One of the questions we often encounter when dealing with prospective users of The Link App is “will a client app be a need to have, or a must have?”
Often mobile apps are viewed to be slightly trivial, and not necessarily used for serious matters, however in recent times there has been a significant shift in how apps are used, and what is expected of them. Where banking apps were previously used as a way of quickly checking your account online, you can now cash cheques, set up new accounts and change your personal details – all without having to step foot in the bank at all.
As well as mobile apps in general becoming more sophisticated, the way in why people communicate is also changing – with individuals now relying more heavily on direct messaging as their main source of communication with others.
A 2017 study by technology company LivePerson featured in The Independent, found that 65% of Millenials and Generation Z communicated digitally, rather than in person, being particularly reliant on mobiles phones and apps. It was reported that 61.8% of those questioned, would rather leave their wallet at home than their mobile.
When asked to choose between their phone app or a messaging app, 73% of UK Phone users would choose the messaging app over making a call
This is very telling of how the expectations of clients are shifting. Where they may once have made a call, or sent an email, they are now expecting a service which delivers a much faster response time, because this is what they are used to.
Another article from Network World, goes into further detail about how the younger generation use technology in comparison to their elders. The article mentions that younger individuals are far more likely to use their mobile phones over computers, and are more inclined to short, sharp bursts of usage rather than spending a prolonged period of time on something. This ties in with the previous comment mentioning that messaging apps were preferable to calls as they allow communication to happen quickly and efficiently.
“As we might have suspected, teenagers and the early 20s age group are the opposite of the older group. Those aged 13 to 24 perform short, frequent app sessions and have the highest overall time in apps. They use messaging apps extensively as a substitute for e-mail.”
The article then goes on to detail how older users of technology tend to favour functions such as web browsing which allow them to take their time with the activity.
Here at The Link App, we recognise that although the modern consumer of legal services is getting younger, there is still the need to provide the same level of service to the older generation of clients (for more detail on this you can read our previous blog on the subject here). In order to do this we provide a web portal that clients can access alongside or instead of using the mobile app, meaning the product can be used across a wide range of devices, and by a wide range of age groups.
In a study of Mobile App usage by Manifest in 2018, 511 smartphone users of all ages were questioned about the type of apps they used, and how often they used them. In this study, social media apps were the most frequently used with over 30% of the votes, but communication/messaging apps came in joint second place tied with gaming apps on 10%.
“Communication and messaging apps, like Apple’s Messages, WhatsApp, and Gmail, are now often viewed as a required tool, not a luxury”
The study also comments that mobile app use is often underestimated by individuals as there are so many unconscious prompts that lead them to checking their apps without realising.
“Dr. Andrew Selepak, director of the master’s degree in social media program at the University of Florida, discussed how people may not realize how often they use their phones.
I know, personally, I get up in the morning, and I grab my phone and see all of the notifications that came in,” he said. “I probably have a text message, a Snapchat message, a Facebook like and an Instagram like. I’ve got push notifications from the Washington Post. I’ve got Gmail emails. All of these notifications are waiting for me, and I go through all of them before I start my day.”
These notifications have become such an ingrained part of our daily lives, that they no longer register as a choice we are actively making. Communication and messaging apps are becoming part of our everyday lives, and as mentioned before – they are no longer seen as a ‘nice to have’ but something that is a necessary requirement.
Overall, we believe that the evidence shows that in recent years there has been a significant increase in the way people are using mobile apps, and the expectations that they now have to go alongside this.
The younger generation have grown up surrounded by technology and as they reach the age where they are looking for services, whether it be from their bank, utility companies, or indeed their lawyers. They will be looking for businesses who can provide them with what they need, and communicate with them in the manner to which they have become accustomed. E-mail and, certainly direct mail, has become outdated and unsecured. The younger client base is increasingly aware of this and requires a new alternative.
Implementing a product such as The Link App in your firm allows you enhance your customer experience, without creating additional work for your team. Clients are able to send and receive messages, upload documents and track their case progress, all at the touch of a button. Click here to view a demo today and find out more