Any brand looking at attracting customers and retaining them pays specific attention to prevent customer dissatisfaction – and with good reason – your growth is directly proportional to the growth in quality. That is why businesses always strive to ensure their clients have positive opinions about them.

But when it comes to mobile apps, a lot of businesses ignore some very important things which help build their clients’ loyalty and help retain them. Here are top 5 pitfalls and how to avoid them.

1. No negative feedback ≠ no complaints

If you think this way, here’s a reality check. Yes, ideally a business would like to get no negative reviews. But having no negative reviews does not necessarily mean your clients have no complaints. For a lot of users, it is just easier and more convenient to delete an app than bother to leave a negative review for them.

What should I do?

Encourage your customers to share their feedback – even if it is negative. If they are happy with your service and ready to give a feedback, take them to the review page of your app. If they are unhappy, ask them for feedback – show them you care and are listening to them.

2. Ignoring complaints

Ideally, all customer complaints should be acknowledged and addressed on time. But it doesn’t always happen. A lot of companies ignore complaints coming in from social networking sites (think Facebook posts, Twitter rants)

Companies might not always be doing this on purpose though. The internet doesn’t switch off in the evening but customer support does. Customers never take days off from complaining, but support staff does. Sometimes businesses even ignore complaints in an attempt to shut them down. But this can at times have a snowball effect.

What should I do?

Try and keep the customer away from social media – give them options to give feedback and get a response within the app itself. This will ensure that the complaint is handled gracefully without giving  a negative impression to other clients, current or potential.

In-app feedback can be implemented in a couple of different ways. There’s always the manual route. Or you can use a tool like Intercom or UserEngage which provide pre-built chat systems you can use in your website or mobile apps for customer support.

With the rise of chatbots, that is another area you can explore to keep in touch with your customers. Read here how chatbots can help your business.

3. Ignoring onboarded users

Your app has been doing great, you are getting new customers and you have an amazing user journey mapped for onboarding new users. A new registration – send out a witty welcome email, first couple of uses – tell them they are doing great. But what clients who’ve been around for some time? Maybe the app’s just been sitting on their phones, forgotten. It is always cheaper to retain existing customers than attract new ones. So don’t ignore past users.

What should I do?

There are many ways to bring old customers back to your app. Sending out push notifications is something which helps keeping customers engaged. If your business benefits by them, ads are another good way of bringing back old users – show ads in other apps using services like Admob or iAds.

A third very good alternative available now is deep-linking your app with website and good SEO. This way when your content comes up in a search result, it can take the user directly to your app from the website.

4. Poor design

A lot of customers uninstall apps because of poor design or because they are forced to give details they are not comfortable sharing. Most app users prefer to navigate through an app without having the need to sign up, unless the feature absolutely demands it. Yet others prefer NOT to sign up using their social networking logins and use email registration instead. And they want the process to be straightforward.

Other faux pas which can prompt users to stop using an app or uninstall it include – intrusive ads, non-intuitive poor UI/UX, long loading times, too many notifications and privacy concerns.

What should I do?

When designing your app, talk to an expert. Hire a consultant who can help you with the best practices to keep customer engaged while not going overboard. Take into consideration ease of use, intuitive designs and non-intrusive behavior.

4. No personalization or customization

A lot of apps make the mistake of assuming all its users are the same. This leads to less-than-optimal experience for some users. Consumers these days expect an experience that offers personalised options to fulfil their needs.

What should I do?

Before you start your app’s development, think of all the different types of users it will have. Identify their preferences and usage patterns. A loyalty program for the masses is a thing of the past. Make a one-to-one connection with the customer instead. Giving them ideas or functionality based on the information you have available goes a long way in retaining users.

For instance, an app that suggests products based on the user’s past purchases or current cart OR an app that creates the user’s shopping list based on the recipe they are viewing or a ticketing app that gives them a discount offer for a restaurant near the theatre they are going to – these help to make sure the user keeps coming back to your app.

This post was written based on the experience we have gained over the past many years of building and marketing mobile apps for our clients. If you need any help in making your app more customer-centric, we would be happy to work with you.

Any new ideas and suggestions are welcome as well.

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