Stellar customer experience is one of the most critical cornerstones of any successful app. This may seem counterintuitive at first—after all, aren't things like product features, load speed, and great mobile design far more important for an app?
Well, all of those things are important, but we're living in a world where people expect their customer experience to be every bit as good as (or better than) their user experience. Every interaction your customers have with your company—from your app to your website to your customer service representatives—impacts their experience with your product. The sooner your customer experience reflects this reality, the better it'll be for your business and your users' satisfaction with your app.
Here are nine tips you can use to supercharge the customer experience across your app and stay ahead of your competition.
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1. Talk to your customers
One of the precursors to offering an excellent customer experience is to, first, be able to deeply understand your customers. The best way to understand your customers is to talk to them!
"The best way to understand your customers is to talk to them!"
The 80/20 rule holds true across the business world, which suggests that a minority of your customers comprise the majority of your sales or other business activity (in the case of an app, this might translate to app usage). These are the customers that have used your app the most and will be able to offer the most valuable feedback for you. Talk to these folks, be it via phone call, in-platform messaging, or a user survey, to find out:
- Why they chose your product
- How they would describe it in their own words
- What they like about the product
- What they don't like about the product
Customers who are invested in having your product work for them will be solution-oriented, but the most valuable insights that can influence future development come from understanding the problems they face and how you go about addressing them.
You might also like: Why You Should Build Apps That Address Merchant Pain Points.
2. Conduct user surveys
User surveys are an easy, convenient way to collect feedback on your customers' experience using your app.
While your most fervent users can offer the best qualitative feedback, collecting more quantitative data requires a high number of responses, and customer feedback surveys are an easy, convenient way to achieve this.
You can also use surveys in tandem with prototype testing and lo-fi mockups as well as beta releases of new product features.
Here are a few tips to increase response rates:
- Keep it short. Avoid burdening survey responders with a long list of questions and ensure that your survey is short, concise, and quick to complete.
- Use a consistent rating scale. If you're asking customers to rate an aspect of their experience on a scale from 1 to 5, where 1 = "Strongly Disagree" and 5 = "Strongly Agree," and then in another question the options are reversed, you risk confusing customers and reducing response accuracy.
- Phrase questions in a neutral way. Leading questions can make or break response accuracy. Avoid asking something like, "We have recently rolled out an update to make our app the best-in-class. What is your honest feedback on the new version of the app?". Instead, try a question along the lines of, "What do you think of the recent updates?" This will keep your users from feeling suspicious or taken aback by your survey and encourage honest responses.
- Offer customers an incentive to respond. Whether it's an entry for a gift card raffle or a discount for a premium app feature, tangible incentives can encourage customers to take a few minutes out of their day to respond to your survey.
While there are different types of customer feedback tools, keep in mind that the mode of communication you use to send out a survey can also add biases in the type of feedback you get. For example, using email to send out a survey will typically have a lower response rate compared to in-app surveys. In-app surveys, on the other hand, are more likely to give you feedback from your most active, engaged customers.
You might also like: Conducting User Interviews: How to do it Right.
3. Set up clear communication channels
Make your contact information clear and lay out the phone number(s), email address(es), social media accounts, and hours at which you can be reached. It can be quite frustrating for customers to reach out to you with an urgent issue and then told to use a different channel instead.
Remember to also track important metrics like time-to-resolution to strategize ways to serve customers faster and reduce wait times.
Common communication channels include, but are not limited to:
- Live web calls and chat (video/audio/messaging)
- Social media accounts
- Phone calls
It might also be worth investing in an omnichannel communications platform that enables you to offer a seamless, integrated customer experience. With an omnichannel platform, it doesn't matter whether your customers contact you via phone call, email, or on social media—their communications can be stored in a centralized place where disparate service reps can access them and offer high-quality app support to users at the drop of a hat.
4. Review and analyze customer interactions
Customer service interactions can serve as a goldmine of information to help improve future efforts and coach your customer service and support agents. There are many tools that can help you transcribe calls, perform sentiment analysis, and alert you to the occurrence of specific keywords in a call or email.
Tracking key metrics, coupled with reviewing old messages and transcribed calls, can help you gain insight not only into how effectively you serve your customers but also any competitors who are mentioned, as well as frequently occurring issues that your team can dig into further.
You might also like: From a Leap of Faith to Building New Futures: The Chatdesk Vision of Creating New Jobs.
5. Read your reviews—the good ones and the bad ones
Read your reviews—the good and the bad—with an open mind. Reviews give you a fantastic opportunity to identify commonly used words, phrases, and adjectives so you can become aware of what customers like and dislike about your app. Try your best to understand negative reviews and respond to them when appropriate in an effort to help, guide, or clarify questions for frustrated users.
