Customer feedback can help you understand what features to add, what features to get rid of, and where to direct your development efforts. Adding it to your marketing plan is a no-brainer.

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But mobile app companies have a unique challenge. The big valley ranch. When it comes to communicating with customers, they’re at the hands of Apple and Google.

Because these two giants privatize your customers’ information, it’s impossible to get feedback in conventional ways. Unless your users create an account, you can’t email out a survey to a customer or email list, or search for your customers on social media. You have to be creative.

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Thankfully, mobile app companies have found savvy ways to get feedback from their users.

In this post, I’ll explain how you can learn what customers really think of your app:

Ask for Reviews

The simplest way to get feedback is to ask for reviews within the app. On both iOS and Android, developers can program a request for a user to rate the app, and leave a review.

The key is to find the perfect time to ask. Many mobile apps ask for ratings and reviews immediately, but this can annoy customers as they’re not yet familiar enough with the app to really give a score. Additionally, mobile app ratings aren’t just important for potential customers– they also affect how easily the app can be found in the App Store or Google Play Store.

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Alienware Support Drivers

Clear, a to-do list app for iOS, has found a clever time to ask for reviews. After users have used the app for a few weeks and checked items off their to-do list, Clear will ask for a review. At this moment, users are feeling happy about how productive they were, and are willing to share their positive feelings about the app.

Watch out: Once you have reviews, you need to read them and address your users’ issues. If you’re on the quest for positive reviews, it might be difficult to get the feedback you need to improve your app.

Use In-App Net Promoter Score (NPS) Surveys

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a way to measure general customer sentiment, but also allows customers to send individualized feedback. This process divides respondents into three groups: Promoters, Passives, and Detractors, based on how they answer the following question:

By measuring how many people would recommend your product, you’re able to learn your customer’s general sentiment.

NPS includes a follow-up question, as well, which asks users to explain their score. In the follow-up question, you’ll be able to get rich, individualized feedback that you can act upon.

The best part of NPS is that you can easily add it to your mobile app. The process is seamless for users– they don’t have to leave your app to give feedback. Wootric has mobile SDKs for Android and iOS, so you can add an NPS survey directly into your app and collect rich customer feedback immediately.

You can also prompt Promoters to review your app in the App Store, which will help your overall app ratings.

Watch out: NPS works best when you’re regimented about when you’re collecting data. You need to make sure you’re asking customers how they feel at the right times, whether the survey is triggered by events (user completes a task) or amount of time (user has had the app for 10 days).

Savvy Support Communities

You’re focused on mobile, but that doesn’t mean you should do everything from your app. A great way to collect customer feedback is to create off-app communities where users can voice their opinions, ask for help, and engage with your team.

Here are a few ways app companies can create communities:

Feedbackalienware User Support Definition

  • Offer support through social media (Twitter works well) and email
  • Create a blog that encourages users to share their stories. Make sure to have a comments section.
  • Create a web forum on your site to help users connect and share their experiences. UserVoice is a great product for gathering feedback and hearing from users.
  • Make sure there are tons of avenues for customers to get in touch directly with your team.

Watch out: Communities are great, but the process for collecting feedback isn’t seamless, as users have to leave the app. This can affect the amount and quality of the feedback.

Use Beta Tests

Mobile app developers often use beta tests to learn how customers feel about their apps, especially before releasing full versions.

“Beta testing does not need to be on a big scale or have to be overly complex to be useful,” wrote Mike Fine, Director at Center Code, a beta test management company, on Quora. “In fact, a mobile developer can execute a small test among his or her users to great success as long as a strict beta process is followed and best practices are used.”

On your website, you can collect potential beta users with a web form requesting their email addresses. Then, you’ll have a good way to communicate with these users as they explore your app.

Watch out: Make sure your beta tests follow best practices and that you use a refined process when asking for feedback. Don’t email back and forth with beta testers– instead, come up with a survey to send them.

Act Upon Mobile Feedback

Once you’ve got feedback from your mobile users, you need to act upon it. Otherwise, your customers will feel like their voices don’t matter, and that you’re not interested in creating a better experience for them.

Track the Right Metrics

Mobile is taking over the world, and in order to be successful, you need to be tracking the right metrics. You should track:

  • The percent of purchases made through mobile devices
  • The number of web visits from mobile
  • Time on site on mobile vs. your website
  • Number of daily installs, and their sources
  • Measuring the effectiveness of marketing initiatives

This post details more about must-have mobile metrics.

How to Mine Customer Feedback When You Have Tons of It

If you’re using automated feedback mechanisms, such as triggered requests for app reviews or NPS, then you might get inundated with customer feedback.

Focus on things that are easily quantifiable. For example, if you’re using NPS, you’ll easily be able to determine how many customers love your app, simply by seeing how many customers are Promoters.

If you’re not using NPS, you should search the feedback for common strains. Are many people complaining about bugs? Are people unhappy with how slow the app is?

How to Encourage Customers to Give Continuous Feedback

Sending out a survey once a year isn’t a great way to get feedback. It happens once, and you’ll spend the rest of the year wondering what customers are thinking.

In order to encourage customers to give continuous feedback, build feedback channels into the app experience. Come up with a schedule that’s triggered by a user’s actions.

For example, when they’ve been using the app for 10 days, ask for a review. After three months of active use, ask them to update their review.

Get Going

It’s challenging to get helpful feedback from mobile users, but with a little creativity and the right tools, it’s easily possible. Got any other ideas on how to get feedback from mobile app users? Let us know in the comments!

About the Author: Emma Siemasko is a freelance writer and content strategist who helps SaaS and mobile tech companies share their stories. She’s the founder of Stories by Emma, and you can connect with her on Twitter.

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