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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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7 Steps to Product Roadmap Success

Learn how to fight feature creep, deliver the right value, and translate vision into action. Let us help you revitalize your product roadmap today, and help make 2021 your year.

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Customer Emotion & Sentiment

When are Customers the Most and Least Happy? A Data Analysis of Customer Sentiment by Season

Madeleine Doyle  //  December 27, 2022  //  7 min read

If you’re reading this in December, that means you’re already in the thick of it with holiday campaigns and chaos. But if you have a breather, we’re excited to share some data-backed mobile engagement findings, specifically surrounding how seasonality impacts customer sentiment!

❤️ Bookmark this page for next year’s insanity (and to remind yourself not to get down when your app store ratings look a little less-than-happy in the winter months).

We wanted to know: Are customers happier in the summer? Grumpier in the winter? When’s the best time to solicit feedback?

While we can hypothesize that the lack of Vitamin D certainly contributes to grumpier customers in the gloomier months, we needed data to support our claims. So, we analyzed data from the last calendar year for mobile app customer sentiment and uncovered some intriguing insights.

 

📊 Aggregate customer sentiment findings (combined across industries)

We analyzed data from the following industries for the 2021 calendar year to see what trends we could find in relation to customer sentiment and how it changes depending on the season.

  • Retail
  • Travel
  • Finance
  • Media/Entertainment
  • Education

Finding #1: People are more likely to respond “No” to the Love Dialog in the winter and more likely to answer “Yes” in the fall.

This tells us a few things.

The first is obvious: If you’re looking to boost your Love Percent, prompting customers in the fall is more ideal than the winter. However, we don’t necessarily recommend this strategy because ultimately, you want to use the Love Dialog at strategic points to gain insight into the customer experience rather than just superficially boost your metrics. In fact, we’d go so far as to recommend against using this strategy to superficially inflate your Love Percent because it really defeats the purpose of the tool.

Ideally, the Love Percent is also a metric that can be tracked over time and over version history to gauge how incremental updates to the app impact the customer’s experience or used as a segmentation tool to message fans and critics in a different manner. This is why we recommend asking it throughout the year, triggered by specific events (rather than seasonality).

The second, and more important, thing this tells us is that people need extra love and in-app support in the winter. If more people actively tell you they do not love your brand or your app during a specific period, that’s not a failure. Instead, we encourage you to see it as an opportunity to do better.

Here are some ways in which we recommend you deliver customer love in the winter months to boost consumer happiness:

  • Close the feedback loop. Probably the most overlooked, yet easiest, opportunity to foster strong relationships with your customers is simply closing the feedback loop. When someone gives feedback (whether negative or positive), it’s critical to follow up. Whether you reward them for their praise or follow up on their problem, this extra, proactive touch goes beyond expectations to improve overall customer experience.
  • Surprise and delight. If you know the winter months are less-than-favorable for your customers, give them a little extra love through a surprise and delight campaign. Maybe that’s offering extra rewards points for the month of December or a random flash sale for app users – whatever it might be, never underestimate the value a little extra love can provide.
  • Keep grinding to make your digital experience better. Whether that’s expediting a certain feature on your app roadmap backlog or improving the UX of your website, even the smallest changes can make a large impact. Don’t let the winter months slow your team down. Use it as motivation to keep moving forward and making progress.

→Download: The Ultimate Guide for Improving Mobile Customer Experience

Finding #2: People are more likely to be Fans of an app in the summer and less likely to be Fans in the winter.

We’re all generally happier in the summer, so it makes sense we’d be categorized as Fans more during this time than not. Most of us have less patience in the winter, so it checks out that we’d be more likely to fall out of love with a brand or app experience during this time as well.

If you want to learn more about how our product categorizes people as Fans or Not Fans, check out this page. Essentially anyone who has repeatedly responded “Yes” to the Love Dialog is categorized as a Fan.

What can we learn from this, and what should we do?

Identify and utilize your fans in the summer to hopefully create more that last into the fall and winter months. If you are able to identify people who love your brand, you can then retarget them to encourage desired behavior throughout the various seasons. An example would be sending an app store Ratings Prompt so they’ll leave you a high rating and positive review. You could also direct them to share the app with friends and family through referral links. Or perhaps you could send them to social media and encourage them to share their positive experience with their followers.

Win back unhappy customers in the winter months. One of the biggest struggles brands face is not being able to identify customers who are about to churn or leave forever. And even once they identify them, it’s often too late. If you’re proactively and consistently tracking customer sentiment of the same customers over time, you’ll be able to see exactly when a shift in sentiment occurs. You can then quickly follow up to either ask for more information (why are they unhappy? What can be done to solve their issue?) and then offer them exclusive perks to stay with you (discounts, deals, extended trial periods, etc.).

Create more fans all year round by targeting neutral customers. It can be a struggle to convert neutral or non-engaged customers into loyal, highly engaged customers. One of the simplest ways to accomplish this is by retargeting those who do not indicate that they feel strongly one way or the other about your brand. This historically has been a tricky task since most neutral customers also remain pretty quiet and rarely voice their opinions. We call this the “silent majority.” But if you retarget them and offer them special discounts, experiences, or deals, you can more effectively convert them into loyal fans.

✈️ Travel industry customer sentiment findings

Person holding a mobile device on an airplane using a travel app

Finding #1: Travel app customers report loving their app experience the most in the spring and the least in the winter.

Show of hands: Who has wanted to throw their phone across the airport during the holiday season at least once? The winter months can be some of the most challenging, frustrating, and grueling months to travel, regardless of where you’re going.

Our data shows that more people respond “Yes” to the Love Dialog in the spring and the least in the winter. So, you’re not alone.

Finding #2: Travel app customers are more likely to shift from being a Fan of an app to not a Fan in the winter than any other month.

There’s nothing more stressful than travel during the holidays, so it makes sense that we’re less forgiving when things go wrong with our app experiences. When emotions (and tension) are high, it’s easy to just give up on an app or a brand if it’s not meeting our needs. We’re hard-pressed to give companies a second chance after they’re messed up.

This is why it’s critical for travel brands to use a sentiment analysis tool like Apptentive in order to know when things are going off the rails and responded in real-time.

Finding #3: Travel app customers are more engaged with higher interaction response rates in the spring.

Instead of inundating stressed and flustered holiday travelers with surveys and ratings prompts, you might want to wait for a less hectic time like the spring. If you’re looking for the ideal time to launch a deep customer feedback initiative, this is the season to do it. We’ve already established that people are generally happier (and therefore more likely to give you feedback) but they also have more time on their hands to actually give thoughtful and useful feedback.

In conclusion

All in all, our analysis proved that seasonality does significantly impact customer happiness and engagement. We’ll be launching our annual deep dive into mobile customer engagement in the next few months, so stay tuned for that.

In the meantime, request an Apptentive demo. We’d love to show you how our customers implement these strategies to deliver customer love daily.

Bonus reading

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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