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The Five Stages of Reducing Mobile Customer Churn

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2020 Mobile App Engagement Benchmark Report

Apptentive’s annual mobile app engagement benchmark report serves as a baseline to help app publishers across categories understand their app’s engagement strengths and areas for improvement.

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Thanks for reaching out! While you wait for confirmation from an Apptentive team member, you may find these free resources to be of interest:

Guide

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Guide

The Five Stages of Reducing Mobile Customer Churn

Retention is a top priority for mobile marketers. Our new five-step framework is here to help you improve your existing strategy.

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Guide

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Guide

2020 Mobile App Engagement Benchmark Report

Apptentive’s annual mobile app engagement benchmark report serves as a baseline to help app publishers across categories understand their app’s engagement strengths and areas for improvement.

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Mobile Marketing

Webinar Recap: How Apps in Each Category Compare and Compete

Madeleine Wilson  //  May 21, 2019  //  45 min read

We recently hosted a webinar diving into how apps in different categories compare and compete. We took exclusive new data from our 2019 Mobile Customer Engagement Benchmark Report and segmented it by different app categories, including as Food and Beverage, Media, Retail, Travel, Lifestyle, and Finance.

In this webinar, Apptentive CEO and Co-founder, Robi Ganguly, and VP of Customer Success, Christy Culp, help you better understand how your app stacks up against others in your industry and provide key takeaways you can immediately implement in your own mobile strategy. Together, they uncover how engagement metrics impact an app’s discoverability, loyalty, and retention rates by drilling down into app store category specifics.

You’ll learn:

  • Category-specific tips to improve mobile customer engagement, retention, and feedback
  • How ratings and reviews impact each vertical, and how they stack up to each other
  • Average response rates to in-app surveys and messages by app category
  • Average interaction and response rates by app category
  • Actionable tips to overcome these challenges, no matter your starting point

You can watch the full webinar below.

TRANSCRIPT

Victoria: Hello and welcome. I’m Victoria Jackson, Marketing Manager here at Apptentive. Today, we are super excited to share new exclusive data from our 2019 Mobile Benchmarks by App Category report. Today, our presenters are Robi Ganguly, Apptentive CEO, and Christy Culp, Apptentive VP of Customer Success.

Before we start, a couple of general housekeeping notes:*

  • First, if you have anything to ask Christy or Robi about the topics covered today, or customer communication tips in general, please submit your questions using the open-ended Q&A field in Zoom. You can find that at the center and bottom of your screen. We have saved quite a bit of time at the end for Q&A, and we definitely want to hear from you, so please submit those questions.
  • Second, throughout the webinar, we will be asking our own questions, which you’ll see through polls that will pop up on your screen.
  • And lastly, you can engage with us and the panelists on Twitter using #AppBenchmarks, or by following along our Apptentive account live tweets. We’ll be sharing links there for all the resources that we’re covering today.

*Editor’s Note: These housekeeping notes applied to live webinar attendees only. If you’d like to submit questions, please Tweet at us using #AppBenchmarks.

For today’s agenda, we’ll be covering how customer centricity is no longer a nice-to-have, regardless of what industry you’re in or your app category, also how apps in each category compare and compete according to engagement benchmarks, and industry-specific tips for apps in each featured category. We’ll be providing key takeaways that you can implement in your own mobile strategy, and, of course, we’ll have our Q&A. And with that, I’ll hand it over to Christy and Robi.

Robi: Awesome. Thanks, Victoria. Good morning. My name is Robi Ganguly, Co-Founder and CEO of Apptentive. And I’m here to introduce a little bit about us and why this is relevant to you. So, who is Apptentive? Apptentive is a company that has been super focused on collecting customer feedback for many years. We are privately held and have powered over a quarter of a billion customer conversations. We boost engagement over 23x from traditional methods, we work with over 6,000 organizations, and we really focus on why customers feel the way that they do.

What this means for you is that we’ve been working with many of the world’s most customer-obsessed brands for years. And as a result, this webinar is to share some of the data that we see across industries that are relevant to you and to your business to help you understand what the best in the world they’re doing, what you can expect, and how to think about the future paths for listening to your customers.

Today’s customer really expects a truly extraordinary customer experience. That means that your company, your brand, the experiences you provide are not just in competition with people in your category, they’re in competition with people like Amazon, Uber, and Starbucks, who have managed to make the mobile device a one-click ordering platform for convenience and extraordinary experiences. But, in pursuing that, many of you are really struggling because most brands really only hear from less than 1 percent of their customers. That is to say that the vast majority of your customers are truly silent.

Many of you who’ve gotten familiar and comfortable with listening to what we think of as a vocal minority, particularly people who are complaining, and some of you are fortunate enough to have a really loyal set of customers who are also vocal in their support of you. But most of you are hearing from less than 1 percent of your customers and as a result, the vast majority of your customers are not represented in the feedback. That really, really truly puts you in a challenging place because today’s utmost best experience companies are really fed based upon feedback.

Feedback is really crucial to making product decisions about the future. Whether you’re working at Starbucks, or you’re working at Concur, if you are to predict the future, you need more of it. The people we work with these days say that more feedback is always better, and yet you are struggling because there is a response crisis. At the same time that companies are trying to get customer-centric, fewer and fewer customers are actually choosing to respond to traditional methods of collecting feedback via online surveys, email surveys, phone calls, and panels in person. Less than 5 percent of your customers will actually answer most of these things or tell you anything before they leave. In fact, 19 out of 20 customers will leave when they’re unhappy without telling you anything at all, which makes it very hard for you to predict the future, extraordinarily hard to figure out what’s going on.

This leads to the most important thing: a huge loss in revenue. When customers have a bad experience, they leave really quickly. In fact, over half of them will start engaging with other companies, checking them out, seeing what the services and offerings are like. Half of them will quit doing business immediately with you, and a quarter of them will actually go out and say stuff negatively. So, this means that this response crisis leads to a dramatic decrease in revenue from existing customers.

But there is some good news in all of this negativity, that is, in mobile, response rates have been climbing year after year over the past 10 years.

While we’ve seen a decline in online survey response rates and opt-in to push notifications, one bright spot is the response rates inside of the digital experience, whether it’s on your website or in your app, have been climbing year over year. And so that’s what we’re here to talk to you about, is what we’ve been seeing and how this is helping companies out. One really meaningful metric that we’d like to leave you with is that just by reaching out, proactively to talk to companies, you are seeing customers four times as likely to continue using your app three months later. So just by actually getting proactive and reaching out to your customers, you can increase your retention with your customers. Really big winning point and kind of the jumping off point for the rest of this.

