All developers and businesses want users to download their apps. Mobile apps are not only expensive and time-consuming to develop, but they’re designed to be used by real people to solve real problems, so when app downloads are low it’s easy to feel disheartened.
Engagement, retention, and conversion rates are vital to demonstrating the value of an app, and measuring its return on investment. But one metric is more important than them all: user satisfaction.
If your users are happy, they’re more likely to engage, spend more, and spread the word about your app to their friends and family or post about their app experience online.
And considering 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, it is vital that you keep users and customers on your side.
If users aren’t happy with your app, they’re probably not going to drop you an email to complain – they’re likely to share their negative experience with their family, or worse, talk about their experience on social media.
Building a successful app has many more benefits than receiving five-star reviews or the occasional purchase from your e-commerce store.
Satisfied users are more likely to do business with you again if they have a positive experience, and research from the White House Office of Consumer Affairs estimates that loyal customers are worth up to ten times their initial purchase value, so they could become a long-term customer if they’re happy.
Below, we’ve put together just some of the ways you can measure user satisfaction within your app – and some of the ways you can ensure your app keeps all of your users happy…
Rely on data
One of the easiest ways to get a feel for user satisfaction is to review your data. Analyse where users are finding your app, how long they’re engaging with your content when they download it, and where your current drop-off points are.
If users aren’t getting past your sign-up page, then the chances are that you’re failing to deliver an enjoyable onboarding, and you may need to go back to the drawing board and reconsider your user experience.
However, data can only go so far in painting the picture of user satisfaction. You should not necessarily assume that a customer is unhappy with your app because they’ve only opened it once – they might’ve been distracted and need a reminder that you’re there to encourage them to engage with you. Keep an open mind and let users – not numbers – do the talking…
Conduct short surveys
The best way to measure user satisfaction and get the thumbs up on new features is to conduct a small survey within your app. Be precise – “are you happy with our app?” doesn’t give you anything to work on, but “what do you think about our new shopping feature?” does.
Rather than bombarding users with a survey when they open the app, make it opt-in or ask questions via a pop-up every time they complete a session.
It will take time to build up your feedback, but accumulating smaller pieces over time will result in higher engagement rates than expecting every user to complete a three-page in-depth survey about their experience.
Keep your questions short and only ask questions that mean something to your business. If you’re not planning on developing an augmented reality feature, for example, don’t dangle the carrot and ask users if they’d like to see an AR tool.
Doing so will raise expectations and encourage users to shop around for other apps rather than staying loyal to your brand.
As always when gathering user feedback, tailor your questions to your multiple audiences and isolate targets to maximise engagement and useful responses – a one-size-fits-all survey won’t work and feedback won’t be as useful.
Segment to get the most out of your survey.
If users aren’t engaging with your survey but they’re spending time in your app, nudge them in the right direction by offering incentives such as a free trial of your premium service or a discount code off their next shop.
We all get frustrated when apps bombard us with requests to leave a review or submit feedback, so when a freebie is offered, users naturally feel more positive about providing feedback and will offer more useful, actionable points than if they were giving comments off their own back.
If you’re trying to flesh out your app and build new features and functionality, you could even ask users to submit their ideas and offer the winner a prize and their name in your app’s credits as a thank you.
Once you’ve gathered feedback and understand what gripes users have about your app, the next step is to implement those changes to increase user satisfaction. In addition, you can…
Keep things simple
Users downloaded your app for a reason, whether it was to buy a dress from your store or order a takeaway after a busy day at work.
Simplify your app and don’t try to reinvent the wheel – help users access your tools as soon as they can, and they’ll be more satisfied as a result.
Onboarding is key here – don’t have users fill out a thousand form fields before they can get started; keep it simple and limit the friction between your app and their needs.
Common friction points like logging in, creating an account, leaving a review or connecting with friends can all come later – let users finish their primary task before doing anything else.
Be there for users
User satisfaction is about much more than offering a cutting-edge app with exciting features; it’s about showing customers that you’re there for them.
Make your team is as easily accessible as possible through phone support, live chat, social media or an in-app ticketing system and create a knowledge base with video tutorials to assist when your team isn’t available.
If a user can’t find what they need within your app and there’s nobody to talk to, you’re giving them a poor user experience and they’re unlikely to stick around for long.
Respond to every comment and query, even if it’s been answered before.
Some brands will automatically redirect users to a knowledge base or help centre, but providing a personal response on social media or a forum shows that you genuinely care about your users and their experience within your app, and they’ll naturally become more engaged as a result.
Make sure you’re on top of your App Store and Google Play Store reviews, too, responding to both positive and negative feedback.
Thank users for their time and tell them that you’ll address their concerns and comments – if you’re prompt and offer solutions that make users happy, then in-app satisfaction will naturally climb and help you build a chart-topping app.
Continuously optimise and improve
Finally, a quick word on maintenance. Businesses naturally want to keep their expenditure to a minimum after investing in an app, but the truth is that an app is an ongoing commitment.
If you launch an app in January then it’s almost certainly going to need tweaking and updating by April. Operating system updates and bugs need to be addressed to ensure you’re delivering a good user experience and that your app loads quickly and performs consistently.
We’re not saying you need to update your app every week like Facebook or introduce tonnes of new features in every release, but you do need to keep on top of maintenance or users will jump ship.
If your app is slow, non-responsive or worse still becomes incompatible with operating system updates, it will be tough to keep customers happy, so work with a reputable app development company on a retainer to ensure your app stays at the top of its game.
Whether you’re optimising your website for SEO, executing a pay-per-click campaign or building an app, it’s easy to turn to data and analytics to determine whether you’re on the right path.
Whilst data is important, user satisfaction and happiness should be your core priority – because that’s what helps you to generate sales and keeps your business afloat.
Check in with your app users regularly through surveys and focus groups, continuously tweak and improve your app, and look at your product through the eyes of your target market rather than the eyes of an entrepreneur, and you’ll keep users happy and your app thriving.
If you need help with app development or app store optimisation, you can depend on the team here at Zudu. We’ve worked with brands such as the NHS and the BBC – and we’d love to work with yours, too! Give us a call on 01382 690 080 to arrange a free consultation.