Given that we live in the smartphone age, developing an app for your business could be one of the most important decisions you make in 2017. After all, as Forbes contributor Melanie Haselmayr made clear, a growing number of small businesses are making the jump and hopping onto the app bandwagon, building user friendly and multifunctional platforms for their customers to use. In other words, apps are no longer just for large companies – smaller operations are reaping the rewards of these digital platforms too.

Are you still reluctant to join the app revolution? If so, we've developed a list of five compelling reasons why your business needs an app:

1. Improve customer service
Entrepreneur contributor Rahul Varshneya argued that a fantastic reason to build a smartphone app is to improve your levels of customer service. With an app you will be able to offer an array of features to customers, contingent on the services you provide, including easier means of communication, should the customer need support or guidance. 

2. Promote your brand
In addition to providing customer service and support, smartphone apps are an effective way to promote your brand to your customers, Haselmayr argued. After all, your app can be used to deliver company news and updates, as well as a vehicle for advertisements and deal promotions. Haselmayr noted that it is even possible to design your app to send out messages or notifications directly to your customer base, increasing brand awareness considerably. Furthermore, as Marketing Insider Group stressed, the fact that your company's logo will live on the menu of a customer's phone is again another smart and subtle way to increase brand awareness.

3. Build customer loyalty
While apps can serve any number of functions, Marketing Insider Group explained that many organizations will opt to use these platforms as a means to build customer loyalty.  For example, strategies such as offering special deals and discounts for app users, and particularly those who register for emails and push notifications, is an easy and surefire way to keep your customer base dedicated to your brand. This is of course important because, as Marketing Insider Group pointed out, recurring customers are often integral to an operation's success, as attracting new customers is typically more time consuming and expensive. 

4. Compete in your market space
Given the amount of people that now use smartphones – a Pew Research Center study noted that 77 percent of Americans have one – it is likely that many competitors in your space will be developing smartphone apps of their own, which is why you should build your own, Business News Daily explained. Without an app for your business, you will be missing out on a crucial area in which to compete with other brands for customer business.

5. Improve customer experience
In addition to serving as a means through which to improve customer communication and customer service, smartphone apps are also typically easier to use than mobile ready websites, which in turn can help your customer's overall experience when interacting with your company. Indeed, Business News Daily interviewed Zach Cusimano, a CEO of an app company, who elaborated on the importance off apps providing an improved customer experience:

"A mobile-friendly website and a mobile app are both very valuable tools, but they have different purposes. Mobile apps are … best suited for user retention and engaging with clients. They're not aimed at random people finding a company's website, but are more about rewarding loyal customers." he said.

Consider MC Services
At MC Services, we can help your company with its web and app development needs. For more information about our company and the range of services and solutions we provide, click here