But before we go into some of the benchmarks that are really specific to our customer base, and to you, we want to start off by asking you a question. How often do you base your business decisions off of your customers’ feedback? We want to use this to kind of judge our audience and help you understand at the end of this how many of your peers there were. So, we’ll get this poll going. And you should be seeing the poll now. We’ll wait for a couple minutes…a couple seconds for you to take a look at that and quickly answer it, and then I will hand it off to Christy, talk about some of the benchmarks. Great. To you, Christy.

Interaction and Response Rates

Christy: Alright. Thank you, Robi. So, before we get started on some of the actual metrics, I wanted to take just a minute to talk about our methodology and the report itself. So, to complete our Mobile Benchmark Report, we did analyze customer apps for all of 2018. There is a ton of additional data in the report that we’re not going to go over here. We’re also doing some blog posts and releasing the individual category data. So, please make sure if you’re interested in reading some more, understanding more about our methodology, more about our benchmarks, go ahead and take some time to actually download a copy and go through the benchmark report.

Alright. So, today, we’re actually going to take an in-depth look at how different app categories compare in six areas. Those are interaction and response rates, the Love Dialog, which is Apptentive’s metric that reflects overall customer happiness, survey response rates, in-app messages, ratings and reviews, and then last but not least, sentiment for open-ended feedback.

So, we will go through each of those different categories, starting with interaction and response rates. So, this refers to the percentage of customers that companies are talking to throughout the year, and the percentage of customers that are actually answering back. So on average, companies that work with Apptentive actually interacted with 25 percent of their customer base in 2018, which is way up from a 12 percent interaction rate in 2017. By partnering with our Customer Success team to create communication strategies, to understand how they’re going to interact throughout the year, our customers are just getting more and more comfortable with engaging with a large percent of their audience on a more regular basis throughout the year.

App customer interaction rate by app category

So, in this particular group, leading the way is actually the Lifestyle category, who interacted with a whopping 44 percent of their customer base throughout the year. Lagging quite far behind here is the Travel category, who only interacted with 14 percent of their customers last year. So, the reason for a lot of this is while Apptentive customers are absolutely best-of-breed when it comes to customer centricity, about using their customers to guide their roadmap, things like that. A lot of our customers in the Travel industry were very concerned in 2018 about being noisy and annoying to customers. They were much more hesitant than apps in other industries to talk to a wide base of their customers. That’s a huge reason for the gap of, you know, 14 percent interaction rate for them to the overall average of 25 percent, and obviously, companies in the Lifestyle category have just figured out exactly how to get that cadence going off talking to customers more regularly over time to create that relationship with them. So, if you don’t hit the benchmark, and the average interaction rate, you’re actually missing an opportunity to interact with customers where they are already are. So, people in your mobile app, they are basically there to engage with you and to use your product. If you’re not taking the time to talk to them there, you’re really missing out on meeting those customers and understanding who they are, exactly where they are. While noise is absolutely a valid concern, we urge you to also remember that in order to engage with your customers, and to make them feel part of your brand, you do have to initiate that contact.

And this actually becomes important in the next section, which is the response rate. So, what happens when you reach out to your customers? We’ve found that people respond! So, overall, companies that work with Apptentive saw a 91 percent response rate for all interactions they sent to customers. That means that for every single piece of content you put out to your customers, 91 percent of them are responding to you and are giving you feedback on how things are going. It’s a tremendously high rate. And, actually, between app categories, we didn’t see much variance in response rate.

App customer response rate by app category

So, Lifestyle, which you remember had a 44 percent interaction rate, actually has a 92.5 percent response rate across all interactions. So, that’s only 1.5 percentage points lower than Travel, which, as you remember, are not talking to as many of their customers. So, companies are really working to make sure that interactions are really relevant to their customers, and that they’re timely, and it’s really helping them to engage with people.

So, what this all highlights is that if you’re paying attention to the right place, right time, and right audience, you’re talking to the right people, you’re doing it at a time that is relevant to them with more interactions, you won’t come across as noisy or annoying. People want to interact with you.

Ask yourself, what percentage of your customer base are you talking to, and more importantly, what percentage of those customers are actually responding back to you? If you’re not hearing from at least a quarter of your customers, your competitors are likely outperforming you.

Tips for Apps in All Categories

So, I have some tips that I want to go through for how to get those interaction rates up, and how to get those response rates up. We’re actually going to go through these tips in every single category.

First, one thing that we like to recommend is starting with a really simple question. At Apptentive, we start with the question of, “Do you love the app? Do you love the company?” We call this the Love Dialog, and it helps our customers to gauge their customer sentiment over the lifetime of the app. It’s really lightweight and provides a very non-invasive way to start a dialogue with your customer. One quick question we have, you know, response rates here are over 90 percent. So basically, if you’re just asking a quick yes-or-no question, it’s a great way to gauge how your customers are doing without requiring much from them, and we’re really seeing high response rates there.

The second tip here is to be in-tune with your app and app experience. The surest way to tank your response rate is to reach out to customers at inopportune times. So pay attention to your app flow, and stay away from talking to customers when they’re in the middle of trying to complete a task. Also, make sure that customers have enough experience with the app, so they’ve used it long enough, they’ve used enough features to actually provide good feedback for you.

The third tip is have a communication plan. This is kind of the bread and butter of what the customer success team kind of does, but really understand what you’re trying to accomplish over the quarter or over the year with regard to customer feedback and communication. This will help to ensure you’re spreading out that communication and speaking with a broad group of your customers over time. Having a plan makes the idea of talking to customers a lot, a lot less scary.

And then the last tip I have in this area is don’t be afraid to talk to more people. The way we like to explain it is think of it as a brick-and-mortar location. If somebody went into a store, and nobody acknowledged the customer when they came in, it wouldn’t be acceptable to customers at almost any type of business or for any customers.

App best practices

So, in today’s digital landscape, you have to think about your mobile device in the same way that you think about that in-app experience to stay competitive. So, interacting with customers helps them along their journey and builds the relationship with you, builds the relationship with your brand. So it’s up to you to actually start that conversation. The only way to do that is to be willing to talk to your customers. So with that, I’m going to turn this over to Robi, who’s going to talk about our Love Dialog.

Love Dialog Response Rates, by App Category

Apptentive love dialog

Robi: Thanks, Christy. So, Christy talked about some of the interactions that we have, in particular, pointed at the Love Dialog. I’m here to talk about that because it’s one of the core capabilities that we have introduced into the world and that hundreds of millions of people have interacted with. The reason this is really important is that emotional connections to your brand today matter more than ever. When we talk about customer centricity and customer love, we’re not really talking about this euphemistically. We’re talking about this actually. If you don’t have a real emotional connection with your customers, the likelihood of them leaving when they have a negative experience is really high, as we talked about it earlier.