"Try your best to understand negative reviews and respond to them when appropriate in an effort to help, guide, or clarify questions for frustrated users."
You might also like: How to Get Reviews for Your Shopify Apps.
6. Track everything and build dashboards
Your reviews and customer service interactions are a gold mine of the most pertinent issues your customers face. One-off lookbacks at those spaces is not as effective as quantifying and digging into the data available to you at regular intervals.
Whether you use a ticketing system to track customer service interactions or something similar, you will gain the most value from being organized in how you collect and analyze the feedback on a monthly/quarterly basis—whatever makes the most sense for you! Be sure to:
- Tag and categorize all inquiries diligently
- Export the data at regular time intervals
- Compare the trends from one time period to the next
- Identify the biggest areas of change (E.g. In this quarter compared to last, a higher proportion of your interactions are related to onboarding inquiries. Why is that?)
The same can be true of reviews. This can help you get a pulse of how the perception of your app is changing and give you actionable insights as you iterate on your app’s feature set.
You might also like: Customer Service Strategy: How to Build, Augment, and Scale Your Support Offering.
6. Read your competitors' reviews
Along with keeping up with reviews for your app, it's also useful to read your competitors' reviews. Negative reviews, in particular, can shine a light on where their app experience is falling short for users, and areas where you can step in, identify your competitive advantage, and harness it to increase user engagement with your own app.
7. Understand your funnel
Develop a deep understanding of your app’s customer journey. Establish benchmarks across all stages of the buyer funnel, from onboarding to post-sales support to retention and advocacy. Useful metrics and benchmarks can include items like:
- First call resolution
- Backlog of unresolved issues
- Customer satisfaction ratings
- Churn rates
You can even use A/B testing to improve your customer calls and conversations. Test out different scripts and determine the most effective and helpful ways to communicate with your users.
You might also like: 8 Growth Metrics Every App Developer Should Track.
8. Keep track of feature requests
It's paramount to listen to your customers and take their feedback seriously, especially when it comes to feature requests. Lean into community-driven product development—if the desire for a specific feature or capability pops up frequently in your reviews and user surveys, it might be worth adding to your roadmap. Taking into consideration popular requests and giving your users what they want can help you improve your product experience and build customer loyalty.
"Taking into consideration popular requests and giving your users what they want can help you improve your product experience and build customer loyalty."
If there’s one thing to keep in mind here, it’s that you shouldn’t take every feature request at face value. Feature prioritization can be a whole article on its own, but generally the theme to keep in mind is to prioritize building features that give you the most payoff for the least amount of effort.
You might also like: Feature Creep: What Causes It and How to Avoid It.
9. Implement a referral or customer loyalty program
Create a positive feedback loop and give satisfied customers incentive to spread the word about your product by implementing a referral or customer loyalty program. Examples include reward points, discounts for premium app features, free storage space for every referral, and more.
There are quite a few benefits to implementing these types of programs, such as:
- Retain more customers: Offering up perks in exchange for customer loyalty can help you retain customers. Since attracting new users is typically more difficult and expensive than keeping existing ones satisfied, this can be an invaluable method to strengthen your customer base.
- Loyal customers help you create more customers: Customers trust referrals more than they do your average advertisement, and your most loyal customers will help bring in people they know to your app.
- You have an opportunity to increase engagement by gamifying the process: If you choose to implement systems like reward points, you will be able to increase engagement with your app and keep existing users satisfied and consistently checking in for more discounts, perks, and more.
Create a customer experience your users need—and expect
If you've read to the end of this article, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed at first. Do you really have to do all this to improve your customer experience? However, there's no need to fret. The most important takeaway from this is to simply focus on your customers.
What are they saying implicitly during customer service interactions or explicitly in reviews and surveys? How can you better support them at all stages of the customer service funnel? These are the questions you need to focus on, and you can start by simply talking to your users.
Aside from trying out the above tips and suggestions, it is also critical to gauge and track traditional customer service KPIs like your:
- Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT): This metric tells you how satisfied your customers are overall with your app.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS): This metric tells you how likely your customers are to recommend your app to others.
By experimenting with various strategies, communicating with your users, collecting both quantitative and qualitative feedback, and making data-driven decisions to increase engagement and retention, you can stay ahead of the competition and offer a customer-first experience that draws in new users while keeping your current ones satisfied.
How do you create an exceptional customer experience for your app users? Share your strategies in the comments below.