“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
Mobile apps always tend to earn high average app store ratings but where many fail is using the qualitative feedback.
The best way for a mobile app to thrive is through user feedback as it is one of the main elements in improving user satisfaction and growing your business.
Although a high average rating can be really great, it can also shift your focus from quality customer feedback behind each star. Businesses also need qualitative data to provide context and insight – ratings are important but reviews are even more so as they help to maintain the health of your app.
Ratings don’t provide valuable information but only show whether your users like your app or not – in other words, you cannot identify the features for improvement or modify your product roadmap to make the changes quickly.
When used together, brands can really understand their customers’ needs and pain points.
Why is User Feedback Essential?
Gathering user feedback is the best method to understand what your users want and to improve the same in the app.
As competition is tough, it is vital for you to develop an app that provides value to its users and that is functional and engaging.
Once you receive the feedback from your users, you must act upon it otherwise, the users will feel like you’re not interested in creating a better experience for them.
Let’s list some reasons why it is essential to regularly receive feedback from your users.
Locates Features for Improvement
You know your product as each feature has been thoroughly thought and discussed. However, sometimes you cannot see all the imperfections.
It is extremely important to get insight into what your users like and what are their preferred functionalities.
Show that you truly listen to your users’ opinions since the app is made for them, so it should be as close to their preferences as possible.
However, take care to listen only to the most relevant feedback. Create a feedback system where users can express their concerns or opinions so that you can understand and decide which features to keep, which ones aren’t so relevant and which new features should be created.
Once you receive the feedback, don’t put everything into a feature backlog but rather in a ‘feedback bank’ – no matter how much you love the users for sharing their opinions, you have to be careful about applying them to product management. Each feature has a lifetime cost that includes maintenance, debugging, additional server load etc.
Stop and ask yourself: Can I afford this?
For example, a bug could sometimes take days to fix or adding a new feature could take a month to implement – investing your resources into something that is not relevant for your app could turn out to be a waste of time.
That’s why it is essential to filter the feedback and sort your priorities – only then implement a new feature and stay assured that your company will produce the app that meets users expectations.
Makes Users Feel Involved
Taking feedback into account and asking for users’ opinion shows them they are valued.
By asking your users to provide feedback, you show them they are an active participant in making the app better for them. When users feel appreciated and heard, they start having positive connotations to your brand which they show by sharing their good experience to other potential users – the result could be more ‘sales’ in the future.
Make sure that you use collected opinions to make decisions about your app and communicate it to your users to keep them engaged. Not doing so, you risk your users to feel neglected or ignored.
A good try is to implement a customer feedback loop which is a strategy for constant product improvement based on users’ feedback.
Remember, communication should always be a two-way street – try to create in-app surveys and specifically ask about their pain points within an app – this way, users can state the issues they face in the app or rate certain services thus giving further understanding to developers what is needed in the app.
Such method provides a feeling of direct involvement of users within upgrading your app.
Produces Personal Recommendation
Personal recommendations are the top reason for purchase decisions within users. Referrals are the most effective yet free way of advertising and it resembles word-of-mouth type of advertising.
Some other factors like advertising or price comparison influence users’ decision at some point, but referrals remain important during each stage of the purchase process.
It is said that over 8-in-10 purchases are influenced by a recommendation or word-of-mouth.
That means that on average, the majority of people who would make purchases with your company, would have received a personal recommendation from someone. Such face-to-face referrals usually come from trusted people like friends or family and it can be the most convincing tool.
If you wish to get users through referrals, first make sure that users’ feedback is positive. Do not forget to thank your users for making a referral – a good idea is to consider some appropriate way to reward them, through a discount for an upgraded package or unlocking a certain premium feature for them etc.
Bad Feedback for Doing Well
Do not worry if you receive some bad feedback – instead of being frustrated, try to see unhappy customers as a chance.
Bad feedback should be valued even more than the good ones (as my colleague says, ‘I don’t want to hear good stuff. Tell me what’s bugging you?’) as those users stepped out to share their bad experience expecting from you to act on it.
Firstly, it is highly important to create an action plan to deal with the bad feedback. Contact the users, address the issue and advise them on the exact date when you will follow them up. If the problem is more complex to resolve, make sure to compensate the user for the unhappy experience.
