Mobile Apps – Can You Live Without Them? I Can’t!

How many apps do you have on your phone? Do you use them on a regular basis? Studies show that 85% of the people only use 5 apps on their phone but have over 20 apps downloaded. So that got me to thinking about which apps I have on my phone that I actually use? I did a little polling of my friends to get their take on it too. Here’s a small glimpse at what we collectively have and why we like them.

  1. Your Banking App – All of us use our banking apps. With most banking apps, you can have them send you alerts if your balance goes below the amount you set. They also allow you to transfer money into your different accounts while just sitting on your couch shopping on Amazon! I personally like the Banking App because I have two teenage boys that have ATM cards.  Instead of me running to give them cash, I can just transfer $20 into their account. Another bonus is that I can ask them to run to the store, buy some groceries or supplies and see exactly what they spent and transfer the money. I don’t even need to ask for change anymore!
  2. Amazon – Who doesn’t have an Amazon App? It makes shopping so easy and if you have Amazon Prime, its free shipping in two days. With Amazon, you can have ‘wish lists’ for various family members. Again, this is helpful for a busy family. Just yesterday, I ordered some dog treats, coffee syrup and a pair of shorts for my son. All within 3 minutes and I didn’t have to leave my house. Plus, they will be delivered to my doorstep in two days.
  3. Ibotta – I personally don’t use this app, but am planning to start using it.  My neighbor does and she just announced that she has saved $300 in the past 6 months by using this app (sidenote – she does a lot of shopping!).  How it works:  Before you shop, you can add rebates on products by completing simple tasks.  Then shop at any of the participating stores.  Keep your receipt.  To redeem your rebates, you take a photo of the receipt.  Ibotta will match the items you bought to the rebates you selected and give you the cash back.  It’s deposited into your PayPal account.
  4. FreePrints – If you are like me, you take a ton of photos and they are all saved on your phone. I rarely would take the time to print them. But with FreePrints its super easy and quick. There is no subscription involved which is great. How it works:  You get up to 85 free 4 x 6 prints per month and up to 1,000 4 x 6 prints per year. They have other sized prints too, but there is a cost to them.  All you pay for is the shipping.  Shipping costs start at $1.99 and will never exceed $9.99.
  5. Sam’s Club – I use the Sam’s Club Scan and Go app every single time I shop at Sams. Super easy.  How it works:  Scan each of the items when you add them to your cart. When you are ready to check out you just click on check out and it charges the credit card or bank card you have previously inputted into the app. Skip the check-out lines and when you get to the door, the attendant will scan your phone and approve your purchases.Out the door you go. Saves so much time and all your purchases are stored in your app.  If you need to return something, you can show them the receipt on your phone.
  6. CamScanner – I have to admit, I probably don’t use this app to the best of its ability. But it sure has come in handy. With this app, I can use my phone and ‘scan’ any document and save it as a .pdf and then email it. One example was when I was out of town traveling and needed to sign some financial documents. I ran to the hotel business office, printed the documents out, signed them and then scanned them into my phone and emailed them back from my phone. It was easy and slick. There are other features to the app too, but I’ve used it mainly for scanning a document that I have signed and need to send it back quickly.
  7. WhiteNoise – Yes, I use this app.  With my travel schedule and multiple hotel stays, this app has helped me tremendously. I have the free version, but there is a $.99 version too. Basically, the app gives you a lot of sounds to choose from to block out other sounds in the area. It is extremely helpful when my hotel room is next to the ice machine or the elevator. Sounds can range from cars driving to a vacuum cleaner. I, personally, enjoy the oscillating fan sound.
  8. Expensify – This app has saved me a ton of paperwork for work related receipts. As many of you know, when you travel for work, you need to keep track of your expenses. At Saffire, we use Expensify to submit our monthly reports. I have the app downloaded on my phone and I NEVER keep a receipt again. With expensify, I take a photo of the receipt, tag it for whatever event or conference I am attending, then I categorize it in meals, transportation, booth fees etc. I can even add a comment to the receipt to explain it more. It takes a little bit of effort to setup the tags and categories, but it’s well worth it. Last week I was traveling in Canada. This app allowed me to select the currency my credit card was charged and it changed it automatically in my reports. It will be easy for me to cross check and verify the correct charges when I receive the credit card statement. All of this literally takes me seconds to do. I never save a receipt anymore. When I return to the office to fill out my expense report, it is already completed. I review it, and click send.
  9. ComfortBase – This app spoils me.  My husband and I recently purchased a new bed.  The kind where my side can elevate differently than his.  Yes, the bed comes with two remotes.  But, with this app downloaded on my phone, I can have it programmed for my side of the bed AND for his side of the bed.  The beauty of it being on your phone is I can click on ‘snore mode’ at 2 am and his side will elevate to where it’s supposed to be.   The downside of this app is that I can’t freak him out and automatically raise his side of the bed when I’m traveling.  It runs on Bluetooth and I need to be near it to do that.
  10. GroupMe – GroupMe has been an app that I have used for a few years. It is a free group messaging chat room. You can have as many people as you chose to be in the group. Whether it’s a group of co-workers, family members, friends, etc.  It works better than trying to send out a mass text to a variety of phone numbers. Just this last weekend, one of our neighbors sent out a GroupMe text and said they were inviting everyone over at 4 pm for a Bean Bag/Corn Hole Tournament. Everyone responded to the invitation via the app. The great thing about GroupMe is that it allows everyone in your group the option of responding within the app or just by regular SMS text messages.

