Asking your customers and users for feedback, and acting promptly on that feedback, is the best way to provide an exceptional customer experience. There are dozens of places you can collect feedback from your customers at any point in the customer journey, and all of them have important uses. After all, you can’t know exactly what you’re doing well and where you’re falling short unless you check in regularly with the people who are using your products and services.
Capturing in-app feedback is absolutely vital for the success of your mobile app. Not only will it help you find and fix bugs, but it will also ensure you’re optimizing the user experience and rolling out new features smoothly.
What is in-app feedback? As the name suggests, in-app feedback is collected from your customers and users directly within the app itself. This real-time feedback can help you develop an exceptional mobile app that goes above and beyond customer expectations.
Why collect user feedback in-app
Why should you ask for feedback in-app? Capturing user feedback directly within your mobile app has many benefits to your business.
Capturing in-app feedback provides valuable insights on how to improve the usability of your app so it enables an effortless and delightful mobile user experience. It also helps you determine which features are working well, which ones should be added, and which ones need to be tweaked. Since you’re asking customers for feedback while they’re already using the app, you know that the opinions they’re offering are based on their immediate experience and not an inaccurate reflection after time has passed.
In-app feedback mechanisms, such as surveys, recruit users who are already performing certain actions to more deeply discuss possible feature changes. You can also ask app users if there are any new features or improvements they would like to see in future versions of the app.
In-app feedback is also the best way to uncover bugs and errors right away. Finding these problems fast is essential because the faster you fix them, the less negative impact there will be on the user experience. Finding and addressing pain points fast will help lower app abandonment rates, which tend to be high when problems linger on unsolved.
Having a feedback mechanism that is available for customers 24/7 without requiring round-the-clock staffing is another advantage of in-app feedback. Users can leave their thoughts on your app or products whenever it is convenient for them. Since in-app feedback is easy to use, surveys typically yield high response rates so you can be sure your data is accurately depicting user sentiment.
Providing feedback mechanisms to customers ensures you’ll stay close to their needs and desires. By improving your products based on feedback, you’ll be able to create a better customer experience, develop strong customer loyalty, and improve customer retention.
While in-app feedback has many advantages, it also has a few potential drawbacks that are good to be aware of as you design your own customer feedback program.
In-app feedback is excellent at capturing the “what” of customer sentiment, but not necessarily the “why.” Since in-app feedback mechanisms need to be short and sweet due to limited keyboard abilities on mobile phones, it is easy to capture quantitative data like scoring the app experience on a numerical scale. However, gathering qualitative feedback, like asking customers why they rated your app the way they did, is much harder and doesn’t always provide a great user experience.
In-app feedback mechanisms are potentially irritating to users if they interrupt an action the user is taking. For example, a customer using an airline app is booking a flight while they take a five-minute coffee break. When your in-app survey pops up, it disrupts the flow of their task and can be frustrating. For this reason, you should think carefully before launching in-app feedback and ensure users aren’t experiencing too many disruptions.
What kind of feedback can you collect in-app?
In-app feedback can come in several forms.
You can collect feedback about the user experience and features of the app itself, to ensure you’re providing an excellent mobile experience. Given that the user is actually using the app at the time you ask for feedback on it, the feedback is based on their immediate experience and is highly relevant. You’re not asking them to remember something that happened days or weeks ago—you’re asking about what’s happening right now. This kind of feedback tends to be more concrete and users may be more likely to provide candid, quick responses.
The user experiences you ask about could include how easy it is to find information and features on the app, how the app itself functions, usability, the shopping features if you have an ecommerce component to your app, the checkout or payment process, and if your app helped users accomplish the task they opened it to do. Asking about any or all of these elements can help significantly improve the user experience of your app.
Additionally, ask your users for feedback on additional products and services. This is a less-common use of in-app feedback since it lacks the relevant context, but it can be used for frequent visitors of your app. Several days after they’ve made a purchase, ask how satisfied they are with your product or service or ask for feedback on new product ideas.
Finally, use in-app feedback to ask what customers think and feel about your company and brand as a whole. Ask customers how their experience in your app right now is affecting their levels of satisfaction or loyalty. Checking in on the reputation of your business is a good way to gauge customer sentiment and experience.
How to gather in-app feedback
What is the best way to capture user feedback within your mobile app? There are multiple possibilities, so choose the one that’s ideal for your app and customers. Begin the process of choosing an in-app feedback mechanism by deciding on the goals for your feedback campaign. Once your team's aligned on your goal, select the mechanism that will best help you achieve your objectives.
Customer feedback widgets
What are they?
Customer feedback widgets are a common way to gather in-app feedback. Typically, these widgets are embedded within the app and ask users to click a link or an icon to tell you what they think about an aspect of your app, product, or brand. These embedded widgets take users to surveys or allow for open-ended feedback; they are flexible and offer a variety of options.
Program these widgets to appear on the screen after a user takes a series of actions within the app, or when they arrive on a certain screen. Feedback widgets can also be used more passively and appear at the side or bottom of the screen unobtrusively, which enables users to offer feedback when they encounter an error or have a suggestion.
Feedback widgets are highly versatile. For example, target certain segments of customers and users that you’d like to garner highly specific information from. The native experience allows customers to stay in-app and easily navigate back to the task they’re completing.
Be thoughtful about when you use pop-up embedded feedback mechanisms. In-app feedback widgets can disrupt the user experience if they’re not used carefully. Having too many pop ups within your app when users are trying to complete a task or conduct research can be frustrating and cause them to abandon the app.
Tips for customer feedback widgets
To make your customer feedback widget as effective as possible, ensure it’s easily discoverable if you’re using a passive (not a pop-up) widget. You want to be sure app users can find the widget quickly so they can offer you feedback right away while their issue or idea is top-of-mind.
