Technological advances, in particular mobile technologies, have influenced our lives to a large degree. Reading emails via smartphones or checking the news online has become today's reality. For companies in the services industry – energy, telecoms, utilities, waste and financial services – mobile apps are increasingly becoming the focal point of their interactions with customers, empowering customers to ‘self-manage' their account and services. Service companies who adopt the mobile app channel over a purely web-based customer portal can realise a faster, slicker customer experience combined with the ease of access, stickiness and the enhanced functionality available from the built-in features of mobile handsets. When designed thoughtfully, self-service customer account apps are proven to increase customer satisfaction and, conversely, the benefits to the company itself are numerous: reduced costs, faster payment collection, and increase customer engagement.
Ideally, SESB as utility company proving electricity with 595,545 registered customers over Sabah and F.T Labuan have to move away from conventional marketing strategy to more transformative mobile marketing strategy in coming year. Currently, SESB already have their own websites, Facebook page, as well as twitter which have been used as the ways to disseminate important message or information to their customers. Through the website, the customers also can make payment transaction and drop their enquiries. Thus, we expect that SESB will establish their own mobile app so called MySESB Mobile App to creating engagement and increase sales and revenue for the company.
2.0 UTILITY MOBILE APP – MySESB
Utilities are the types of mobile apps that we may use most often without thinking about them as apps. Many of them come pre-installed on your device and serve a single function. What's a mobile app? Mobile app is a software program you can download and access directly using your phone or another mobile device, like a tablet or music player. In case of SESB by introducing mobile app – MySESB, generally, customers can check their latest electricity and access information on services offered by SESB by downloading MySESB application to their smart phone or tablet. This application can be downloaded to Android smart phone and also phones using iOS, i.e iPhone or iPad.
2.1 Key Features of MySESB App
2.1.1 Self-service Account features
Customer can check the latest electricity bill, view new supply application status, view services offered, location SESB offices and contact SESB Care line.
Options for the customer to view and pay their bills should also be available within an account management self-service app. By providing customers with the ability to pay bills through a mobile app thru eWallet, FPX, debit card, as well as credit card.
2.2.3Customer Care and support
Instead of only relying on the Customer Service Care hotline, SESB can utilize this apps by providing a platform for the users to make their complaints, comments as well as to get clarifications on any enquiries related to the electricity. The users only need to use chat live and the appointed person will serve them regarding on what the user request for.
2.2.4Promotion and Power Alert
By using MySESB, they can found the information about all the services provided by SESB such as on how to apply for new service connection, check planned scheduled shutdown information, latest info/activity. Moreover, using this app, SESB can also promote to users on various channels for customers to make the payment of their electricity bills like kiosk, online payment, and also drive thru.
A marketing mix is the combination of strategies and tactics that an organization employs to succeed with its marketing plan, with focus on Products, Place Promotion and Prices (4Ps). The market focus is on individual users using mobile application for their daily deals. The marketing mix (4Ps) of SESB facilitates efficient reach to target customers. The strategies and tactics contained in this marketing mix shows that SESB could benefit from increasing the market penetration of its mobile apps.
3.1Mobile app as a product
Quality is an important part of product. Apps should have common look and feel so that app looks good ,does not look outdated and visibility to customer at all times. When user knows how to use one app, he should be familiar with other apps too. It is ok to be creative but app should still feel familiar. For example, Apple has made user interface guidelines for iOS developers and Google for Android developers. App can also be used for communication. Users can for example be asked to review or rate app, report problems or share app's website link to user's friends. App can also contain links to app's website, social networking service pages or help pages. App can also be a place to promote developer's other product(s)/ Services. It is also important to plan how users would use the app and what kind of set of features is offered to users.
3.2Pricing of mobile app
There are few different ways to monetize mobile apps. It is possible to let users in-stall app for free and the revenue comes from in-app advertisements or in-app purchases. However, in case of utility type of mobile applications can be used without a charge but it can still help company to gain revenue. In these cases, app can drive interest to their websites and stores for example by providing new services offers, news feed or localized information.
3.3Place for mobile app
Most mobile apps are nowadays installed from mobile app distribution platforms. Apple's iOS devices can install apps from Apple's App Store and most Android apps are installed from Google Play. One way to increase discovery of app is to use correct keywords in app's name and description so that app will be found when user uses distribution platform's search functionality.
3.4Promotion of mobile app
Promotion of mobile app is mainly the same as promoting any product or service. App can be promoted for example in internet ads, blogs, social networking services and in many other places. Viral marketing is a critical success factor in boosting mobile app popularity as digital channel tool. SESB relies on viral marketing, which involves word-of-mouth promotion. For example, because of persuasion from friends, new members create accounts with the company's social networking website. Direct marketing also contributes to the company's business success. For example, the firm directly advertising campaigns on their new mobile app in social media. This tactic involves showing Promo video and related information of mobile app. Moreover, SESB corporate social responsibility program promote its brand and social media services around the world.
Mobile apps open new business dimensions and opportunities because of the way they are use. Especially significant is opportunity to put technology to work resolving customer issues and fulfilling client needs. For SESB, the biggest benefit of Mobile app adopted on volume of detailed customer data that can gather through this app. They can identify your most profitability and promising region, demographic segments, customer need, and overall app performance. In same time, it can improve customer experience and boost return on investment (ROI) as well.
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