If you've tried to create a customer app for your salon or spa guests, you've probably discovered that it's harder than it sounds. There are plenty of customer apps available, but most of them are plagued by poor ratings and guest complaints. A customer app only serves your business goals if it meets your guests' needs. Since 1 in 4 consumers delete new apps after trying them out, competition for precious phone real estate is fiercer than ever. Here’s what we've learned about how you can build a customer app that offers the best value to your guests —and keeps them coming back for more.
1. Make logging in to your customer app easy
You only have one chance to make a first impression so your customer app has to be easy to use. Make it simple to log in, and highlight personalized data like guests' visit history to create an engaging experience.
2. Avoid the password pitfall
After the first login, consider keeping guests logged in until they actively log out. When guests forget their passwords, make sure it's easy for them to get back in your customer app by creating a simple, one-click password retrieval process.
3. Extend your brand with your customer app
A guest's digital experience is an extension of your overall customer experience. Pay attention to detail and make sure your app reflects your brand's voice and design.
4. Enable fast and intuitive bookings
The most important part of your customer app is the ability for guests to book their own appointments. Make sure it's easier to book on your app than it is to pick up the phone, and offer instant rebookings of previous services.
5. Make searching for availability and service providers as painless as calling in
Think about how your guests use your app. Sometimes, they're most interested in a specific time slot, but other times they really want to see a certain provider. Make it intuitive to search across dates, providers and even locations.
6. Enable appointment booking, not just appointment requests
Guests expect to be able to complete their booking directly from your app. Make sure your customer app is integrated with your up-to-the-minute appointment book across all locations so guests can book the times, providers and locations that work for them.
7. Send meaningful, timely notifications
Notifications are an effective way to remind guests of upcoming appointments and reduce no-shows and cancellations. You can also use notifications to target guests for promotions or announcements so make sure your app includes robust customer segmentation capabilities.
8. Ensure new services are easily added to the customer app
Your customer app should always reflect your latest service menu, including new or promotional services and specials. Guests should never hear about a promotion and hit a road block when they try to book it in your app.
9. Support all popular platforms and device sizes
A successful customer app functions seamlessly across all popular operating systems and devices. Since most of your customers won’t have the latest operating systems installed on their smart phones, you’ll need to support all versions going back at least two years. Plus, you’ll need to keep updating your app to support new versions as they're released.
10. Maintain 100% reliability
Eighty percent of users will abandon an app if it crashes more than twice in a row. A beautiful app is useless if your users don’t have consistent and reliable access to it. Invest in the necessary tools to monitor performance and perform ongoing maintenance to keep your customer app running smoothly. At Zenoti, we kept these ideas in mind when we built our latest customer app. We’re pretty proud of the way it turned out. Check out this video and tell us how we did.