At the end of the day, many customers feel that providing feedback is simply too cumbersome, too time-consuming, and too difficult. For mobile app customers, providing mobile feedback tends to involve navigating to a difficult-to-find support center or responding to an email buried in their spam inbox. It’s much easier for them to simply uninstall an app and move on to the next alternative rather than trying to communicate with a brand and troubleshoot the issue.
On the flip side of this, product managers often feel overwhelmed by the idea of sifting through and making sense of the sheer amount of mobile feedback.
But it doesn’t have to be this hard for you or your customers. There are easier, more customer-friendly ways to collect customer feedback and there are more efficient ways to analyze and act on that mobile feedback data.
The importance of mobile feedback
In general, customer communication is typically one-way: business to consumer. When the customer needs to communicate directly to the business, it typically involves navigating to their website, filing a support ticket, and waiting for an email response. Since that is often too much of a hassle, customers take to other forums (usually public ones like social media or the app stores) to get their needs addressed. Neither one of these channels is particularly efficient or effective.
To make matters worse, neither channel offers much in the form of a response. A brand might respond to a customer complaint via email, but by the time it finally comes, the issue will no longer be top-of-mind—especially as the customer has already been forced to leave the app in search of an app that works better.
Collecting and making sense of customer feedback isn’t a walk in the park for companies either. This is where a mobile feedback solution comes into play for most customer-centric companies.
Benefits of mobile feedback solutions
- Understand your customers better. A tool that analyzes customer feedback data – both qualitative and quantitative – takes the guesswork out of the equation. It allows you to accurately hear the voice of the customer so that you can react to feedback at scale.
- Use real-time data and feedback to prioritize your product roadmaps. With real-time feedback data, you can move away from a randomized, unstructured testing approach where you try lots of things in the hopes that some things work, at the expense of a lower ROI. You also avoid the pitfalls of traditional feedback channels like email surveys.
- Quickly scale what’s working and fix what is not. If you’re constantly taking a pulse on your customer experience, you can identify when things are trending in the right direction or when there’s a steep decline in sentiment. This allows you to quickly fix bugs or make adjustments to your app in response, keeping those unhappy customers before they leave and never come back.
- Respond to marketplace changes and competitive threats. Your customer can be your best source of competitive intelligence. Leverage what your customers tell you to better understand what is happening in the marketplace, ensuring you stay ahead of trends. You can also aggregate what customers are saying about your competitors and how they view your offerings in relation to your competitors.
Six-step checklist to improve your mobile feedback strategy
So how do you encourage app feedback to build a better, more profitable, and customer-centric app? By showing customers their feedback is welcomed and valued. We leverage a six-step process to help our customers gauge their feedback strengths and weaknesses. Mentally check the steps below to get an idea of where you fall on the customer feedback spectrum.
Step #1: Meet customers where they are now
All too often, brands require customers to leave the mobile app when a question or problem arises. If the customer is using your mobile app, give them a way to provide you feedback directly from the app. Don’t disrupt their experience by sending them out of the app to a webpage or to email or Twitter. A disrupted experience typically leads to less action, which means there’s a high likelihood you’re left with a frustrated customer and no feedback. Make sure you’re reaching out at the right time and place.
Step #2: Communicate proactively
Solicit feedback proactively at the right mobile moment. Even if the customer does not currently have feedback, proactively prompting before or after key events keeps your internal feedback loop top-of-mind with customers. That way, the next time they do have an issue with your app, they’ll remember that they can communicate those issues directly with your team—rather than the route of impersonal and indirect app store reviews.
Step #3: Build a continuous feedback loop
Effective feedback loops should be a frictionless part of the customer experience and designed in a way that resonates with the needs of a mobile customer: quick, non-intrusive, and optimized for mobile screens. To see this optimization in action, consider how you prefer to communicate on mobile. If you’re anything like us, you prefer texting to calling, don’t like to write out long responses on a mobile device, prefer to answer in short-hand, and expect any requests on your time, such as survey requests, to be cognizant of your time. The result is a mobile-optimized feedback loop: a communication channel specifically designed with your mobile customer in mind. These channels (often manifesting in feedback forms, in-app surveys, and two-way messaging) can be built into any app or effortlessly integrated with a mobile communications tool (like Apptentive).
Step #4: Respond to mobile customer feedback
Once a customer does provide feedback, let them know that it’s valued! Customers should know that their feedback isn’t go into a black hole. Take the time to respond to customers who leave feedback. Regardless of whether the feedback is positive or negative, recognize it and respond. Ultimately, all feedback is good feedback. If the app feedback contains a suggestion or bug report, let the customer know where this issue stands in your roadmap. And once that issue has been fixed or that suggestion has been implemented, reach back out to inform the customer of the impact their feedback made.
Step #5: Let feedback drive product roadmap decisions
Use your mobile customer feedback to continually improve your product. Customer feedback provides product managers and mobile marketers with pre-validated ideas to fix or improve their apps. These insights should inform your product roadmap and rally your development team around a single, centric point: the customer. Warning: Do not accept all customer suggestions blindly! Make sure you think critically through customer feedback and use data to inform your product decisions.
Step #6: Leverage customer engagement tools
Now’s the time to start communicating with your customers where they already are: in your app. There are plenty of places to start, but no matter where you begin, we recommend thinking about your goals and how you can better engage and listen to your mobile customers. Here’s a quick list of our favorite mobile feedback tools.
It’s time to start communicating with your customers where they already are: in your app. When asked for correctly, customer feedback will help improve your business by benefiting revenue, product, and data collection, but most importantly, will have a positive impact on your customers which helps drive their loyalty.
Ready to get started? Sign up for a demo of Apptentive today!