Tag Archive for: business mobile app

4 Ways Service-Based Contractors Can Benefit from a Mobile App

In industrialized economies, service-based contractors grease the wheels in the market segments in which they compete. They allow enterprises, large and small, to outsource vital business processes to function more smoothly and cost-effectively. And that’s great, but how do contractors reduce their costs while increasing efficiency?

A way to change gears and turbo charge any service-based business is with a mobile app. And why that’s the case is because a mobile app helps automate various crucial tasks. Thus, reducing or cutting out staffing overheads almost entirely. Furthermore, a mobile app never sleeps and provides service around the clock.

And if you’re a contractor, all this may sound very enticing. But a mobile app doesn’t only help automate things, as it’s also capable of so much more. Below, we’ll go into greater detail about what mobile apps can do for service-based contractors.

1. Reporting Tools For Contractors Working Out In The Field

Let’s consider for a minute that you run a data center maintenance service in your area. And you have several technicians that drive out to these data centers, many of which are out of town. Now, you want all these technicians to keep you informed and report on all the maintenance work done at these sites. Preferably, you’ll want to have all reports submitted as quickly as possible to inform the client of any issues that will impact business.

But how do you do this without having your technicians come to the office or engage in costly phone calls?

Well, the most efficient way is by implementing powerful reporting tools in a mobile app, which may run on a tablet or smartphone. And this app may also include a checklist, which technicians need to check off to show that they’re working within established maintenance protocols. Furthermore, technicians can conduct security audits and report any breaches and discrepancies.

Once they input this information, the app will immediately send it to your servers and update the client’s maintenance report in real-time. In case of a breach, you can respond immediately by sending out a cyber security specialist and notifying your client. The quicker you respond, the higher your chances of dealing with a security breach and keeping your client’s data safe.

2. Enhance Collaboration With A Project Management App

It matters not if you’re running a data center maintenance or a packing service, as you’ll be dealing with customer demands, deadlines, and staff management issues. So, you’ll need tools that make collaboration a breeze, regardless of whether your staff comes to the office, works remotely or both.

A well-designed custom project management app will empower you and your staff to make the right moves. It should have an easy-to-understand user interface (UI) that your non-tech-savvy employees can navigate easily. But user-friendliness isn’t what this app is all about, as it will also need several vital features.

It should have a task tracker that can handle multiple projects, even thousands, if necessary. Moreover, it should accurately track and record the following: assigned staff, client information, due dates, project status, task descriptions, and task priorities. To better organize tasks, use a Kanban board combined with advanced filtering features to sort through multiple projects quickly.

And it’s necessary to implement a timer that accurately tracks the duration of all tasks. You may record this information and make it available in a timesheet. It will also help you determine the completion of projects, bill clients, and pay staff. Furthermore, you can integrate multiple payment processing platforms such as PayPal and Stripe for all digital transactions.

So, you can effectively turn your project management app into a central hub for handling the most crucial business processes. And when you grow your service-based business and need additional features, you have options. You can either add these to your project management app or develop another app that integrates with your existing systems.

3. AI Chatbots Apps Make Contractors Available 24/7

Clients hate it when they can’t reach their contractors on the phone or have to wait for an email response. They expect to speak to a company representative immediately to help them with any issues they may encounter. But as we all know, that’s not always possible, especially if the contractor is small in size without enough staff on hand. Or can’t afford to hire a call center to handle all incoming calls.

However, neither is a good excuse as to why contractors of any size can’t respond to their clients. Not only is this unprofessional, but it will also cause clients to reconsider working with contractors that don’t seem helpful.

So how do we solve this problem and provide clients with a 24/7 response channel? Well, a mobile app can act as a viable communications channel. And if we implement AI chatbots within the app’s messaging service, clients can have their queries answered by these chatbots immediately. In fact, AI-powered chatbots will seem so convincing that many clients won’t even realize that they’re not conversing with actual humans.

Furthermore, the beauty of chatbots is that they’re incredibly versatile. You can make them conversational so that they can be more engaging. Alternatively, they can operate as virtual assistants and be very informative to help clients with deeply technical issues.

And from a development standpoint, all the major technology companies have a chatbot or virtual assistant platform. Apple has Siri, Google has Dialogflow, and Microsoft has Azure Bot Service.

