“We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.” So said business guru Max DePree – and it’s a sentiment that’s at the heart of MyFirmsApp’s philosophy
The latest research from App Annie in its ‘2017 Retrospective’ confirms something we have been saying for some time: that Apps have become an increasingly critical channel for virtually all consumer businesses in all industries. Mobile is undeniably now the ‘first screen’, with downloads of Apps exceeding 175 billion in 2017 – a 60% growth since 2015 – and each user is spending nearly 1.5 months in Apps per year.
Despite irrefutable evidence that Apps are here to stay, we still get asked the question: “Will my client use an App?” Our response is always: “It’s your clients that are driving the demand for easier engagement through Apps.”
There are no two ways about it; Apps offer accountants an opportunity to rebuild direct and effectively manage relationships by extending contact throughout the client journey.
Since 2013, MyFirmsApp has focused on the development of bespoke Apps and there are now 250,000 businesses relying on them for direct contact with their accountants. While bespoke Apps are right for many of our customers, there are some firms we speak to that tell us that they would like an App that is not quite so tailored and can be live faster.
To give these firms more choice, we have invested heavily in the development of a new platform, which we are excited about and we believe, delivers the next generation of future proofed custom Apps for professional firms. Access to this world-class platform gives the accountant a unique combination of content, tools, features and integration, with hundreds of variables, plus the option to upgrade to specific modules to customise the user experience.
The search mechanism for the OneApp platform works in a slightly different way to the bespoke Apps we build and instead of searching for the firm’s name, the client or prospect searches for ‘My Accountant’ in the App store. Once they download the app and open it up, they add their details so the accountant knows exactly who has downloaded the App and who is using it or they can share a QR code to make it even easier to locate. Above all, the new platform makes it really easy to find the App in either the iOS App store or in Google Play and this is an important benefit as there are now more than 6 million Apps residing there. With the automatic capture of important data such as name, company, email and phone details, the accountant still has the option to link this data to existing CRM or email systems such as Hubspot, Mailchimp or Salesforce and in doing so, will help to streamline the marketing operation.
The new OneApp platform provides firms with an App branded with their individual logo and in their own colour scheme and still gives clients quick links to their chosen accounting program and access to a host of useful tools including a mileage tracker and receipt manager.
While making life easier for the client, an App control panel gives the accountant immediate access to user data to see exactly how the App is performing thanks to live, real time download statistics.
The landscape is changing at an extraordinary rate and today, it’s even more important to have a proven solution that connects accountants with their clients and brings together all the individual components, Apps, logins and portals into a centralised place that’s easily recognisable in the firm’s brand.
We believe that giving accountants and bookkeepers more choice in which App they choose to employ is the natural next step. The opportunities are huge and the level of engagement made possible through an App can only result in more contact with customers, increased customer satisfaction and a higher lifetime value. The introduction of OneApp is a real game changer.
- Joel Oliver is Managing Director of MyFirmsApp. See the new OneApp platform in action at Accountex North at Manchester Central on 6 March 2018. For more go to www.myfirmsapp.co.uk
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