a service technician app.

  • Route Mapping. Optimization of the travel path between service stops with real-time updates.
  • Automatic Time Tracking. How long should your technician spend at a stop, and how long were they there.
  • Messaging & Feedback. Enable technicians to send notes, photos, and videos to supervisors for feedback, advice, and training.
  • Repair & Service Supplies. Enable technicians to keep an inventory of available supplies in their truck. As technicians use items on-site visits, they can mark their app to keep track. The backend data can prompt technicians to restock upon hitting specific thresholds.

 

Before starting Phase Two, take a moment to reassess the value of a Phase One roll out. What feedback did you collect? Are there fundamental changes needed to existing functionality? Does your plan for Phase Two still align with the end-user experience?

 

Phase Two

 

After taking into account the feedback and metrics from Phase One, you’re ready for Phase Two. Phase Two should always build upon the elements and features that drove success in your MVP. By sticking to this method, your product will continue to drive performance and in turn, boost customer satisfaction.

  • Route Generation. In the interest of efficiency, Phase Two can roll out an engine to optimize stop assignments and the routes in between. With the buy-in from Phase One, Phase Two will serve the interest of technicians and clients to provide more on-time deliveries.
  • Customer Notification of Driver En Route. Enable the customer to sign up for notifications when a technician has finished a prior appointment and is on their way.

Beyond Phase Two

 

  • Gamification Through Dashboards and Performance Metrics. How does one technician compare to another on safety? Accuracy? Customer satisfaction? Time to Resolution? By tracking this data and presenting a metrics dashboard, technicians can compete to “climb the leaderboard.” The psychological benefits of gamification are proven, and by embedding in-app, will always be accessible.
  • AR or VR Training. In some industries, training can entail a safety risk. By incorporating AR or VR into your training, technicians can learn new skills in a safe and controlled environment.

 

A steady product roll-out is a means to test, adjust and improve the value of a mobile application. We hope our insights serve as a means to test your own needs and find ways to improve your customer service and client retention through mobile. If you find your team has been struggling to keep up with the trends, don’t fear — you can always give Shockoe a call! We’re here to guide our clients along with a path of strategy and deployment that drives success time and time over.

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Editor’s note:

More details on case studies and the apps we’ve built that drive efficiency can be found on our work page.

Interested in learning about ways an app can increase manufacturer’s productivity? Check out: 5 Ways an App can Increase Employee Productivity in Manufacturing

What were our predictions for VR and AR this year? Take a look at our thoughts on where emerging technology is heading this year.

 

Alex Otañez

Alex Otañez

March 20, 2018

Alex has more than 10 years of international experience in Strategic IT Transformation and Custom App Development. His expertise in various industries ranges from Consumer Goods to Retail to Finance while assisting clients in the areas of Business Strategy & Development, Security & Compliance, and Technology Transformation. As one of Shockoe’s founding members, Alex is focused on business strategy, security & compliance, digital innovation, mobile management, and operational transformations.

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