Creating apps for your SaaS (1/2)

By Tobin Harris, May 10, 2018

Managing Director at Pocketworks, app development specialists.

Mobile Technologies & Practices Planning Your App 

If you run a SaaS business, you’ll certainly have asked yourself “How do we best deliver value to mobile users?”. This article explores some of the challenges around adding a mobile app for a SaaS platform.

For those who don’t know, SaaS stands for Software as a Service – it means you create an online platform and lease it to customers. Examples are SalesForce, Google Mail, Slack, Amazon and Microsoft Office 365.

Work out why you’re creating a mobile app

The only reason to invest in mobile is to give your customers more value . In turn, this will lead to increased engagement with your SaaS, higher retention rates, a higher NPR (Net Promoter Score) and ultimately more revenue.

The most common reason for creating a mobile app for your SaaS is that your   customers are request it . They’ll use certain parts of your product when away from their desks, and believe a mobile app will make life easier for them. They’ll be asking your support staff “Why isn’t doing X easy when I’m mobile?”. This is the strongest indicator that you need to cater to your mobile audience.

Or you might be more proactive. You’ve already identified that your target customer is mobile, and you want to make sure they get more value from your product from the start.

For example, if you’re a CRM company, you might realise that sales reps on the move want to be able to access their contacts so they can easily make phone calls. Making your contact list mobile will result in customers using your product more frequently, getting more value from it, and ultimately leading to higher customer retention rates.

This is the typical virtuous cycle of:

   Increased engagement => increased value received => increased customer retention

If you need to figure out how to offer value to your mobile users, there are some guidelines below.

Find the right mobile use cases

If you start with the idea of delivering value to mobile users , the strategy of how to do that should start to emerge. This means just focusing on value. Ignore all the other nagging questions about how to do it; What can we feasibly do? What technologies should we use? Who does the work etc? How do we design it? Ignore that. Just focus on value. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • What does the typical day of my customer look like?
  • When do they leave their desks, when are they mobile?
  • What value can my SaaS give customers during these times?
  • From all this value, where is the most value?
  • What would be used most frequently?
  • What would remove the most customer pain?

If you are familiar with design-thinking, a good tool for exploring all this would be user journeys. Creating a user journey entails:

  • Researching your customer behaviours
  • Mapping them out visually
  • Looking for opportunities where your SaaS can help.

You can read more about this in our article about mobile strategy .

Next time…

In the next post we’ll cover how to address:

  • Selecting the best mobile technologies
  • Mobile Web & PWA vs cross-platform vs native
  • App-Per-Customer vs One-App
  • How web and mobile teams can work together effectively
  • Why it has to be beautiful and functional.

See you then!

Chat with Tobin

If you'd like to discuss this topic or anything else, drop me a line. The best way is to contact Pocketworks and arrange a chat over a coffee, Zoom or phone.

About Pocketworks

Pocketworks believes that software should lighten the load and make life easier for people. We're a digital product studio. We can help your create human-centered apps and websites that grow your customer base and increase efficiency.
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