4. AR & VR For Interactive Training Sessions

Perhaps your company offers online and offline training services to clients. But you want to stand out by providing them an interactive and meaningful experience they won’t get anywhere else. And the best way to do this is with augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) mobile apps.

You’ll opt for an AR app if your training sessions require interaction and representation of the real world. For example, you may be training a client’s employees to detect and repair gas leaks on actual gas pipes. The AR app will aid them in correctly identifying the fittings, piping, and tubing as they pass the smartphone camera over these. And on the smartphone display, a description of the part with a visualization of the tooling and repair methodology will pop up.

But you may opt for a VR app if you need to simulate various dangerous scenarios related to gas leaks. Perhaps, you need these employees to fix gas pipes located in areas with highly combustible materials nearby. But you don’t want to put these employees in harm’s way, so it’s preferable for them to receive training in a virtual environment that’s completely safe.

The VR app will show a realistic 3D representation of the test environment with the pipe fittings. And each employee will wear a VR headset made exclusively for smartphones, such as the Samsung Gear VR. Then, the app will use a smartphone’s accelerometer to track head movements and the VR device’s controller to execute actions. For most employees, the experience won’t seem much different from playing a game from a first-person perspective.

The Bottom Line

Service-based contractors have become indispensable in modern economies. They help businesses of all sizes achieve their goals by providing services that are beyond the capabilities and scope of these businesses. And with the right kind of mobile apps, contractors can meet and surpass the expectations of even their most demanding clients.

Contact NS804 to learn how we’ll help you create outstanding mobile apps for your service-based contract business!

How Can Mobile Apps Help Improve Company Culture?

Company culture can make or break a business. And that’s because company culture consists of the formal and informal behaviors, values, and systems that impact customers and employees. But it’s easy to ignore or misunderstand these facets of an organization since few people can tell apart these behaviors and values at face value.

Yet we can easily identify the organizations that have a good company culture, and here’s how? We look out for companies with good customer service, high employee retention rates, solid financial results, and boast a culture of innovation.

Another way to identify good company culture is by surveying the staff of an organization. And we’d ask them the following: How well do they communicate with each other? What is the decision-making process like within the organization? Does the organization acknowledge and fairly reward staff contributions? And how are employees hired, promoted, and laid off? 

Surveying an organization’s customers makes sense too. And we’d want to know the following: How well does the company respond to customer complaints and feedback? Do the products and services of the company meet or surpass expectations? And does the company delight and surprise customers with innovative products and services?

Think of how customers and employees perceive a company such as Apple. We’re willing to bet that it’s mostly positive, even though it isn’t perfect. But more likely than not, expect Apple to improve company culture constantly to stay ahead of the curve.

Now, you may be wondering what all this means for your organization. Actually, it means far more than you’d think, especially if you bring mobile apps into the equation. We look into how mobile apps can improve company culture in more detail below!

Improve Company Culture With Powerful Communication And Collaborative Tools

Your employees may have multiple email accounts and use several communications tools to get work done. But that’s an administrative and security nightmare, especially if you have staff coming into the office and working remotely. Furthermore, they may use desktop PCs and various mobile devices to complete daily tasks, increasing the complexity of your systems. 

Relying on third-party vendors to provide essential productivity software makes sense if you’re a startup. But you’ll eventually reach a roadblock since you’ll likely find this software doesn’t scale with your needs or lacks features essential to a growing company. Then, there’s the case that not all your productivity software integrates well with your existing or upcoming systems. 

That’s why you’re better off working with an experienced developer such as NS804 to create a custom solution for your needs. Together, you can build a mobile app that provides staff with a tightly integrated mobile app for communications and collaborative purposes. And you can allow them to log in with a secure two-factor authentication (2FA) or even passwordless authentication.

Your staff will become more productive, as they will no longer rely on disparate pieces of software to get work done. They can work within a singular all-in-one solution with a cohesive user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). Furthermore, they won’t have to wait for a third-party vendor to release features and updates when they’re most needed. And there’s a risk that new features may take months or years to arrive, and sometimes — never!

But with a custom mobile app, this isn’t a problem. You can add new features on short notice and have these implemented to your specifications. And staff will feel confident knowing they have access to the most productive tools tailor-made for them.

A Mobile-First Approach Enhances Company Culture

We mentioned earlier that you could be using desktop PCs and mobile devices. There’s also the possibility that you could be relying on web apps for some of your mission-critical business processes. If that’s the case, it’s a messy approach that will make your systems and staff workflows more inefficient than they should be.

