Saving your customers time could mean the difference between their dollar or the door. Does this mean a significant investment in employee hours and increased staffing levels? No it doesn’t! Labor costs are significant and increasing those to put more staff on the line isn’t necessarily the answer. A better solution may be to look towards technology and applications that can save your customers time and, in the long run, save (and make you more) money!
It might not come as a big surprise, but according to a survey conducted by haircut giant Great Clips three-quarters of customers think waiting more than 5-10 minutes is unreasonable. I’d think the same thing if I were a customer waiting that long, or longer. More significant a finding, however, is that almost 90% said they’d use technology if it saved them from having to wait in line. Also interesting is that two out of three customers would download an app that would save their place in line at a retail establishment.
It’s not a new technology, though. The aforementioned Great Clips lets users get a place in line at their salons, as do some golf courses, personal trainers at gyms, and even parking places. Accessibility like that can mean customers, especially curious ones trying out the newly-offered apps. Businesses that don’t offer this kind of convenience aren’t only in danger of losing current customers, but new ones as well. Other apps abound in the smart phone world(s), such as:
- SnapTell, a ‘visual search company’ that uses cameras in phones.
- ShopSavvy, which allows free product inclusion in their searches.
- Also, deal-makers like Groupon and Living Social offer powerful tools as well in the form of discounts to get people in the store.
Consider all of these when thinking about bringing in more customers, because the business next door is just a click away. Ultimately it is an easy decision for customers, but difficult for businesses. Where would you start? How would you create your very own app? Easy – there are plenty of businesses out there that cater to small businesses looking to break into the tech scene. SmallBizTechnology has a great article on this very subject, so check it out for more info. Here’s a couple of other resources that might get you started:
- Bizness Apps – offers small businesses a $39/month plan where you create your own app and have access to the Holy Grail of smart phones, the iPhone.
- Zoho offers multiple plans and pricing, including Wiki pages.
- AppMakr – for those who despise coding but still want to try it yourself.
There’s a virtually endless supply of companies out there ready for you to use – what are you waiting for, and why not your business? You never know; the next “must have” app might revolve around your very own business.