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The comprehensive guide to mobile app surveys

Learn about mobile app surveys, including benefits and types, and how they help you collect customer feedback and optimize your mobile experience.

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“There’s an app for that.” We’ve all probably heard that phrase before—and these days, it’s certainly true. Most of us use multiple apps every day for all kinds of tasks. Say you’re planning a weekend getaway—you might use an app to book your plane ticket and another one for your hotel, an app to book a pet sitter for your dog and another to order her favorite food before you leave, and an app to hail a car to take you to the airport and another one to find a place for dinner that night. Apps can do a lot, when they’re designed and built well. 

That’s why your mobile app experience is critical for gaining and keeping customers. Expectations are high these days for these digital experiences. Customers are quick to abandon your app if they find it difficult to navigate, buggy, or lacking in essential features. 

But how can you know how much customers like (or dislike) your app? You could scroll through every review in the app stores to get an idea—or you could get a whole lot of clear, actionable, reliable data through mobile app surveys. 

You’ve likely seen mobile app surveys in apps you use frequently. They often pop up on the app screen to ask you about various parts of your experience on the app, and what you would improve or change. These customer feedback surveys are fast, effective, and easy to implement. And in this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about creating your own mobile app surveys. 

Benefits of a mobile app survey 

Mobile app surveys have many benefits to offer businesses and app developers. They make it simple for you to get quantitative and qualitative feedback from your app users. And that feedback will help you make the most out of your mobile app experience for customers. 

After all, you won’t know for sure how well your app experience is working for customers unless you ask them. A poor mobile app experience can mean increased customer frustration and lost sales. Mobile apps are a big driver of sales in today’s economy, and that is only projected to grow—in 2020, consumers downloaded 218 billion apps to their phones. 

Expectations for the user experience in apps have also grown. Consumers expect a seamless, pleasant experience like they get on Uber or Amazon’s apps from every app they encounter. If they don’t get that, they’re likely to abandon the app you’ve worked so hard to create. 

You can do plenty of testing before you launch your app, but problems and bugs may still appear down the line and affect the user experience of your app negatively. The best way to keep on top of these issues is to conduct regular, targeted mobile feedback surveys in your app to ensure you’re squashing any small issues before they become big ones. 

Mobile app surveys are typically quick for customers to complete—many have only one question and respondents simply need to pick a star rating. They also avoid taking users out of the app, which can be frustrating and also interrupt their browsing or purchasing session. And you can use mobile app surveys for multiple purposes, including the following three critical functions. 

Mobile optimization

Optimizing your mobile experience to ensure it’s not only free of problems, but actually enjoyable and intuitive for your users, is critical. Many apps are created as an extension or copy of a desktop site, but the mobile experience is very different from the desktop one. 

If your app features too many large and slow-loading images, tiny text, or clunky navigation, your users won’t be happy or eager to use your app. Your app might function just fine, but if the overall user experience isn’t properly optimized for mobile, you won’t see good retention or conversion rates from your app.  

Surveys can help identify areas that can be optimized to improve the user experience in your mobile app. Examples of potential places for optimization that will make your app more profitable and useable include: 

  • Homepage: how well is the homepage of your app drawing in users and helping them find what they need right away? This is the first thing your users will see in your app, so it needs to look and feel great.

  • Checkout: is your purchase process confusing, buggy, or requiring too much information up front? All these issues can cause potential customers to abandon their shopping carts without making a purchase. 

  • Specific pages: does your app have pages that perform a vital and frequently used service? For an airline app, an example of these pages would be the flight check-in page and mobile ticket experience. 

Identify issues 

Even the best-designed apps will have issues and bugs crop up from time to time. A link could break, a checkout function could stop working, or a page could become inaccessible because of a change or update, or just a simple malfunction in the app. 

These issues happen, but they can become seriously frustrating for your customers quickly. And that frustration can lead to app abandonment, deletion, or a negative review in the app store. Those negative reviews can be very damaging for your app quickly, so addressing issues immediately is important. 