You do not have to give your app for free, but a certain discount for premium upgrade or unlocking some features for the specific user can look much more positive to them.
In such cases, the user will give you another chance and treat your oversight as a minor mistake.
In case you don’t have such a plan, things can go sideways and turn out badly for you.
Helps with New and Existing Users
Whenever someone wants to download your app, the first thing they do is reading reviews and checking ratings. Although personal recommendations are more powerful than online reviews, the latter should not be underestimated.
You would be surprised that 90% of users read online reviews before deciding whether to purchase and 88% of users trust these opinions as if they are personal recommendations.
You should care about your online reviews – track the situation, ask your users for their opinions and react appropriately. This way, you can even prevent any surprises before appearing on the Internet.
Even when a user downloads your mobile app and tries it, it does not ensure they will come back. You can monitor various analytics and the market but keep in mind that there are some things that ONLY a user can bring your attention to.
Feedback may address some things you have not considered before, like free shipping, available customer support or a user-friendly website.
Even if you don’t get only positive reviews, such unique insight will help you to understand the concept of the users’ desired approach and result in regular users.
Builds Loyalty for Your Brand
Asking for feedback from your users and responding to their opinions create a relationship that will make the whole experience more personal. Users will start to personalize your business and see it as a ‘person’ (group of people) who care about their experience.
User-generated content (UGC) can be in the form of user reviews, testimonials or other visual content crucial to building your brand loyalty. Placing such content on your social media will make you more visible to the rest of the audience.
User reviews can be a potential goldmine of ideas on how you can separate yourself from competitors. For example, maybe your app is ‘faster when loading’ or ‘more reliable’ – the sooner you find your angle, the better.
One of the key things of building brand loyalty is being ‘real’ to your users – meaning, don’t be afraid to show the human side of your business. Not only to have a distinct tone but also try to be able to respond to callouts not because you ‘have to’ but because you WANT TO.
Creating and maintaining such relationships will pay off – instead of being just an impersonal company (or an app), you create a connection between the users and your brand by becoming their favourite choice.
Combines Data for Better Results
You should combine data analytics and user feedback for developers to have a clearer picture on what caused the issues.
However, analytics can locate some issues like short sessions but you cannot know why the users are logging out unless we have users’ feedback. Users will be able to advise on too many ads popping out or if the app closes upon clicking on a certain button etc.
When you combine feedback with analytic data, you can gain deeper insight into a users’ app experience. It can help you answer some complex questions like: why are users abandoning my app after only one usage or why users leave from a specific app screen?
If you utilize your data analysis together with user feedback, you can improve your app easier than working on your own.
When talking about metrics, you should always track the right metrics:
- Growth – the number of downloads
- Retention – monthly actives out of the total number of downloads
- Engagement (or stickiness) – how frequently users use your app
How to Gather User Feedback
How you will ask the feedback from your users is one of the most important things – you should consider different ways to gather user feedback and decide which one can fits your app the best:
- Contact Forms and In-App Surveys – this method is direct yet effective. Make sure for a form or survey to be located in an accessible area of your app not taking up too much space.
- Module Spots – they include in-page headers, footers or in the ‘About Us’ section within the menu. They are considered as low-effort and high-value options.
- Ratings – you can also ask a question (or a few) where your user can rank various aspects of your app with up to five stars. Try not to bother your users and make this feature optional.
- App Pop-Up – this method provides a pop-up on your app to users. It can be an option for gathering feedback, but keep in mind that pop-ups block the screen preventing users from whatever they were doing so some users can find them irritating.
- Targeted Questions – segment your users by functionalities they use the most in your app – ask them targeted questions about that certain section of your app. It will ensure your users are familiar with the questions you are asking them.
First, consider the type of app you develop to determine the appropriate method of collecting feedback, then make sure that your feedback request is not irritating or pushy.
Sticking by these principles will help you to find the balance between not bothering users and compiling the necessary data to determine which elements of your app need improvement.
Before starting with user feedback, define your objective clearly and take into account functions and costs to create a feedback form you need. Upon collected user feedback, make sure to conduct wide data analysis on your results and adequately adjust your mobile app roadmap.
Don’t forget to thank your users for their feedback and inform them on recent improvements.
If you try to follow these steps, the feedback automation will perform its magic and let users help in improving your mobile application.