So, our Love Dialog is a really super simple way to start understanding where your customer is on their emotional journey with you. It’s a very simple question that has yes or no answer. “Do you love our company or our brand or our app experience” are recommended questions. And just by answering that question, then we can take people on a different journey. So, for many years, we’ve been helping brands take them, the evangelists, on journeys to potentially rate in the App Store or to bring them into new features and take a survey about those new features, or to cross-sell, or upsell, or even share things on social. Conversely, when somebody says that they’re not having a great time, and they don’t yet love your company or brand, your experience, that’s a great time to go deeper with them.

Our Love Dialog allows you to very quickly get an answer to this question and then continue the journey with the customer dependent upon what is really important to them and relevant. As we’ve done this over the years, we’ve seen that there are many, many different ranges of responses to this Love Dialog, and in particular, across the industries that we’re talking about. Today, we see that in Finance, which is somewhat counterintuitive for many people, people have a very high Love Ratio. And we think that the reason around this is that financial decisions, especially people that you choose to borrow money from, or where you keep your money, are really long-term decisions, and if you’re not happy, you will switch. But, if you’re staying with somebody on a regular basis, we’re seeing really high Love Ratios. At the low end of the spectrum, we see that Media companies tend to have a lower Love Ratio show oftentimes because we deal with many Media companies that we consume our Media from, whether they’re different movie studios, or television channels, or potentially even going to YouTube. There are so many Media choices out there that we have less loyalty and less emotional connection overall.

Love Dialog response rates

You’ll see that the overall, right here in the middle, response, or Love Ratio is about 68 percent. That’s the average across all the industries that we see. So Travel, Shopping, and Finance are above that, and Food and Drink, Lifestyle and Media are below that. In addition to answering the Love Dialog, we also ask people more detailed questions. We work with our customers to really understand sentiment across the various app categories. And so what’s really important to understand about this is that you and your category are very specific. The experiences you’re creating for your customers are much more competitive with one another and so we really try to focus on comparing yourself to Love Ratio within your category and sentiment within your category. This is because the consumer response to the Love Dialog, the yes-or-no question, is just the first step, and then getting into the details, so the actual feedback, whether it’s open-ended messages or responses to surveys, will teach you more about the expectations your consumers have for happiness across your app category. And so then the amount of choice also really impacts this, too. The final point here is that in some categories, there are only three or four players, and in other, there are hundreds. And so when we think about that choice, it also will impact sentiment.

Helping customers really understand about the sentiment and the Love Dialog is one of the things that we provide as a service. We help apps in all categories really identify the fans and the risks and treat them differently. We think that one of the most important things that each company should be doing is focusing on the right time and right place. So, for example, in the Media industry, trying to ask people sentiment before they’ve consumed any of your media, maybe before they’ve even decided to log in with your service is not the appropriate time. But if you are in the Travel category, as they’re browsing for flights, you might find that those are really meaningful and important times to ask for sentiment because people might be struggling with your interface. So, each app and each experience has its own set of right time, right place that you should be looking for. What you’re really supposed to be focusing on is happier customers. So the Love Ratio, the benchmarks we’ve given you, while they are guidelines, and they’re useful because we have a lot of data, the Love Ratio is not the end-all-be-all. Really, what you’re trying to do is get in front of enough customers to understand how their journey is going and to make them happier and figure out how to solve any problems.

And finally, it really, really is important for you to understand and act on this changing sentiment. We think that a lot of companies measure just to measure. And as you’re hearing from us talk about the benchmarks, one of the things that we say over and over again is get proactive, talk to more customers. So, if you’re going to get proactive and talk to more customers, you also have to put action into what you’re going to do afterwards. If you do not spend enough time acting on and changing that sentiment by taking the actions necessary, you will lose customers, regardless of if you’re measuring. So let’s talk about survey response rates. I’m going to hand this over to Christy to get into more detail.

Survey Response Rates by App Category

Christy: Great. Thanks, Robi. Okay. With survey response rates, in 2018, companies that work with Apptentive saw an all-time high survey response rate of 19 percent. Not only is this substantially higher than what we had seen in prior years, 13 percent in 2016, 17 percent in 2017, but it widely outperforms the average of 1 percent response rate that people have in different kinds of areas like email, or the really long web surveys.

Response rates to in-app surveys

The companies we work with are doing something right with surveys. I’ll get into some tips and tricks around how to get your actual benchmark numbers up. But, I want to talk through some of the differences we see here. We do see a varied response rate across all app categories. With Finance apps receiving the highest response rate of 22 percent, and Media apps receiving the lowest at 12.5 percent. While higher survey response rates are always better, there are a number of reasons that you could have lower response rates without it really being a bad thing. A lot of it really depends on how you’re trying to show your survey, what methodology you’re using. For instance, if you want to cast a really wide net to all of your customers and just get really basic feedback from a group of customers, it’s not likely going to yield as high a response rate as a highly targeted survey that’s very relevant to a small number of participants, that’s obviously going to have a higher response rate. So, both types of surveys are incredibly useful. It’s really important for you just to understand going into it, what you’re really trying to get out of it, what your methodology is that you’re going to use.

There are, though, some industry-specific reasons for different response rates, and I’d like to talk about three of those right now in-depth. The first is that Media apps face a really difficult and unique challenge because it’s hard to know the right threshold for reaching out to customers. So, people consume a large amount of content on Media apps when they’re going through and looking at videos, reading articles, different things like that, and it can be challenging to guess the appropriate number of pieces of content that a customer’s consumed, at which they will have enough experience to give you feedback. So, a lot of the reason that we see the lower response rate here is, you know, really just kind of trial and error on understanding like what is that sweet spot for experience in the app to actually reach out and get feedback from people.

The tip I have here is the more data that your teams are collecting around average usage, and the more they’re willing to leverage that when creating their surveys, the more targeted you can be on, you know, when you should speak to somebody what the appropriate time is, and the higher response rate you’re going to have.

The second thing is that when it comes to Shopping or Retail apps, it can be really difficult to understand timing based upon the consumption cycle. So, for those apps, in particular, you don’t ever want to stop a customer from shopping and from buying things in your app. However, when the purchase is complete, the consumer is normally done, and they’re going to leave the app. So, it’s really hard to find that balance of like not being interruptive but of actually getting customer feedback. So the response rates in this area, can be in Shopping, can be a little lower than the average just based on that. And, you know, the best recommendation I have here is, if you’re an Apptentive customer, work with your Customer Success Manager, if you’re not, just really think through exactly what your business goals are, and what your customer goals are, and work to marry those so you’re not being interruptive to the customer, but you’re also getting what you want out of the survey.