Customer feedback surveys can provide you with a wealth of information about what your users think, need, and love about all aspects of your customer experience. But it’s often challenging to get customers to complete long email or website surveys.
In-app surveys, on the other hand, are short, sweet, and don’t require leaving the page, so they tend to have high response rates and can be easily scaled. They’re a valuable source of information for your business.
Types of survey questions
There are a huge variety of in-app survey questions you can ask to collect feedback and insights from your customers and app users. Here are a few examples:
How likely are you to recommend this app to a friend or colleague?
How would you rate…?
Did the app help you solve your problem/achieve your goal?
What function didn’t work as expected?
Which of the following features do you use the most?
Which of the following features do you use the least?
In-app surveys have many advantages. They can help you get customer validation for specific features in your app or help you prioritize your product roadmap.
These mobile app surveys can explore a variety of facets of the user experience:customer pain points, experience insights, usership, and adoption.
And of course, you can also use surveys to explore other business concerns such as optimal product or service pricing and how to optimize your conversion rate in the app, on your website, or in your stores.
Since in-app surveys need to be short, and often only a single question, it’s difficult to get in-depth and qualitative feedback on questions. That’s why in-app surveys should be just one part of your overall Voice of the Customer feedback program.
Tips for in-app surveys
The in-app survey best practices all say: in-app surveys work best if they’re very short. In fact, most in-app surveys should only consist of a single question. Your users are on your app because they’re trying to complete some kind of task most of the time, and you don’t want to take them away from that task too long with a series of questions.
You can also use in-app surveys as interview pre-screeners if you’re looking to conduct more in-depth customer interviews. Perhaps you want to find out why highly loyal customers love your brand, or why dissatisfied ones feel the way they do. These short surveys can be used to identify customers who you want to follow up with and get to know better.
In-app NPS surveys
In-app Net Promoter Score® (NPS®) surveys are a subset of in-app surveys. They ask your customers one question: how likely they are to recommend your mobile app to their friends and colleagues.
NPS is an excellent metric to measure customer loyalty and has a proven impact on profitability and retention. Since it’s only one question, it’s a simple survey to execute and an easy metric to track.
NPS is incredibly popular but it’s not the only customer experience metric worth measuring. Treating as such is a mistake and will cause you to miss out on other measures of the customer experience.
Tips for in-app NPS surveys
When using in-app NPS surveys, you should always leave room for open-ended feedback. This should be an optional follow-up question after the NPS question where you ask users what caused them to give you the rating they did. While not every user will take the time to complete this question, the users who do will give you valuable insight into the why behind the number.
You should also make it clear that someone will review the feedback. Users will be frustrated if they’ve left feedback about a negative experience and no one ever follows up—they’ll wonder why you’re asking for feedback at all if you’re not going to review and address it when it’s given.
Rate my app
Ratings in app stores provided by Apple or Google are important to your app’s success. They can also offer valuable feedback about how your app is performing and uncover any bugs. You can add a plugin to your app. There are a variety of rate my app options on the market to prompt users to leave a rating for your app in their preferred app store.
Asking users to leave a rating for your app accomplishes two goals at once: attracting more users and providing another in-app feedback mechanism where you can gather and measure customer insights into your app experience.
These pop ups can be annoying for some customers, and they’re so widely used that too many requests to rate your app can actually decrease customer satisfaction.
Tips for rate my app
Don’t annoy users. While it’s understandable that you want to encourage as many positive reviews as possible, too many rating requests can be quite irritating for customers who simply want to finish a task and move on. You can include a request for a rating as an option on your main app menu if you’d like a less intrusive option for feedback.
Embedded behavioral analytics tools
Embedded behavioral analytics tools don’t ask your customers directly for their feedback. Instead, they produce quantitative data based on user actions. For example, touch heatmaps track where your users go and the actions they take, which can produce data including behavior and conversion funnels, event tracking, and application crashes.
These apps can help you understand how users are interacting with your app. Since they run behind the scenes, they’re unobtrusive for your customers and don’t require their time or feedback.
Analytics can provide a wealth of accurate user data, but they don’t always tell you the whole story. Information like why customers are behaving in a certain way or if they’re satisfied or frustrated with the actions they’re taking in your app aren’t always yielded by this quantitative data.
Tips for embedded behavioral analytics tools
Supplement your analytics tools with qualitative user feedback, such as customer interviews and feedback surveys, to ensure you’re getting the whole picture of the customer experience.
Gathering user feedback in-app: best practices
Integrate with other feedback streams
In-app feedback is valuable, but it shouldn’t be your only source of information about the user and customer experience. Be sure to integrate in-app feedback with the other feedback streams in your Voice of Customer program to get a well-rounded view of the customer journey. This is how you can most effectively leverage feedback to create better mobile experiences.
Consider follow up methods
When your users and customers take the time to give you the gift of feedback, that shouldn’t be the end of the process. You should also have a plan in place to follow up on feedback, especially negative feedback, or customers will feel you’re not listening to their opinions and thoughts.
Consider user experience
While you will want to gather as much information as possible to improve your business, be sure not to go overboard when creating in-app feedback mechanisms. You should carefully balance the need for information with the user experience while ensuring you don’t overwhelm users with interruptions.
Give users time to form an opinion before asking for feedback
New users of your app or products haven’t had enough time to form an accurate opinion of the user experience. Be sure to wait until they’ve had time to explore and use several features before you ask them what they think in order to yield the most accurate data.
Asking your users for feedback while they’re using your mobile app can offer a wealth of valuable information on your app experience while offering insights you can use to refine and improve your entire customer experience.
Asking for and analyzing your in-app feedback is easy with Momentive U&A solutions and Concept Testing. Visit our website to find out how GetFeedback helps you optimize your digital channels with real-time customer feedback.