Having a mobile app for you service is becoming so important that if you muck it up, you’ll have a lot of dissatisfied customers. A few forward-looking companies have had to make public apologies for their apps, and this seems to be a growing trend—but it still seems to me like something a company would try to avoid.
Sky’s Alun Webber (the product design and development boss) posted an apology for its Sky Go app for Android a few months back. Mr Webber also included a lengthy explanation of the current state of the app, and plans for the future.
First Direct CEO Mark Mullen starred in a video apology for the internet bank’s mobile apps, admitting they were “not as good as they should be,” the result of a decision to get them to market faster.
Last month, the UK’s national rail organisation emailed regrets about an unplanned glitch in its apps due to maintenance.
For many companies, the app is no longer just an add-on. It’s now the primary—and perhaps only—way customers access and experience your service.
So you really need to get your app strategy right and build a robust solution—or be prepared to take the flack. It can be done. Dutch Bangla-Bank Limited’s mobile service is now serving nearly three million mobile-only customers, and it’s not yet two years old. Standard Bank in South Africa is also serving millions with its AccessBanking service, launched in 2012.
There is a lot you do to help avoid this situation. Design Thinking, focusing on UI and taking a platform approach to mobile (commerce) services are all great starting points.
Both Design Thinking and taking a platform approach is something I'll be tackling in upcoming posts.