And then the third thing is that apps in the Food and Beverage and Finance categories tend to be skilled at using the WHERE targeting. So understanding, for Apptentive, we allow you to have separate targeting of who you’re going to connect with, and then also where you’re going to show the survey. And people in Finance and Food and Beverage are very good at getting that WHERE targeting right, which causes really high interaction rates. Oh, sorry, which causes really high response rates. They may not have as many people that see the interactions, just based upon the fact that they are really targeted, but when they actually present something to somebody, they are willing to take that survey. The reason for this is because, like take Food and Beverage, for example. If somebody is coming in to do like an order on the app, you don’t want to interrupt that flow, you don’t want to stop that person from completing that purchase. So, those apps tend to have WHERE events that are a lot more relevant to other parts of their app that maybe people hit less often, but that are not intrusive. The same is true for Finance. So, we see better response rates there just because they’ve become really skilled at getting that WHERE location right.

Alright. So, now I’m going to go through some tips on bumping up your survey response rates.

The first is, keep it short and sweet. So real estate is very limited on mobile devices, but even on a desktop, nobody wants to take the time to answer a 30-question survey. If you can keep your questions or your surveys short and sweet, no more than four to six questions at most, that’s going to be ideal. And if you can present a micro-survey of just one question, you’re going to yield higher results than trying to make somebody scroll through 30 questions.

The second tip I have is to have a goal in mind. Understand from the beginning what you’re trying to answer with the survey. This will help you to tailor your questions to make sure that they are fitting that goal and be really ruthless. If there’s a question on there that does not help you to meet your goal, pull that question from the survey. It’s just taking up screen real estate, and it’s not going to help you to get the high response rates.

The third tip is to ask for open-ended feedback. So, close-ended surveys are great where people can just pick from a list of answers, but the real value comes from allowing your customers to express themselves in free form. So, adding open-ended questions will allow your customers to help you uncover issues or high points in the app that maybe your internal team was not aware of, or hadn’t considered. This, I can’t stress enough. With our customers, this has been some of the ways that they have uncovered some unknown issues that people have with their app and app experiences. So make sure to give your customers a place where they can give you open-ended feedback.

And the last tip that I have is close the loop. As often as possible, follow up with your customers who’ve taken surveys to let them know the results. And if you’re going to be fixing some things, what features you’re going to be working on, basically just work to let them know that they’re heard. The more they feel engaged with you, and like their surveys are making a difference, the more willing they’re going to be to give you feedback in the end. So please make sure to close the loop with your customers.

In-app survey best practices

Alright. Now, I’m going to actually talk about in-app messaging. Apptentive offers an in-app messaging platform that we call Message Center that allows companies to talk back and forth with their customers inside the app, versus having to move the conversations to email, to phone, or to another medium. And in 2018, we saw a tremendous uptake in Message Center usage, with some big customers adopting the tool. Importantly, we actually saw a 76 percent increase in the number of customers that were talking to, companies in the app from the year before. So, leading the way in this area were the Retail apps, who saw over 5,000 messages per app from their customers in 2018.

The one thing I want to stress here is that more is not necessarily better when it comes to Message Center, and a lot of factors contribute to the volume here. So, the way that you implement Message Center, whether you’re using it more passively or actively, you know, whether you’re waiting for the customers to come to you, or you’re presenting them with the ability to talk to you in Message Center, that is going to change the volume here. If you’re using it as your main customer care center versus just using it as some app feedback, that’s going to change volume, and then, of course, the number of people that you actually have using your app on a regular basis is going to affect this number. So we find that apps in the top four categories here tend to use Message Center more as their primary customer care center for their customers, while apps in places like Media and Food and Beverage, who have very high active user accounts and a more complicated relationship with a brand to a brick-and-mortar location, or the brand to the app, tend to use Message Center more sparingly. So, the real takeaway here is just to help you to understand how apps in different categories utilize Message Center and what they’re seeing as far as communication goes. But I do have some tips for you if you are thinking of using some kind of in-app messaging.

In-App Messaging Tips

So the first is, do not be afraid of two-way communication. We see this quite often that companies, you know, think that the volume is going to be too high, think that they’re not going to be able to keep up with two-way communication. There are ways, particularly with Apptentive, but with also other tools out there, that you can set customer expectations of who you’re going to respond back to, at what point you’re going to respond back. You can also, as I mentioned, be more passive or more active in presenting customers with Message Center.

There is a way for you to create this two-way communication loop inside your app even with limited resources. So, don’t shy away from that two-way communication center or two-way communication channel just because you think the volume is going to be too high.

The second tip I have is to be consistent and set response expectations. This goes into what I just mentioned, but make sure that you’re letting your customers know what to expect. It’s actually okay to provide them with a place to give you open-ended feedback that they know you’re reading and listening to and to let them know that you can’t respond to every single inquiry. Just setting that expectation helps the customer to know, you know, what they should expect from your brand, helps them to know how things will work, and as long as you’re being consistent and actually living up to those expectations, it’s going to be a great experience for your customers.

The third one is make it accessible. So don’t bury this, you know, tendon deep. Make it something that is prominent to the customers, whether that be, you know, adding on each page, like a little “Contact us” area, or maybe in the hamburger menu of your app, just make it easy for customers to find a way to talk to you, because we know that they will go and find ways to talk to you, you know, either through social channels, through the App Store, different things like that. If you make it too hard, they will take their messages, their issues that they’re having to public channels, where you can’t really solve anything. So make sure it’s easy and accessible for people to find this feedback channel.

And then the last tip I have is let your customers know that their voices are heard. So, even if you can’t get back to people one-to-one, please make sure to close the loop with customers. If you know that people have had an issue with a particular, you know, bug that you’ve had, or something like that, there are ways to create groups and send out group messages to people to let them know that you’ve fixed something. There are ways to send, you know, a blast to all of your customers to let them know about the updates and changes you’re making. Again, the more you can let customers know that their problems are being addressed and that they’re being heard, the more likely they are to give you feedback in the future, and of course, the more affinity they’re going to feel to your brand, the more loyalty they’re going to have. So make sure to follow up. And with that, I’m going to turn things back over to Robi to talk about star ratings.

In-app two-way messaging

Star Ratings and Reviews

Robi: Thanks, Christy. I love that last point, “Let people know that their voices are heard.” We’re going to spend a little time talking about star ratings in App Stores where it’s really hard to let people know that they’ve been heard.

So, we know that people pay a lot of attention to this inside of companies, that people’s App Store rankings, their star reviews are visible to everybody inside the company, and these days, it seems like everybody has an opinion on them, whether it’s the CEO coming and asking why somebody rated you two stars in your newest release, or it’s somebody on the marketing team coming and telling you that you really need an Apple Watch app. Everybody’s got an opinion on what’s going on with apps these days, and because the App Store is so visible, a lot of folks spend a bunch of time really paying attention to this. So we’re going to talk to you about some of the metrics that we see, and ways to contextualize them, and also to graduate to thinking harder about sentiment, not just star ratings.

