Blackberry World: Consumer-facing mobile applications

by Kate Brodock on 4 May 2011

Posted in: Conferences & Events,Mobile

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I’m at Blackberry World this week (down in Orlando, which is so hot right now….)  It was great to see several panels focusing on B2C issues, and Blackberry did do a good job of addressing that side of things, as easy as it could have been to do the enterprise focus 100%.  As a side note, Blackberry recently got “most social” at CES 2011, which I found pleasantly surprising.

The major thrust of this panel was to explain some of the reasons BA and Securitas chose to create an app, and what some of the intricacies of the business-consumer relationship were that affected the app process.  The theme focused around being able to do as much as possible from any device, en route and quickly, to get them engaged more.

Panel: Business to Consumer (B2C) Apps and Why They Work

Description: How industries and governments around the world have succeeded with business to consumer apps. We’ll cover how these apps have helped improve overall brand awareness and customer loyalty. Understand the range of options available – from large scale solutions to smaller apps that resonate with consumers.

Panelist 1: Amir Shaikh, British Airways

BA created a mobile application that allows customers to manage their travel plans from wherever they are.  A few things they had to consider:

  • Which OS do they want to support?
  • Single base design
  • Enhance design where possible
  • Easy integration
  • Minimum data flow
  • Offline and online

As a result, they had an immense number of downloads of the app.

  • Up next, they have a few things they’d like to do
  • Continuous design improvements
  • Incorporating customer feedback
  • Further integration with native applications on device
  • Adding new functionality

Panel 2: Almudena Maneiro, Securitas Direct Group

As a global security system provider, the overall company mission is ‘to help people feel safe and secure.” They currently have 1.2m+ customers.  The main reason to get a security system is fear, the customer doesn’t actually want to know about their security system (No news is good news!), which makes the relationship with the customer very different.

They decided they had to shift the message to focus on an ongoing process, “security needs in habit.”  The customer should be able to interact and control alarm panel from anywhere and at any time.

The Application: Email with monthly activity, photo request, open door activity, deactivations, etc. It gives them more data about their security habits.

‘Mi Alarma’ application activates/deactivated alarm system, open doors, activity and photo request. Asks the customer “how are you really using the service?”

The Benefits:

  • Fewer cancellations of service (loyalty)
  • Customers have a better perception of service offerings
  • Advanced services are more accessible to customers

Coming up: push messages, photo gallery, new devices integration, publish application in App World

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