Helping our Health & Social Care Providers in any way we can

Health & Social Care Staffing App
The Health & Social Care Staffing App

This has got to have been the hardest mobile app I’ve ever produced.

Having searched my brain trying to find a way I can help our frontline workers (and having a Nurse in the family) I come up with a Mobile App that allows Managers & Co-ordinators of Health & Social Care providers to put out shifts that require extra staffing. They can send these out on the app and by Push Notification. This helps them reduce costs on Bulk SMS subscriptions that they currently have to pay for as well as efficiently notifying ALL their staff when there is a requirement for extra staff.

On the other side, approved members of staff can show when they are available at short notice, allowing the Managers and Co-ordinators to see if anyone is available to work quickly and easily.

The reason it has been so hard is that both Apple and Google locked down their app review processes as a result of the COVID situation and were unwilling to approve apps for the health sector unless they came from a government approved source.

BUT…with multiple appeals, resubmissions and emails bouncing back and forth, it was approved and I’m very happy to say it’s now being used in a frontline NHS unit and helping out.

Just goes to show that wanting to help out is not always enough…sometimes you have to persevere and PROVE that you want to help out.

If you know anyone who works in the Health or Social care sectors and feel this could help out – let them know.

I hadn’t realised how much I would be able to do with an App until we had our chat…

A Mobile App for your business is not JUST for your customers.

This is a common occurrence. A lot of people “think” they know what an app is and what it can do, based upon what apps they currently use. But the limit of what an app can do, not only for your customers but for your business as well is often limited by the imagination.

The quote above came after a discussion I had with someone I’m now working with to produce a mobile app for her business.

Yes, she wanted an app for her customers, clients, and potential customers to see what she does and how she can help them. But on talking with her, she also wanted a way to move her business to a more automated function help her from doing a lot of the manual data functions she had found herself doing as a result of moving her business to a more digital platform following the restrictions placed on her by the coronavirus situation.

She wasn’t aware of what could be done and wanted to have a chat to see if I could help.

Her original way of working was with a manual system. Her clients were asked to fill out a daily information sheet and send it to her. This moved to email when March 2020 hit due to the lockdown. But she would have to review all the information sheets for a client before her appointment with them, which even on an email system was slow and inefficient.

What we decided on was a “Clients Only” section of her app. Her clients would be provided with a log in and they could fill in their daily information sheets within the app. The app would send them push notifications to remind them to do it. (And a lot of us know when our phone buzzes or pings we LOOK at it!) For a start, this would target getting more complete information, hopefully reminding the client to complete the data there and then, without having to open their email.

A well designed mobile app allows clients to complete their data and submit it to you when it’s convenient.

Prior to an appointment with the client, she would then simply log in to her app, choose her client, and see all the data sheets her client had completed and just swipe through them. Reviewing the information she needed and be fully prepared for their appointment.

So yes, the app is going to help her promote what she does, and get more people to hear her message. But it’s also helping her with her business processes and making her tasks smoother and easier. 

That saves time! That saves money! 

Investing in an app to not only promote her business and engage with her customers, a mobile app is helping her RUN her business. All in one package.

If you don’t know what a mobile app could do for YOUR business, get in touch and we can talk through what YOU do and how you could be doing it better on a mobile platform.

Email simon@stitwarwickshire.uk

Your Garage App – Why customers want to message you and not call.

“64% of Customers prefer messaging to voice calls” (CIO Today)

The Voice Call Is Dead! (Well most people prefer messaging at least)

Consumers are calling less and messaging more! It’s as simple as that! (Just Google it or have a look at the BBC Article).

Although the voice call is nowhere near dead, businesses can’t avoid the fact that they aren’t giving great customer service if they don’t offer a digital messaging facility.

Here’s some reasons we (and others) think why:

  1. WE ARE BUSY OR WE PERCEIVE OURSELVES TO BE. Everyone is trying to fit in as much as they can into their day and this makes their free time even more valuable. They don’t want to be hanging on the phone, waiting for someone to pick up. They want to contact a business when it’s convenient to them, not necessarily when it’s open.
  2. WE’RE MORE IMPATIENT THAN EVER. Following on from how busy we are, we won’t wait. Give someone the option to send a message or ask for a call back and they can get on with their other tasks without having to wait.
  3. CAN’T TALK NOW. Despite the fact we want you to solve our problem, many people find it inappropriate (either professionally or socially) to take voice calls during their working day. Message us – we’ll see it and respond.
  4. QUICK QUESTION – QUICK ANSWER. We don’t want to hang on a phone if we just have a quick question. Is this in stock? Can you book me in on Wednesday? We don’t need social niceties or chit-chat. A quick question with a quick answer saves us time and you money.
  5. WE DON’T WANT TO TALK. More people are guilty of sending unknown (or even known) numbers to voicemail. If we don’t know it’s you calling you are less likely to talk to us. Send us a message and we’ll see it and know you are helping us.
  6. WE WANT TO DO IT WHEN WE WANT – NOT WHEN YOU’RE OPEN. People are shopping and browsing at times convenient to them. This could be last thing or a Sunday evening or the middle of the night. When they think about what they want, they want to zap off a quick message immediately.
  7. WE’LL LIKE YOU MORE. Some studies have shown that customer service ratings improve significantly when we’re given the opportunity to text rather than call (CIO Today). And that means we’ll KEEP COMING BACK!

With all the above points, it’s going to become increasingly effective and efficient for small businesses to engage with mobile apps and mobile technology.

With regard to the Automotive aftermarket – The big dealers alreadt do it as they have the money! Now we’re planning to disrupt this by giving the local independent garages the chance to as well with Your Garage App and at a fraction of the cost. Where do you take your car and do they have an app with a built in digital messaging system? If not, let them know about Your Garage App.

Get in touch via our Facebook page (yes send us a message – you don’t need to call) and we’ll show you how Your Garage App can do it for you!

Buying From Bed!

Your customers and clients want to buy from you when it’s convenient to THEM!

This statement shouldn’t surprise you.  After all, if all your customers got together and co-ordinated their purchasing and enquiries from you so that it fit around your schedule, business would be a lot easier!

Unfortunately, this isn’t how it works.

If you are not convenient and visible to your customers when they think about your product or service YOU WILL LOSE BUSINESS.

A little case study of ME!

Last Sunday evening, I got a notification on my phone about a new Blog post from someone I had worked with before. I was in bed.  Nevertheless I looked at it (as I ALWAYS check my phone when it buzzes if I’m awake) and read the article on their App.  It was great!  I thought “I could add some value to that” so pushed the Call Me button on their app and scheduled a call from them the following morning. (I got the call the following day and am now working on a joint project).

While I was on my phone, I checked the renewal date for my home insurance, bought some more coffee pods for the coffee maker, did some banking, looked at a couple of 360 images of holiday cottages for my next break, shared them to my wife who was working a night shift so she could look at them on Monday…….was I the only person doing business research and transactions on a Sunday evening?  DEFINITELY NOT!

I got a couple of notifications from users of a local Business Consortium App I run claiming vouchers they were entitled to for collecting Loyalty Points on their mobile phones.  I processed them there and then.  So there were at least 3 of us using our mobiles for buying or selling.

So WHY didn’t I get my laptop out and do all this?  CONVENIENCE!  I was already on my phone and could do it all there….so why bother. No boot up time for my laptop, no checking whether it’s charged, no google searching…just everything I needed there in my hand.

Sound familiar?

This is how your Customers and Clients do things…when it’s convenient to them.  Could I have thought, “Oh I can’t do all this now so I’ll remember to do it tomorrow when the businesses I need are open?”…Yes….but then I guarantee I wouldn’t have done it all and some businesses may not have profited from me.

And here’s the crunch….I’ll say it again……If you are not convenient to your customers or clients then YOU WILL LOSE BUSINESS!

People want to look at things to buy, services they need, or information they want when they think about it.  It’s an immediate consumer culture.

They don’t want to wait until they are in front of their computer, when they’ve already got a computer in their pocket!

Whether they are on public transport, just out of a meeting, waiting for an appointment, waiting for their friends in a pub….they think about it – they want to buy, research or contact there and then!

With the dominance of Mobile Technology and the fact it outstrips PC and Laptop functions……

IF YOUR BUSINESS DOES NOT HAVE A MOBILE APP IT WILL GET LEFT BEHIND!

Mobile phones are here to stay. They are NOT the “Betamax” of current technology.  They will only continue to improve the customer experience and feed the Instant Buy culture.

With 24 hours visibility, direct marketing channels, instant call or request contact functions and so much more, a Mobile App goes further than just a website. Your logo sits there on their phone as a visual reminder of your business and your relationship with them ALL THE TIME. When they think about your product or service….there it is!

With Mobile Apps starting from as little as £450 (and we’ll even spread the initial cost) with a £45 monthly hosting fee, you could be serving your current customers more effectively and efficiently and getting them to recommend your business to their friends.