Average app store star rating for different industries

So first and foremost, some benchmarks around this. The Food and Drink category and the Shopping category, which have, I think, as we’ve been talking about, some really vocal customers, customers who use the apps potentially daily, if not weekly, have also, commensurate a much larger volume of ratings. You can see here that on average, in the Food and Drink category, we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of ratings, but then down in the Finance and Media categories, we’re talking about somewhere between 10 and 50,000 ratings, so much, much fewer. A lot of this has to do with frequency and competition. As we were talking about earlier, Finance has really, really high Love Ratios because will people choose a bank and stay with it for a long time. We think that’s associated with loyalty and emotional connections. But as a result, people are switching less often, and when they’re switching less often, they’re speaking less often. So it’s not uncommon to be in the Finance vertical and see that your app only has 1,000 or 2,000 ratings. Conversely, if you’re in the Food and Drink vertical, and you only have 1,000 or 2,000 ratings, you probably have a meaningful problem, and that you haven’t really attracted enough customers, and they don’t care enough about you. Overall, we see somewhere between 40 and 50,000 ratings as being the average on iOS by app.

Reviews, you’ll notice are on a much different scale, right? So there is a difference between being able to give a star rating and then giving a full review. They are two levels of commitment, and with the introduction of in-app rating that came with iOS 11 almost two years ago, we’ve seen a real increase, especially in the iOS ecosystem in ratings, but we’ve seen a decrease in reviews. And so, similar to the volume that we just showed you, much higher volume in Food and Drink, but that volume instead of being 150,000 reviews, we’re now talking about 12 to 1,500, or 12 to 1,500 reviews, as opposed to 150,000 ratings. Sorry. And then in Finance, we see hundreds of reviews, not thousands, not tens of thousands, hundreds per app. And again, this has to do with the level of commitment it takes, and in iOS, the level of commitment is pretty significant. So, when we think about the App Store rating, it’s just a number. It’s a really simple metric, it’s easy for people to tap and then move on about their day. And when we think about reviews, this is where a lot of PMs get their most meaningful information. And when you have a low volume, say less than 1,000 reviews, it’s very hard to discern what’s going on for your customers and why they’re unhappy. This is a gap that’s causing more and more frustration in the ecosystem.

Average number of app reviews by industry

On Android, we see a similar dynamic but much, much different volumes. We see in the Food and drink category, we see about 7 to 8,000 reviews per app, so much, much higher number of reviews per app. We think that some of this is attributable to the differences in rules between the two ecosystems, that in iOS, you can reset your entire App Store rating and reviews, and that version to version, there’s a pretty significant difference and some folks choose to delete their previous history. In Android, it’s all cumulative. You cannot delete your previous history. Just last week at I/O, the Google Play team announced they’re going to be doing a little bit of changes to their algorithm, but they’re not going to allow you to delete your history. So we will continue to see, we think, a much larger number of reviews by category. But the main takeaway here is while the volumes of reviews in Android are higher than they are in iOS, the proportion is pretty similar. Food and Drink has a much higher proportion of reviews than the average Finance app. And the overall app in Android land has about 1,700 to 2,000 reviews.

Let’s get into this in a little bit more detail, though, because, if we’re going to talk just about App Store ratings, and we’re talking about the fact that most of the volume lives there as opposed to in the reviews, the breakdown is really interesting. And what we see in the breakdown is that you’re much more likely to have one-star reviews in Food and Drink category and the Media categories, right? When we’re talking about 17 percent and 13 percent of App Store ratings and Food and Drink and Media are one star, you’re seeing a lot of unhappy customers going to the App Store to use their voice. Conversely, in Shopping, particularly the Retail sector, and in Travel, we’ve got almost more than three-quarters of people giving five stars. So the folks who are going to the App Store and choosing to rate and talk about it through a number system are much higher at the five star and in Shopping and Retail. And so, you know, the key takeaway around this is, as you’re thinking about your app, and you’re looking at your category, if your ratios do not reflect this, if they’re either much better on the five-star end, or much worse on the one-star end, there’s a challenge that you’re facing in public perception. You’re not meeting the overall curve that is likely for your category, and that’s how we use this data.

Business impact of star ratings for your app

Really, what star ratings come down to, in addition to the currency that a lot of people in your company can talk to you about this, is what does it do for decision making? And what we found after doing studies year after year with consumers is that the difference between a two-star app and a three-star app is really meaningful. So going from a 2-star app to a 3-star app can see somewhere on the order of a 3x improvement in the conversion rate. And really, when we think about the difference between a two-star app and a five-star app, is that a five-star app will see 570 percent increases in conversion rate versus a two-star app. So, as you’re thinking about what do these numbers mean, what do these star ratings mean, when you’re under four stars, you’re losing a tremendous amount of conversion. That is the people who come to your App Store page are much less likely to download the app. Yes, your app might be free, but it comes with a space requirement. And if people are looking at your App Store rating, and it says it’s three stars, what that says to most consumers is, “It’s not worth my time.” But if they look at it, and it says four stars, they’re 90 percent more likely to download that app. And that boost is pretty significant for both your paid marketing and organic marketing efforts, and it’s part of the reason why both App Stores will take four-star apps and move them into the top of the list much more frequently than they will take a three or a three and a half star app up.

So, some tips around star ratings and reviews. Start by understanding your existing customer sentiment between your fans and detractors. This should, at this point, be a little bit resonant of multiple things that we’ve talked to you about with the Love Dialog. Understanding where your customers are, whether they’re fans or they’re detractors, is a really important way to differentiate and think about how people are going to the App Store and what they’re talking about. The second piece of this, so is if you understand that and you provide a place for your detractors to actually talk to you instead of forcing them to the App Store, you will see a difference in your App Store rating, which, as we talked about, is really important for conversion, but you’re also going to get much more feedback from them. That huge gap between ratings volume and review volume is the gap of understanding that really, really needs to be fixed. If you are not hearing from your detractors directly inside your app, it’s likely that they’re not really saying enough in the App Store for you to figure out their problems. You have to intercept that feedback. You have to give people a way to talk to you very simply.

When you’re talking about ratings and reviews, we can’t stress this enough, it’s not as much about the quantity as it is about the quality. Are you getting a representative sample of people to talk about you publicly? If so, that’s great. That’s high quality. Your understanding what’s really going on, and future customers for your app are getting to understand what’s going on. If you’re just focused on quantity, you’re more likely to end up in a place where you’re not learning as much, your team is not as sophisticated. But let’s get a little bit more into that, because I’ve been talking about ratings, a lot of people talk about ratings, but the why behind the ratings is what’s much more important.

So we want to talk about sentiment and how that is distributed. You see, our tools help a lot of customers. Instead of using the App Store rating function and the review function to get feedback, our tools help people to get feedback directly inside the app and understand why customers are happy or unhappy. And what we’ve learned is that the sentiment distribution in private feedback channels is much, much different from public feedback channels, like App Store reviews. So what does that mean? Well, it means that when you hear from customers directly in your app using open-ended messages, you get a much richer picture of what’s happening. So, for example, in the Shopping category, what we’ve seen is there’s a lot of negative feedback that is untapped.