I am also a parent to two teenage boys.  With that being said, I have quite a few apps on my phone that are school and sports related (most communities have similar types of apps available).  A few that I use regularly are:

  • My School Bucks – it allows me to add money to my kids’ lunch fund and to see how much is left.  No more checks need to be sent with the child to school.
  • Power Schools – Our school district uses Power Schools.  This app allows me to see my child’s grades, test scores, attendance and more at my fingertips.  I’m even able to send messages to the teachers via the app.
  • Meet Mobile – My neighbor’s family are swimmers.  This app keeps them up to date on the swimmers in the area and whoever else they are tracking to see what their times and places are for the multiple meets happening each weekend.
  • LeagueAthletics – My son is a lacrosse player and I am the team manager.  This app is super easy for me to update the scores of the games while sitting at the field.  It will also push out notifications to all the families for quick references.

I can see how overwhelming it can be to have so many app options out there, but these are just a few of the apps that I use almost daily. Like I mentioned, the average person has 20+ apps and after just counting, I have 46 apps on my phone.   How many do you have?

 

Jodi Written with love by: Jodi Buresh!

At Your Service!

AtYourService

What constitutes “good service” is changing. The Internet has made self-service very attractive. Getting out of your PJ’s to do a job isn’t even a requirement. Explaining your needs to an actual live human being? Hardly necessary. Creating a clear definition of your project to hand over to an expert? Nah, just sign up and get started!

In fact, whether you’re shopping for new furniture or concert tickets, most of us find it easier to grab our iPad and “just do it” without reaching out to anyone for help.

But what if you need to do something just a little out of your comfort zone? Like build a website or sell your own event tickets? Is pure self-service the way to go? It might seem attractive if your budget is teeny-tiny, since it generally uses an inexpensive online service and there is no “guy” you have to pay for the service. But when it comes right down to it, this can be a very scary path because on the web, it’s not IF something will go wrong, but WHEN. And when you’ve only got one shot at selling your tickets online, it’s imperative your website and ticketing systems work.

Burned by the DIY approach, folks tend to flip the script and try full service instead.  It feels like a “safer” way to go. But we’ve heard so many horror stories. Event managers left in the lurch when their website or ticketing “guy” wasn’t available or went on vacation, always when he was needed most. Or worse, they were charged top dollar for terrible service provided by a huge organization with no personal connection or skin in the game.

Saffire believes that being At Your Service means you can manage any part of your website and ticketing on your own, and we’re just a quick chat away if you ever need help. Prospective clients ask us, “Do you enter my site content, or do I? Do you create my tickets, or do I?”

Our answer usually surprises them – “What would you prefer?”

Let’s put it another way; what does great service look like to you? Are you a “tinkerer?” Awesome! We have step-by-step videos and articles to help you manage any part of your website and ticketing. Does the thought of setting things up or making changes scare you? Not a problem! We are happy to do it for you, or hold your hand while we show you how it’s done. For our most timid or technology-challenged clients, our favorite moment is when they end up feeling smart and empowered to manage things for themselves. We’ve got their backs all along the way, ensuring the warm-fuzzies instead of cold feet!

Saffire’s hybrid approach to service represents the best of both worlds and the “latest and greatest” of service in the age of technology. We get to meet people where they are, helping them ooze with the confidence that they can ease into managing raging website and ticketing success on their own, with us right by their side as a safety net, just a call, chat or email away.

For over 7 years it’s worked for us, and it’s worked for the clients we love. Listen to them. We sure do.

 


Two of our happy clients! 

“I’m just really not sure where to start in describing what an amazing experience we had in launching our new website with Saffire. From receipt of their response to our request for proposal to our go live launch date, every single interaction with our Saffire team was beyond ideal. Their design team is smart and intuitive. Their customer service is so over the top that they literally redefine the term “customer service”. And after you launch, you are part of this amazing culture of excellence as part of the Saffire family. Hands down, bar none, choosing to go with Saffire for our new website was the best decision our office has made at least in my time with the Conroe CVB if not in our history.”
Sherry Morgan, Event & Marketing Manager
Conroe Convention & Visitors Bureau

“I am beyond excited about where I think our event can go with the help of Saffire. We will no longer get lost in the crowd of fairs! From the incredible customer service to the educational webinars, it’s clear that Saffire honestly wants to improve the overall online presence of the event industry! I have never been more pleased with a company we were working with and I’m glad we are a part of this movement.”
Brittni Kaczyk
San Angelo Stock Show & Rodeo

 

 

 

 

 

In the News – 8/10/17

Does your Facebook Messenger inbox get flooded during an event? Learn how this common problem is being addressed by Chatbots. As festival goers descend on the Nevada desert and your social media feeds begin filling up with the festival’s impressive visual content remember What Burning Man Teaches us About Marketing. Finally, be sure and learn about these 3 Instagram Polices Marketers Often Overlook.