But the good news is that you can streamline all this with a mobile-first approach. The latest smartphones and tablets are powerful enough for most business tasks. And if you opt for native app development, your mobile app will boast high performance and speed on these devices. Thus, it’s no longer necessary to have most, if not all, of your staff using desktop PCs or laptops. 

And if you have staff that works outside the office or remotely, they’ll appreciate using lightweight devices with small form factors. Also, consider those employees that don’t feel comfortable or like using desktop PCs or laptops at home. Either because they feel intimidated by these or need a break from the computer screen and desk when not in the office.

But a smartphone or tablet feels more accessible, especially to non-tech-savvy employees. And with an intuitive mobile app, they can get work done while sitting on their couch, back porch, or while waiting for an order at their favorite restaurant. Knowing that they can quickly complete tasks on the go and in any environment helps improve company culture and staff satisfaction.

Staying Connected With Customers

While it’s a wise choice to develop a custom app to improve staff efficiency, you should also consider your customers. And think of how you will build an effective and sustainable communications pipeline to connect with them. Now we know what you may be thinking, “Why not use Facebook or Twitter to stay in touch with customers?” 

While social media platforms do a reasonably good job at connecting businesses and customers, they have several shortcomings: 

  • Firstly, you don’t have ownership of these platforms and are subject to their terms and policies, which means you could lose access to your account for reasons within or beyond your control.
  • Secondly, you’re only a business in a sea of businesses on these platforms, so it’s challenging to stand out or prevent your customers from discovering competitors with a few clicks. 
  • Thirdly, you can’t create your own UI/UX and messaging functionality and are strictly reliant on what each social media platform provides, which may not meet your expectations and requirements. 
  • And finally, you can’t directly contact users that engage with your business unless they specifically provide you with their contact details and email addresses.

From a business standpoint, relying exclusively on social media to stay in touch with customers isn’t a good move. You’re better off building an email list via your website, especially if you want to build long-term relationships with customers. But a website isn’t the only avenue to help you accomplish this goal, as you can also utilize a mobile app. 

Furthermore, a custom-built mobile app allows you to present your products and services exactly how you want. And you can keep your UI/UX and identity on-brand and tailor your messaging features so that they’re satisfactory to you and your customers.

The Bottom Line

As a business leader, one of your key goals is to improve company culture. While this isn’t easy, you can accomplish much by utilizing the methodologies and tools that will impact customers and employees positively. And the good news is that one or more custom-built mobile apps can bring about changes that can radically transform your organization for the better. Contact NS804 today to learn how we’ll help you create mobile apps that mean business!

9 Signs Your Business Is Ready for a Custom App

Most enterprises see a paradigm shift in their success when they build a website and provide more information and tools for their customers. However, some businesses may even see more success if they create a mobile app.

The adoption of mobile apps has accelerated business development in several frontiers – customer service, employee performance, operational efficiency, and productivity. The rising adoption of mobile apps by enterprises is due to the increasing smartphone ownership and higher internet penetration rates.

But how can you determine whether your business is ripe for a custom mobile app? And once you decide whether you’re ready for an app, how do you figure out what to put in the app? Below, NS804 lends its expertise to discuss clear signs that your business is ready for a custom app.

1. Business Development

If your business is facing declines, it’s a clear indication that you’re not engaging with your customers right and adapting to new trends. Businesses must consider adopting an app but only if it adds substantial business value. Today, mobile apps are being used to increase employee performance and productivity by optimizing business processes to improve outcomes and productivity. The business app empowers workers, enabling them to stay connected and obtain real-time insight in and outside the office. Business apps increase engagement, boost loyalty, retention, leading to improvements in business process development.

2. Competition is Adopting Apps

When your competitors are increasingly adopting apps, it indicates that times are changing and so should you. Look around at your competitors and you’ll realize that they more likely have an app. Customers and normal folks are becoming connected, underscoring the importance of a mobile app for your business. However, before developing a custom app for your business, ensure that it links to your website, has push notifications, and supports contact information.