In previous screens, I was showing you that the average Shopping and Retail app was having, you know, somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 App Store reviews, but when they go to a private mechanism feedback, you can see hundreds of thousands of negative comments. And these comments come with a lot more information to discern what’s going on with your app and what you need to improve. Importantly, for product management teams, this is where a lot of road mapping comes in. When you’re able to take out the negative reviews from your highest value customers, then you can discern where you need to go next. Conversely, there is a lot of positive feedback, pieces of feedback that are available to you that you’re maybe not seeing in the App Store that can help your team understand where you’re really winning and where you’re differentiating.

So, for example, if you’re one-click checkout in your e-commerce app is tremendously favorable on its sentiment from customers, you and your team can feel like, “This is a place where we really nailed it, and we can double down on our advantages.” And if you’re seeing a lot of negative reviews…negative feedback coming in in a private manner telling you that some of your pricing is off, that can help you take some of these initiatives to the marketing and merchandising teams to understand, you know, “Where’s the wiggle room around pricing and how can we make a better experience?”

Across each and every one of these verticals, we see different ratios, so it’s important for you to, again, benchmark yourself against yours. But if you look at the volume, just on the negative column, you’ll understand that this is not what’s happening in the App Store. The public places for feedback are not giving you the richness that is available to you in a private manner. When we compare this, you know, looking at the App Store reviews, what we’re talking about here is the fact that a lot more of this stuff is tending towards the positive. So, this ratio has been shifted from the previous slide where I was talking about private feedback. The public feedback has a lot more positivity and a lot of shorter character length. And so, again, this is an indication of how much less you’re able to learn from your customers, and how the ratios of feedback that show up in the App Store and in public places are really, you know, not in lockstep with what you’re seeing privately.

We found that customers of ours are using surveys in order to really get a lot more volume and a lot more understanding from their customers but to do it in a way that’s really customer-friendly. If you think about surveys, in particular, one of the things that is an advantage is that you can structure your answers, then you can put out three or four choices, and people can pick what’s most appropriate to them, and you can give an outlet, an open-ended feedback question that will allow people to tell you more. And so then when you open up surveys, you end up getting even more feedback than you would if you’re just asking for open-ended feedback the way an App Store review is or the way our Message Center is. So when people use our surveys and open-ended feedback, these volumes climb pretty significantly. So what we’re talking about is in the Shopping and Retail sector, seeing potentially 130,000, 140,000 positive open-ended feedback responses and surveys, but then 217,000 are negative. Together, those numbers lead up to massive volume for you and your teams to make decisions based on where your customers need you to go and what’s driving their happiness. And overall, this coverage ratio then represents 15 percent, or 20 percent, or even 30 percent of your audience, as Christy was talking about earlier.

When you’re thinking about sentiment, you have to think outside of the App Store. You have to think about tools to get it in a private manner that you and your team can learn from, and as a result, the volumes will increase. This is the secret power of really collecting feedback in the experience in app.

With that, we’re going to try one more listener poll. This question is going to be, “Do you prioritize your mobile app as a customer feedback listening tool?” What I’ve just shared with you, the past 10 slides, are really talking about the difference between public feedback in an App Store and the ability to use your app to get private feedback. And we’re curious, are you using your mobile app as a customer feedback listening tool or just monitoring reviews? Let’s get this going. And that should be launched. Give you a few seconds to take a look at that and answer. And then, I’m going to hand it off to Christy, who’s going to take us into some more specific tips around categories and help us wrap up.

Industry-Specific Tips for Apps in Each Category

Christy: Awesome. Thanks, Robi. Okay. So now we’re just going to get into the final stretch of this, which are the recommendations we have. So, the first one is Lifestyle. And for Lifestyle, the main takeaway is don’t be afraid to get creative with the communication plan. As you saw really early on, our customers in the Lifestyle category have really high interaction rates, which means they’re talking to a lot of their customers. The reason for this is they’re getting creative, and they’re finding a lot of different ways to talk to their customers, creating communication plans. If you’re not a ton of customer, talk to your customer success manager about this, but just don’t get…don’t hesitate, even if you’re a product team to really spend some time asking different customers different things, or telling them about different things that you’re working on. So, spend that time to get creative on that communication plan. Also, regularly survey customers to gauge sentiment. One thing we do know about these categories is they have really high sentiment, but that can change over time. So make sure you’re talking to your customers throughout the year about how that sentiment is changing and finding that over time, so you can know whether you’re doing better or worse, just how you’re comparing over time. And then the last is proactively provide in-app messages for quick announcements. This ties into the communication plan. But make sure if you’re making any changes, or you have anything new for them to discover, take the time to create some in-app messaging to let customers know about that. We know from response rates that your customers respond really well to those. So just don’t be afraid to provide those in-app messages just to keep your customer apprised of what you’re doing.

Next, we have Finance apps. So in this, first of all, let customers drive your product roadmap. So, with Finance, in particular, we found out that asking people what you’d like them to build…what they’d like you to build next, or what you should be focusing on is really fruitful for Finance apps. So, make sure you’re letting customers have a say in what you’re going to focus on, what you’re going to prioritize. That will allow you to save money on dev and to create the things that people are actually going to use. The second one, this might be kind of obvious, but offer strong security, especially if you’re using something like two-way messaging, make sure you have a way to kind of federate. If there are two people using a device, you’re only talking to that one person, and make sure that the customer understands that any feedback they provide to you is going to be safe and insecure. And then the last thing is to be proactive. Don’t wait for them to come and talk to you. Again, because customers are a little bit more locked into their choices for financial apps, they maybe don’t think that they have as much say in the roadmap and things like that. They’re not going to reach out and give you as much feedback, so make sure you’re taking the time to be proactive with them.

Next, we have Media. Leverage in-app messaging to promote real-time content. So, we have a lot of our Media customers who like to do this. If they have something like…you know, if they’re a news app, and they are promoting, you know, anything to do with elections, if they are more of, you know, an entertainment app and they’re covering award shows or anything like that, use in-app communication to help promote those different things and get customers to the areas they need to be in your app to see the content you really want them to see. The second one is provide login support. And this is pretty specific to Media apps. For most Media apps that we work with, there is probably like a cable provider that they’re working with. The person has to log in to that cable provider site in order to get the media content. Make sure that you’re providing support for these people because that process can be really frustrating. It’s not necessarily something that you the company on the app owns, but it is something that’s really frustrating for your customers, and something that they’re going to equate as your problem even if it’s not. So make sure that as people are trying to log in, you’re offering some kind of support to them in case they have trouble with that. And then the last is invest in understanding customer habits. This goes back to the response rates for surveys and things like that, but understand how much content your customers are consuming, and make sure that you’re making decisions about when to talk to customers based on those habits, and when would be an appropriate time.

