Mobile internet usage is growing rapidly, and is only going to continue to grow as more and more people buy smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. As a business in today’s world, it is almost expected of you to have some form of mobile website or application available so that your customers can quickly and easily access your businesses information, social media pages and much more. If you think that a mobile application is not right for your practice, consider this fact, taken from the 2nd Annual HIMSS Mobile Technology Survey: an estimated 247 million mobile phone users downloaded health apps in 2012, nearly double from the previous year, while only 13 percent of survey responders reported that their practice had developed an app for patient/customer use. With that in mind, here are seven reasons why a mobile app will help improve your practice.
Patient/Customer and Office Engagement
As interaction between businesses and customers becomes easier than ever before courtesy of mobile devices and social media, it is important that healthcare professionals realize the opportunity that a mobile application could have for their practice. By creating a quick and easy way for customers to reach your office, a mobile application saves your patient/customers time while also providing them with company information and directions to your location via an interactive map.
Customers Prefer Mobile Apps over Mobile Websites
Whether you realize it or not, patients/customers prefer mobile apps over websites. While a website was built for larger screens and can carry more information, patient/customers today are looking for an app that is functional, interactive and optimized for their fingers and the touch screens that they have with or near them 24 hours a day.
Direct Pipeline to Patients/Customers
Looking for ways to share news/specials/promotions with patients/customers but don’t want to spend money on flyers and direct mail? A mobile application with push notifications can help to do it without the printing costs. A mobile app will allow you the ability to send push notifications or “alerts”, to users who have downloaded the app quickly and easily, saving you time and money.
Keep Ahead Of Your Competition
As noted in the opening paragraph, very few if any of your competitors are utilizing a mobile app for their practice, so why not give your practice the competitive edge? A customized mobile app will help you appeal to the ever increasing majority of mobile patients/customers, build and engage relationships with them and turn them into lifelong patients/customers.
Cost Efficient Marketing
When considering a mobile application for your practice, it is important to look at the long-term value of the application. By creating a mobile app that allows you to do all of the things mentioned above, as well as having the ability to upgrade/change the overall look of the application at anytime to fit your office’s image, you can begin to see the application as a base for all other marketing campaigns.
Attract More Referrals
As more consumers switch over to smartphones every day, it is important to create a mobile brand image and presentation that accurately represents your business to help gain more referrals. A mobile app that is easy to use for patients will not only help with customer relationships, but also lead to potential referrals from existing customers to potential new customers.
Save Time with In-App Appointment Requests
Not too long ago, phone calls were the main way to schedule an appointment for patients. This often led to offices needing someone by the phone for hours on end, answering calls and interacting with customers. With the creation of mobile devices and text messaging and mobile applications, offices can now simply offer up an appointment availability calendar within their app and customers can send a quick text, email or voicemail to the office to schedule their appointment, freeing up staff time and creating an almost effortless scheduling system.