3. Slow, Manual Processes

Humans are slow being with a limited capacity to collect and store information. However, machines present classic opportunities to run several tasks simultaneously and store huge chunks of information datasets in one place. If a company lacks resources to automate manual processes, it’s a clear sign it needs a mobile app. In addition, if the business keeps relying on outdated, archaic machines, equipment, and systems, it’s a clear sign it’s lagging in technology adoption. Businesses and organizations that still rely on outdated systems show a desire and the need for a custom mobile app.

4. Customers Struggle Accessing Your Brand

If a mobile app would give your customers greater access to your brand, then you need to invest in a custom app solution. An app is created to provide customers access to a portal for personalized services, at any place and time. An app translates to greater communication between the business and its prospects. So, if your business struggles connecting with prospective clients and customers, it’s a fool-proof sign that you need a custom mobile app.

5. Customers Would Benefit from Offline Access

Mobile apps have the benefit of being accessible even without an internet connection. That ensures they are functional even in situations where there’s simply no internet connection. Offline access is an essential element in giving users a better experience, and ensuring that users download and use your app. So, if your customers benefit from accessing the tools that you offer, information, profiles, content, and shopping, it’s a sign that you’re ready for a custom app.

Here are some customers who may benefit from an app that’s available offline:

  • Customers who are using your app for traveling purposes, such as traveling itinerary or looking for directions to a remote camping location
  • Impatient users who don’t want to depend on slow and unreliable internet connections to reap fast apps
  • Consumers and users based in rural and regional locations would highly benefit from offline apps because these locations have poor internet connections.
  • If your app is precise and offers a few target features or specifications, offline accessibility would be an easy model to deploy to customers. This means that customers would access every feature in your app without an internet connection.
  • Consumers who want to access diverse content such as blogs, eBooks, videos, music, and podcasts in transit. Spotify is an ideal app that can be accessed offline. In addition to how much internet streaming for long hours, it would take, think about internet connectivity on highways. Offline access makes sense where there’s a demand for internet streaming for prolonged hours.

Your business is ready for a custom app if your customers would benefit from offline access!

6. Market Gap to Fill

There are over 10 million apps in the market right now. So, with a staggering amount of digital resources available to consumers, it’s crucial to think about what your app idea can do that other apps cannot do. If there’s a market gap your business could fill with a custom app, it’s a sign that your business needs an app.

Case in point, following the Covid-19 pandemic, Walmart reinforced its e-commerce capabilities with a robust app model. This transformation was intended to overhaul the traditional e-commerce experience with a more modern, high-tech retail experience.

Walmart mobile app for iPhone and Android lets users browse products, search and buy merchandise in different locations. Walmart has achieved massive cost savings and optimized retail opportunities amid a crisis. So, if there’s a market gap you can bridge, it’s an indicator that your business needs a custom mobile app.

7. Siloed Information

Today, data is being used to optimize business processes and to provide the best use. Connected IoT devices offer the possibility for collecting harnessed data, processing, and drawing insight from stored data. However, traditional organizations have information stored in central databases that are managed by authorized personnel.

If you find yourself relying on centralized data points, it’s an indicator that your enterprise has not evolved with time, and you’re still relying on siloed information. Mobile apps extend the possibility of collecting information from different sources and distributing this information to several users. The interoperability (interconnectedness) of devices and systems ensures easier and faster information transfer, promoting collaboration and improving productivity.

8. Fewer Sales Channels

This is one of the reasons companies give for integrating mobile apps into their business models. Undoubtedly, mobile apps provide additional sales channels that companies can use to bolster their revenues. Mobile apps simplify the task of buying or acquiring customers. For instance, if a mobile app offers the possibility of paying for products without ordering or going out to the store, it can become an efficient solution for the sales channel.

9. Inefficient Communication with Customers

Traditional communication applications like Skype, WhatsApp, and Hangouts have been nifty for companies. However, sometimes transferring important information like reports and files to multiple users and managing minutes can be difficult with traditional applications. Not only is internal communication solved by mobile apps, but communication with customers and prospects is also made agile and faster. For instance, the ticket system can respond to incidents to avoid communication problems.

NS804 – Accelerating Your Mobile App Adoption

At NS804, we believe that knowing the difference between “necessary” and “useful” will enable you to decide whether you need to hire an app development company to simplify your process, or whether you want to do it alone. Identifying signs like manual processes, system upgrades, inaccessible information, and inefficient procurement methods indicate that your business needs a custom app.

You can contact NS804 for inquiries and solutions in custom mobile app development solutions.