Next is Retail. For this, provide a mobile payment option. This is not necessarily a communication plan. But if you’re not providing a way for people to make purchases inside your app, or in a brick-and-mortar store, you are falling behind your competitors. This is something that people have come to expect, and if you’re not investing in this, from an app technology standpoint, you are falling behind. The next is to offer a consolidated digital experience. So, ensure that, you know, whatever you’re doing on the mobile web, or on the app is really similar to what you’re providing them in other areas. And then the last is to replace manual tours with digital solutions. So, this one, just make sure that you’re not asking people to go above and beyond to do things like finding different sizes, to find different products. Make sure that you’re providing a really easy digital solution that people would have to do manually before either by going into stores or by searching your web. Give them options there.

And then on to Food and Beverage. The first is to acknowledge and nurture customer loyalty. If you have the capacity to have a customer loyalty program, this is a really great way to ensure that customers are loyal to you. Make sure that they know that they’re a valued customer. If you can give them incentives for being more loyal, please make sure to do that. The next is to pay special attention to where your customers… to where you’re choosing to speak to customers. I spoke on this a little earlier, but because a lot of customers in food and beverage are using the app to actually make purchases, just ensure that you’re not stopping that flow. First of all, you could lose a sale, second of all, you’re just going to make a customer angry, so pay attention to where you’re talking to customers. And then lastly, keep your foot on the gas when it comes to five-star ratings. As Robi mentioned, people have a lot of options when it comes to food and beverage. They will easily and happily switch to a different competitor if you’re not providing them with good service. And a lot of the ways people decide whether or not to download an app is by going to the App Store and seeing how you’re ranked comparing with your competitors. So make sure you do have a plan in place to get your five-star ratings up and make sure that you are focused and, you know, putting your foot on the gas on getting those going.

And then lastly, we will talk about Travel apps. First of all, don’t be afraid to engage with your customers. This goes out specifically to our customers in the category. We showed you today that talking to customers more does not hurt your response rates, so make sure that you are taking the time to create that relationship with your customer in your digital platform, make sure you are taking the time to talk to them. Don’t be afraid of talking to more of them. Analyze your in-app engagement. So make sure you’re actually taking the time to understand how customers are using different parts of your app, and how you’re speaking with them is working in those areas. So make sure you understand, you know, engaging with them at this certain time, certain place, is that working really well? This is important for Travel apps because customers have really specific reasons for using apps, and they are varied. Whereas for food and beverage, they may only use the app to complete a purchase, for Travel apps, they could be checking a lot of different places. So make sure you’re taking the time to understand usage patterns, and how in-app engagement is working in those different areas. And then the last is engage with customers on social media channels. If you work in the Travel industry, you know that customers…I am super guilty of this, but they take a lot of time if they’re having troubles, or even if they’re having a good time to tweet at you, to message you on Facebook, different things like that. Make sure you have a plan to respond to those customers because they are reaching out to you in a really public way. The more you can create a good experience there, the more loyal they’re going to be to your brand, even if they’ve had a bad experience.

Alright. So, now I wanted to give just a couple takeaways that apply to all app categories, and then we will switch over to some questions. So, the first is regardless of app category, being customer-centric is not an option anymore. It is required. If you are not thinking of your customer when you’re building an app, if you are not actually engaging and talking to people where they are, you are falling behind your competitors. It is expected by consumers at this point that if you are, you know, a customer-facing brand that you are actually going to be engaging with them on a regular basis. It’s not optional. The next one, customers expect to be interacted with, and those interactions heavily influence retention. We talked about this really early on that customers who are interacted with are four times more likely than customers who are not just staying in your app three months later. People expect, just like in a brick-and-mortar store, for you to meet them where they are and to create a relationship and talk to them. If you are not doing that, you are going to not retain those customers as heavily. And the next one is you can’t be customer-centric without developing a deep understanding of your customers. We’ve touched on this over and over again. But if you don’t understand exactly how your customers are going in and using your app, what they find useful in your app versus in person, different things like that, you’re not going to be able to make decisions that are best for them. I talked about this in the Finance area, but if you don’t understand the things that you’re missing that customers expect to be able to do in the app, you’re not going to be able to build those things. So make sure you understand how your customers are using your app, make sure you understand who your customers are, make sure you’re talking to them about what they want. You can’t be customer-centric without doing that.

The next one is brands across categories are putting more effort into communicating with customers. This should be pretty obvious from this entire webinar. But people expect you to communicate with them and brands are getting more and more comfortable with this. So, if you’re a brand that’s a little more hesitant, not sure how to start this communication, I encourage you, you know, to reach out to your CSM, if you’re an Apptentive customer, or to have an internal discussion, or, you know, a discussion with the company, or working with them this way if you are not an Apptentive customer, but you are going to get beat out if you’re not willing to get comfortable communicating with your customers. The very last takeaway is that if you’re not close to the benchmarks in these categories, you’re falling behind. So take that into my mind, really try to assess yourself after this webinar to figure out if there are areas you’re falling behind, and figure out if it’s important to you and important to your brand to not fall behind your competitors in that area.

Best practices for mobile app customer feedback

Okay. So that’s it. So, before you go, again, I just want to reiterate that we do have a full benchmark report. We have the link to it here. Please take the time to just look into the benchmark report. We do have some more specific information in there, for instance, things are broken down between Android and iOS for all of these different categories, so if you wanted to see the difference between those two, that’s going to be in there. With that, I know we are running low on time, but I’m going to turn things back over to Victoria.

Questions & Answers

Victoria: Perfect. Thank you, Christy. Thank you, Robi. I personally feel like I learned a lot in that. It was so great. Thank you so much for presenting that. We’ve had a ton of listener engagement as well, which always is really excited. And although we are at time, we are going to have Q&A. So if you have any questions, you can go ahead and slip those into the Q&A, which is at the bottom center of your screen, and we’ll get those answered for you. And also as a reminder, and as Christy said, we will be sharing out the links for today’s recording and to the full app category benchmark report in our follow-up email. So, please keep an eye out for those for me. And with that, we’ll get into some listener questions.

“If the company doesn’t fall into one of these categories, what benchmark data should you use?”

Christy: Alright. It looks like the first question is… Actually, I just want to acknowledge, there were a lot of health and wellness focus questions by listeners asking if we have the specific data that we went through today for that category. We didn’t actually prepare that for the study today, but we can actually look into it deeper for that particular category after the webinar and can follow-up with you all directly after the webinar with some more information for your category. So, thank you so much for your questions. They were definitely heard. We just don’t have that data available for this call, but can get that for you.

