The Down and Dirty on Web Apps
For a moment, reminisce to a prehistoric time when you had to get your hands on a CD or (gasp) a floppy disk to install or update a piece of software. My friends, thankfully, we’ve come a long way. Today, we can simply type a URL into our browser and, in a split second, the latest and greatest applications are at our fingertips. The world of application development is an exciting one to be in, and web apps have improved the playing field in a major way. Yet, we often get some blank stares when we start talking to people about building web apps, and why they should consider investing in one (or several!). To help clear things up, we decided to tackle this topic head on.
Why Consider a Web Application?Unlike desktop or mobile applications, a web application is hosted on the web and can be accessed through any browser on a desktop or mobile device (as long there’s an internet connection). Web apps come with many benefits since users don’t need to worry about installation, pesky updates, running out of storage space or not being able to log-in across all their devices. And, since they’re hosted on the web, users can access information anytime, anywhere to get the job done. Beyond being more convenient for users, web apps are easier to install, maintain and keep secure.
How Can Web Applications Improve Your Business?Web applications are significantly influencing the ways businesses operate. Let’s take a look at three examples of how bringing a web app onboard can improve your customer relationships while helping your team become smarter, leaner and meaner.
1) Build Stronger Relationships Through a CRM ApplicationCustomer relationships are the bread and butter of your business, which is why it’s vital to have a system in place that helps you manage them. To do this, you could make a massive Excel spreadsheet, create a company corkboard where you pin business cards and information about customers, or even add notes about each customer into your address book. But, once you realize each of these strategies are pretty darn inefficient, it will be time to welcome a customer relationship management (CRM) application to the team. A CRM app is built entirely around people and relationships and is way more than just a glorified Rolodex. It gets your sales team on the same page by improving visibility of customer interactions and provides valuable insights that allow your team to focus on strengthening customer relationships. Keep in mind – if you have employees on the move it won’t do you any good having a CRM solution they can’t access. With a CRM web app, wherever your team goes, so does your customer information (securely of course!).
2) Boost Sales Through an E-Commerce ApplicationThere has never been a better time for businesses to sell online. E-commerce continues to pick up speed, and today you don’t need to be an Amazon or eBay to have a professional looking storefront. One reason for e-commerce’s popularity stems from customers who are stretched for time and looking for the ultimate convenience when making a purchase. Let’s face it – they would rather be shopping at home in their pajamas with a glass of wine, than fighting traffic to get to your store! And for vendors, e-commerce removes several limitations of a physical point of sale that may prevent them from reaching new customers and keeping current customers engaged. Additionally, an e-commerce application can free up your staff’s time from manual processes, such as filling out tedious paperwork or collecting customer information, and focus their efforts towards delivering top-notch value and customer support. The important thing to remember is that your customers are always connected, and you want to be where they are. By having an e-commerce application, you can improve your customer satisfaction and lower your fulfillment costs.
3) Improve Customer Satisfaction Through a Self-Service Web PortalA major pain point customers experience with their vendors is waiting for a business representative to get back to you. Even if it’s only 15 minutes, it still results in frustration felt by the customer and is disruptive to your employees. After enough occurrences, both customer satisfaction and employee productivity will start to take a dive. That’s why self-service support, such as a customer portal, is so essential. It enables customers to find answers to their questions online and get immediate access to the information they need while saving your company time since you won’t need to deal with a barrage of customer service calls and emails.
Web Apps to the RescueWhatever the bottleneck is to your business – be it managing customer information, extending your footprint to have a competitive advantage or removing inefficient processes – a web application can come into the picture to save the day.
Web Apps: Off-the-Shelf or Purpose-Built?Let’s say you’re in the market for buying a home and have two options.
- Option 1: Buy a pre-built house that is larger than you need, with paint, flooring and appliances already picked out. The features are okay, but not exactly what you’re looking for.
- Option 2: Build a home. Pick out the exact layout, landscape, and features that you need. It fits your lifestyle perfectly and meets your full wish list.