The time is NOW! Leap ahead of your competitors and promote your own company image.

Get in touch: s.toon@st-it.co.uk

Custom Business Software – Work Smarter and Faster

Does your business software make you want to do this?

Although most organisations use general purpose software, some organisations will find that it just doesn’t do exactly what they want or it doesn’t work with their current systems.

Conventional Off The Shelf software can quickly become unwieldy, using multiple spreadsheets, word documents or even multiple database to enter and record business functions.

Don’t suffer “Death By Spreadsheet”

In this case, the investment to have the software system they need designed and developed specifically for them solves many problems and creates greater efficiency, allowing the company to do the things it should be, rather than slaving to their software.

Advantages of this include
  • The company will get the exact software/system that they need
  • It will work exactly how they want it to work giving them exactly what information they need in the format they want
  • It will only have the features that they specifically need in their business.
  • The company can save significant time automating administration tasks
  • It can reduce errors by performing verification and error handling functions in the background to make sure the data is correct at input
  • It can have disaster recovery built in as a standard or be totally cloud based so any user can use it anywhere.

It can serve the companies business mobile software to give sales personnel or representatives direct live information on the road

The investment in your OWN software can yield massive increases in efficiency and time, allowing you to do more of what you’re good at.

Get in touch to discuss matching your software to your business, not fitting your business to the software you’ve got.

Don’t need a business mobile app? Prepare to be left behind.

Mobile use outstrips Laptop/Desktop functions and is increasing it’s lead.  If you don’t get a Mobile App to back up your website, you will get left behind.

Starting at £399 for an entry level business app (plus monthly hosting fee dependent on your need) you could be engaging with your customers in new and exciting ways within a few weeks.

Get in touch to discuss your ideas: s.toon@st-it.co.uk

In the meantime, read about the magic 7 reasons WHY your business should be getting a mobile app.

1. Be Visible to Customers at All Times

Statistics show that the average mobile phone user spends more than two hours a day on his or her mobile device. While probably only a handful of applications make up the bulk of this total usage, it doesn’t change the fact that each user has to unlock, scroll, and scan their device for the apps they’re looking for. Being “in the way” can be an advantage to your company, as our mind unconsciously does record every image and text (or well-designed app icon!) it comes across — even if it happens unnoticed.

2. Create a Direct Marketing Channel

Apps serve many functions: they can provide general info, prices, booking forms, search features, user accounts, messengers, news feeds, and much more.

One of the biggest benefits of having a mobile app is that all the information you’d like to provide to your customers – including special sales and promotions – is right at their fingertips. Through push notifications you’re getting even closer to a direct interaction, and can easily remind customers about your products and services whenever it makes sense.

3. Provide Value to Your Customers

Talking about on-hand information, how about digitising that loyalty program you have in place? Instead of sticking to the old point-collection card, make it possible for your customers to collect their rewards via your mobile app. The result? More downloads and more return customers.

4. Build Brand and Recognition

A mobile app for your business can greatly contribute to your brand awareness. Break this down into two aspects, the combination of which will make your app a true winner:

  • Brand. A mobile app is like a blank billboard sign. You can do what you want with it; you can make it stylish, hip, functional, shocking, or informative. But what you really want to do is create an app that has features your customers will love, while at the same time is well branded and beautifully designed.
  • Recognition. The more often you can get customers involved with your app, the sooner they will be inclined to buy your product and/or service. In advertising this is called the “effective frequency”: as a rule of thumb, hearing and/or seeing your brand approximately 20 times is what will get you truly noticed.

5. Improve Customer Engagement

No matter whether you are selling flowers or spa services, your customers need a way to reach you. Having a messaging (or help desk) feature within your app can really make a difference in the way you communicate with your customers.  How many customers would prefer to communicate with you via text than via phone?

6. Stand Out From the Competition

These days mobile apps at the small business level are still rare, and this is where you can take a big leap ahead of your competitors. Be the first in your area to offer a mobile app to your customers. They’ll be astonished by your forward-thinking approach!

7. Cultivate Customer Loyalty

Last, but not least, the most important reason why you should consider building your own mobile app is customer loyalty. With all the noise out there — banners, billboards, flashing signs, newspaper ads, flyers, coupons, websites, website banners, Facebook ads, and email marketing — we slowly lose our impact on customers because of the immense amount of advertising surrounding us all. It’s time to go back to making a true and sincere connection with your customers, and making them a loyal lover of your product and/or service. I am not saying a mobile app is going to save your business, but it can be a way of staying closer to your customers, and being just a “fingertip” away at all times.