So the actual question I’m going to answer is, “If the company doesn’t fall into one of these categories, what benchmark data should you use?” You know, you can definitely use, if it’s not health and wellness, which we just said we will go and look into. You can definitely use the overall benchmark information. Also, if you’re Apptentive customer, reach out to your CSM. This is a lot of the information we go through in business reviews. We provide this information for you. But the overall benchmark webinar, or overall benchmark report will actually provide you some really good guidance if it’s not just [inaudible 01:00:16].

“What kind of incentives can we give to increase survey engagement? How do we incentivize people giving us feedback?”

Robi: Awesome. I’m going to take another question that we got here. We hear this a lot. “What kind of incentives can we give to increase survey engagement?” So this question comes to us a ton in two different ways. One is, “How do we incentivize better ratings and reviews in the App Store?” The second is, “How do we incentivize people giving us feedback?” Our answer to this is you don’t need to do either if you are finding the right time and right place. When we’re talking about…hearing from 15 percent, 20 percent, 30 percent of your customers, that’s coming actually without any incentives at all but by doing it the right way. Christy gave a lot of really good tips on survey creation.

Number one, keep it concise and short. And so what we’ve found is really high response rates come from targeting at the right time and right place. We are not fans of incentivizing responses to customer surveys in particular because a lot of the research shows that those incentives alone will influence the results in a way that make them much harder to really trust.

The second reason, and I think a lot of you probably are coming from large companies. If you run a survey with customers that has an incentive and other folks do not agree with the outcome of the survey, the first place that they will go attack the credibility of the survey is because it was incentivized. So, don’t get yourself in that hot water. You really with good targeting, good personalization, and well-designed questions for your customers will get high response rates on their own.

“What’s the ideal time to ask the Love Ratio question post-install, and is there a recommended frequency?”

Christy: Alright. The next question is, “What’s the ideal time to ask the Love Ratio question post-install, and is there a recommended frequency?” I love this question because it means you’re actually thinking about good times to communicate with customers. So, we would recommend, you know, not necessarily amount of time after the customer has installed the app for you to ask the love question, we would recommend it being based on actions that people are taking.

So, in your targeting, make sure that you are understanding, you know, what does it mean to maybe a customer to get to the first success in your app and use that as your targeting, or what are some of the major functions that people can do in the app? Make sure that somebody has experienced those things before you reach out to them and ask them if they’re loving their experience.

As far as frequency, we love that Apple put in the Apple rating dialogue, which has a frequency of three times a year, and we actually base our recommendations for the Love Dialog on this. You do want to be asking customers over time if they’re happy because you don’t want to assume that they’re not going to change their mind. A lot of them are. So if you’re asking about three times a year or about every 90 to 120 days, generally speaking, that’s not going to be too intrusive to the customer, but it’s going to give you a good gauge over time as to how their sentiment might be changing.

“What constitutes contact? How should we be thinking about these numbers?”

Robi: Awesome. I’ve got another question here that was asked while we were going through the response rates by the app category, so going back to some of those slides, which was, “What constitutes contact? How should we be thinking about these numbers?” And to get a little bit more specific, when we think about contact, we think about reaching out to 100 people, that’s 100 contacts. And then if 30 of those people responded to the survey, then that’s the response rate. So the contact is really the number of people you’ve targeted that you’ve asked the question, that saw that question, or saw a note or a message from us. And then the response rate is how many take action and actually do respond to the survey, in this example, where that would be 30 percent.

“Do you have a response rate for iOS and Android separately?”

Christy: Great. The next question we have is, “Do you have response rate for iOS and Android separately?” We do, and that is actually in the full Benchmark Report that I mentioned. We break things out there by OS. And just to kind of give everybody a teaser, response rates tend to be a little lower on Android than they are in iOS. But take a look at that report if you want detailed information.

“Is the average ratings or reviews chart over a certain time period or lifetime average?”

Robi: Great. Another question about sort of the methodology and the numbers. “Is the average ratings or reviews over a certain time period or lifetime average?” And right now it is the lifetime average, is what we’re looking at. We do have, as Christy referenced, more detailed breakdowns of some of the stats that can get into annual. So if this is a place where you’d like more information, please follow up with us, and we can answer that for you.

“What are your recommendations about removing one-star reviews from being featured by App Store?”

Christy: That is a really good question. Unfortunately, companies don’t have a lot of say over what the App Store actually features as far as reviews and things like that. So, I don’t have a good recommendation for actually removing those from being reviewed. One thing I will recommend is that the more you can get the volume of good reviews and good ratings up, the less likely the App Store is to actually feature that. And one thing I’m really excited about, Android’s announced that they are going to start weighting their reviews and ratings by the time that they were submitted. So, that is actually going to be a great place for us because the more you start to ask your customers and engage with them and get them to go and leave that feedback, the more it’s going to push those more negative responses out. So we’re really looking forward to this Android release, which will place more weight on newer things. So maybe if you had a bad app released or something like that [inaudible 01:05:54], they’re actually going to help you to highlight things. My recommendation is just, again, getting that volume up for good ratings. Also, we’ve mentioned this, but make sure you have a place for customers to go to leave bad feedback. Most of the time that they’re going to the App Store and giving that negative review is because you haven’t given them a place to give it to you directly. They would much rather give it to you directly, so you can actually address it than just put it into this abyss that is the App Store. So, provide them with a place to actually talk to you directly.

Robi: Awesome. Alright. We have one last question, and then we’re going to close this down. Thank you for your patience and staying with us 10 minutes afterwards. We have our contact information here up on the screen, so, if you did not get your question answered, or you have others, please do not hesitate to email us. And we appreciate feedback. Hopefully, that’s obvious about anything we could have done better or did not touch on that would have been useful for you.

“Are there any insights you have with regards to messaging for games or kid-focused apps?”

And, yes, this is absolutely a sensitive area. You do not want to actually be interacting with kids in a manner that runs afoul of any of the privacy laws of your country. And so our recommendations around things that might get in front of underage people is oftentimes those apps have a parents area, like for administration, that’s behind the login, where the parents can actually manage the billing information or any private information that’s necessary. If your app has a section like that, you can target your feedback collection to just the parents. But if you do not have a section like that, we would encourage you to be thinking about that in your design. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a section that is relegated to just people of age, collecting feedback is a much more tenuous area for you to delve into, and in that regard, only surveys with no open-ended comments would be acceptable in order to ask questions. But again, that’s a place where you’re going to want to defer to your privacy lawyers around even vetting those questions.

With that, we’re going to wrap this up. Thank you for spending some time with us today and learning more about communication benchmarks in the mobile space. Hopefully, you took away some useful information. And remember, be proactive, get in front of your customers, talk to them. They’re waiting to hear from you. Thank you.

About Madeleine Wilson

Madeleine Wilson is the Content Marketing Manager for Apptentive. No stranger to B2B tech, Madeleine enjoys translating complex concepts into easy-to-digest pieces of content.
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