App developers make apps and go through a set procedure of testing it internally, QA, alpha/beta testing and more before it’s finally released. However, the real test starts when the end users, the customers for whom the app is designed to start using it.
Customer experience of using a mobile app is the litmus test. The real feedback comes in form of the customer ratings and reviews of the app. It’s always a great idea to use the alpha/beta testing of the app and release it to a limited audience instead of a full public release with version 1 of the app. Because your app will be released among the billions of apps that are already available in the playstore and Apple App store, unless it has something special or a standout feature, it might not even be noticed and might actually never be downloaded. It is even observed that once an app is downloaded, 90% of them aren’t used past a month.
Now, in order to make sure that your app is downloaded and actually used continuously, it is vital that the customer experience should be good. The users should love the app and their needs should be met in a way that the app becomes indispensable for them. There are several ways to keep a track of the app analytics and to gain insights on the usage patterns to tweak the app strategy without waiting for the users’ feedback. While Google Play and Apple App store also offer developers with a console with vital stats on the app performance there are a ton of other tools out there which give better insights about the app’s performance. Once the app developer has data directly from the usage patterns of the end customer, the tweaks which come in the apps make them even better to use.
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Here are the most common techniques of measuring the customer experience of a mobile app:-
1. Analytics tools
Besides the official integrated analytics from App store and Developer console, there are a lot of other 3rd party analytics tools which help get better insights on the app usage. These metrics can range from the in-app time spent, other apps used simultaneously, location, user demographics, type of data connection and much more. These tools also help in working as a backup in case there is any issue with the app store console. The more data a developer has the easier it becomes for him to fix the issues and upload a more polished app in the App store.
2. App ratings and Review Analysis
There is no better metric than this. Users rate the app and leave reviews which help the developer in understanding their experience. Anything less than 5 stars will have a review which is not favorable and shows there is a scope for improvement. Developers get 1st hand experience of where the user faced any issue, app crashes and where he would like to add some new features.
3. In App feedback
Most convenient way to get feedback one to one and anonymously from the users. This will make sure the app does not have bad ratings or reviews because the review and ratings will be just between the user and the developer rather than being publicly visible on the app listing in the app store.
4. Sessions Tracking
If the app has very small sessions then the developer might get an idea that the users are having some sort of difficulties in using the app or they are not interested in the app and have found better alternatives. There could be a lot of reasons for the smaller durations of the sessions and as such this is one of the better measures of customer experience.
5. 1st Time User dropping Accounts
First-time users always have the tendency of downloading the app and trying it out. But that same applies to the app discarding. The graph above shows the funnel of how the users are filtered and how the numbers decrease from the App store page view to installing to the final stage of sending/sharing the app with friends. At every stage, the numbers are dwindling because that’s the normal journey of a new user. It is important to learn from this customer experience and integrate steps where the new users are inclined to keep using the app.
6. Customer Sentiment
Consumer sentiment is a little tricky to measure but there are a number of factors which should give an idea of how they feel. Tools like Google Alerts, twitter mentions or mention of the apps on forums will let you know how customers feel about the app. There are tools like Awario, Mention and more which do a great job at tracking the brand mentions online.
7. User Demographics
When the developer knows what age group, what country, city, what gender people are downloading the app, he can add customizations to appeal to those demographics. The easiest example would be to translate the app in various languages and make more people engaged in those countries. Also, he may add features specific to such demographics to make it more exciting to them and get ideas as to what can be his biggest market.
These are just some of the factors which help developer measure the customer experience for their app. But they are good pointers to what can be fixed and how the app can retain users and grow organically. What’s your experience with apps? Do you have any favorites? Or Do you also have a short span of usage for most apps? etc.