I have met several people who want to start a venture and their first ask is that they need a mobile application developed for them. When I ask why they need an app the response is usually that a mobile app will enable potential clients to conveniently access their products or services.
Here’s the problem and the reason why most of them don’t need an app yet.
The first reason is that most do not know who their target customers are. Knowing who your customer is can be a hard task but its mandatory that you have this information before you start thinking about their use of technology to interact with your business.
Customer discovery is about finding out the nature and behaviour of those who are willing to but your product. These are often people who have a need and currently have a way to meet that meet or are actively looking for a way to meet the need. For you to discover these people you need to go on a discovery journey and have a basic version of your proposed solution.
As you do customer discovery you will get insights into how you can reach them. This is the point where you realize if at all they are open to your approach. Now this saves on both money and time used to build apps that are not needed and that will not get any traction.
There are millions of mobile apps on most app stores, some have tremendous success while most are only in use by the owner and the developer. Don’t let yours be like that.
This advise is not only for startups but also for established businesses looking to create new channels. Some commercial banks in Kenya have build apps whose returns can not get to a break even point. People have interesting ways that they want to solve their current challenges. The secret is to get into the mind of these customers and make them look forward to your product.
In conclusion a mobile app can create an exciting way to interact with customers and to give you a good return on investment. Make an informed choice before you have one developed otherwise the only person making money from this will be the app developer.