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Create a mobile app to improve your business

'One of the keys to our success is the repeat business we get from customers. Our app's success is in providing a follow-up service that encourages customers to come back.'
Darren Buhagiar, Ultratune Shepparton and Albury

Top tips

  • Make an app easy for your customers to find, access and install
  • Apps should alert your customers to your sales and promotions
  • Maximise market coverage by using both Apple and Android platforms

Turnover doubled with an app

Ultratune Shepparton and Albury are automotive service centres which are part of the Australia wide Ultratune franchise group. The two businesses are owned by Darren and Yvette Buhagiar, who live in Wodonga and employ five employees across the two locations.

Darren prides himself on his businesses. His goal is to offer a more personalised customer service experience than normally found at car dealerships. Darren developed a smartphone app that he uses for both businesses. He believes business turnover has doubled due to the app.

Marketing direct to your customers

An integral part of the app’s success is providing a follow-up service that encourages customers to come back.

The app enables the business to:

  • Notify customers when their car needs another service via their smartphone
  • Advertise promotions in a cost effective way
  • Let their customers book online directly without the need to ring.

This can be done either via their smartphone or from their desk. The app can be downloaded free of charge through the Apple and Android online app stores or by scanning a QR code when in store.

Marketing via app improves return on investment

Darren believes the app is far more cost effective than any other form of marketing he has used in the past.

The set up cost of $1795 may seem high at first - however, the constant reminders for car servicing and direct marketing weekly specials via the smartphone means customers have increased how often they get their car serviced.

Their read rate for emails has gone from 4-10% to 90% using the app. This has led to a pick up in business and strengthening of their customer loyalty.

Issues along the way

The biggest issue with new app development is getting Apple approval. It has become a lot more difficult to have your app approved as Apple is removing poor apps that do not deliver what they promise. Apple apps turn-around time for approval is four weeks and Android application turn-around time is 48 hours. Darren is adamant that using both the Apple and Android platforms is crucial to ensure full market coverage.

The result

Before launching the app, a letter box drop was done at the cost of $1200 dollars to deliver 10,000 leaflets. Six months later the app was used to do a similar promotion at the total cost of $69.95 per month. In each instance the pickup in customers was 30% over the following weeks.

The app is cheaper, can run multiple promotions and has a quicker turnaround time. This is particularly useful when Ultratune is having a quiet week and are looking to drum up business quickly. The ability for customers to book online has reduced the need for office staff and is also more convenient for customers. The environmental advantage of not using paper is an added bonus.