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Guide

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7 Steps to Product Roadmap Success

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Loyalty & Retention

4 Steps to Boost Mobile Customer Retention

Madeleine Doyle  //  March 9, 2022  //  5 min read

We all know that retaining customers costs less than acquiring new ones. So, why does it often get deprioritized in favor of customer acquisition and app downloads? Frankly, the answer to that question is this: For most brands, customer retention is a nut they still haven’t cracked.

What many don’t realize is that customer retention can be largely managed with a few simple improvements to their app’s customer experience. Boosting retention doesn’t mean you have to completely reinvent the wheel.

In this post, we cover four retention-boosting strategies that will help improve the health of your app.

What is customer retention?

Customer retention refers not only to a brand’s ability to convert customers from one-time buyers to repeat purchasers but also their ability to do this over time.

Higher retention rates mean fewer customers jumping ship to spend money with your competitors. Retention rates are a strong indicator of whether or not your product or service is high-quality and valuable.

4 steps to boost mobile customer retention

1. Launch a voice of the customer (VoC) initiative

To put it simply, the voice of the customer (VoC) is everything your customers think and feel about your customer experience. It’s become a standard business term used to describe the process of collecting data about customer expectations, preferences, and dislikes.

Most brands today may think they build products around their customers, but in reality, our data shows they only hear from less than 1% of their customer base, which we call the “vocal minority.” That means about 99% of their customers are in the “silent majority,” and their feedback and loyalty aren’t being fostered or prioritized.

Silent Majority

Before you can hope to boost retention, you need to understand why your customers leave in the first place. This takes both empowering your customers with an easy way to leave feedback in your app, and actively listening to their feedback, acting on that feedback, and then closing the loop. App store ratings and reviews provide a good starting point for a VoC initiative, yet don’t provide anywhere near the holistic picture you need to understand your customers as a whole.

To launch a voice of the customer initiative, product managers and mobile marketers should launch intelligent mobile surveys that target the right people at the right time within the app experience, offer two-way communication channels like a message center, and keep a consistent pulse on customers sentiment.

2. Use contextually relevant messaging and proactive customer engagement strategies

Some mobile marketers and product managers might think that push notifications are a great way to re-engage customers in the mobile experience. However, the reality is push notifications may be harming your app’s retention rates. You might be unwittingly leading customers to opt out or to even uninstall your app simply to get a break from the annoying notifications. When it comes to retention, how you message your customers matters just as much as what you message them.

As a best practice, we’ve found the best way to engage customers is by targeting them at key mobile moments throughout the customer journey. These moments are tied to events such as the completion of an in-app task, such as after a customer has made a purchase or watched a video. In practice, this means communicating with customers via prompts and surveys at strategic times so as not to bother them.

In contrast, attempting to engage customers before or during a specific task can be seen as intrusive and leads to higher exit rates and lower response rates. Your customer opened the app with a goal or task in mind—let them accomplish this goal before sending them a message linking to another part of the app or distracting them from the task at hand.

3. Let customers know you care by closing the feedback loop

The best way to retain your customers is to simply let them know they’re valued. After collecting and analyzing your new customer insights, give thanks and acknowledge your customers’ feedback.

If you see feature requests or bug reports for a certain feature, consider working it into your product roadmap. And upon releasing a new update, remind your customers you’re listening and let them know the update was made possible only by their continued feedback.

In reminding customers you’re listening to their feedback and care about their thoughts, you’ll adopt and convey a customer-centric mentality that will let your customers know their opinions aren’t only listened to, but highly valued.

4. Give customers a reason to re-engage with you and return to your app experience

Stale content deters customers from coming back to your app. If you want customers to come back to your app day after day, provide them with something new and original each time they open the app. These rich content updates can be in the form of a flash sale, a daily comic, a stream of user-generated photos, a loyalty or achievement program, or something as simple as resetting activity limits.

As customers come to expect fresh content, they’ll get into a routine of regularly launching your app to see what’s new and exciting. To understand what content will provide the most value, and the best reason to return, step into your customers’ shoes using your newfound insights. What would make you, as a customer, want to revisit the app time and time again?

Conclusion

By taking a customer-centric approach and improving your customer experience, you can boost mobile customer retention, improve app monetization, and cut costs on expensive acquisition campaigns. Retaining existing customers is the best way to boost loyalty and build a supportive audience over time, and should be high on every mobile marketer and product manager’s priority list.

At Apptentive, we focus on helping companies build brands customers love, which is why we’ve built tools that empower companies to communicate proactively with customers, measure sentiment, and take action based on customer feedback. Hopefully, the above tips will help set you and your app on the road to retention success. If you want to try a free, 30-day trial of Apptentive, you can get started within a few minutes today.

Thanks for reading, and happy retention boosting!

 

About Madeleine Doyle

Madeleine Doyle is the Senior Content Marketing Manager for Apptentive. No stranger to B2B tech, Madeleine enjoys translating complex concepts into easy-to-digest pieces of content.
View all posts by Madeleine Doyle >

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