Mobile app surveys provide customers and users with a way to alert you right away when something goes wrong in your app. That allows you to fix the issue swiftly before it becomes a serious problem and costs you points in your reviews. 

Application improvements

If you’ve launched your app some time ago, and it’s doing all right, you might consider your job done. But there are always opportunities for improvement. You can align your app more closely with what customers want to do with it, make it load faster or look sleeker, and create a truly great customer experience. 

However, you won’t know exactly what to improve to make the biggest impact on customer satisfaction until you ask. Your mobile app survey can help you pinpoint the app improvements your users would like to see the most so you’re focused on the right places, from the navigation process to the post-purchase experience. 

What to measure with a mobile app survey 

Mobile feedback surveys are very versatile. You can gather feedback from customers about many aspects of the user experience and overall customer experience with just one or two questions. So what exactly should you be measuring with your mobile app surveys? Here are the two most critical measures to evaluate. 

Customer feedback

Your mobile app surveys can be designed to gather feedback directly from customers about a whole host of business functions. And your surveys don’t need to stick to focusing on the app experience itself. You can ask customers for product feedback, their feelings on their relationship with your company as a whole, their recent in-store experience, and much more. 

Targeted microsurveys can also capture customer feedback about a new feature release, their recent purchase experience, and their latest interaction with your customer service team, just to name a few ideas. 

User experience in mobile apps

You can also, of course, use your mobile app surveys to capture immediate feedback about the customer experience in the app itself. Since customers will receive an invite to take the survey while they’re still inside the app, their thoughts and feedback will be fresh and therefore more accurate. 

Your mobile app survey can ask about how your users are finding what they need in the app, how the app experience matches their expectations, if they have something they’d like to see in the app in the future, and many more facets of the user experience. This feedback is highly valuable for your web development team as they work to improve the user experience in the mobile app, and for your customer experience team as a whole. 

You can also add a mobile app feedback form to your app home page so customers can offer their feedback, issues, and suggestions even if they’re not being surveyed at the moment. These forms are particularly helpful when it comes to quickly identifying bugs and issues in the app. 

Mobile app feedback surveys 

There are many kinds of mobile app feedback surveys that you can use to gather customer information and feedback on your app and your company. That means there’s plenty of ways to create the survey design that works for your current business goals. 

You should always begin your survey creation process by thinking about what you want to accomplish, and then select the survey form that aligns best with those goals. Here are a few of the most popular kinds of mobile app feedback surveys you may want to consider using. 

NPS 

The Net Promoter Score® (NPS) survey asks your app users one simple question: on a scale from 0-10, how likely are you to recommend us to your friends and colleagues? Anyone who responds with a 9 or 10 is classed as a Promoter, those who answer 7 or 8 are Passives, and your Detractors give you a 6 or below. To calculate your NPS, start by subtracting the total number of Detractors from the total number of Promoters, then divide by the total number of survey respondents, and finally multiply by 100. 

NPS can be used to measure customer loyalty and satisfaction with your company as a whole, and that’s a common use for mobile app surveys. You can also measure NPS after specific interactions with your business to see how they are driving customer satisfaction up or down (that’s called transactional NPS). 

In your mobile app, you could set up an NPS survey to pop up after a customer completes an in-app purchase to measure how that interaction is affecting the customer experience. You could also ask customers how likely they are to recommend your app to their friends and colleagues to measure satisfaction with your mobile experience. 

CSAT 

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) surveys ask customers: on a scale from 1-5, how would you rate your overall satisfaction with the service you received? You measure your score by calculating (Number of satisfied customers (4 and 5) / Number of survey responses) x 100 = % of satisfied customers. 

CSAT surveys measure only customer satisfaction, which is not always a good predictor of loyalty or advocacy. You can be satisfied with a business without being strongly loyal, after all, in case a better option comes along. But satisfaction is an important metric in your Voice of the Customer program. 

You can use CSAT survey questions to measure satisfaction with elements of the app itself, like your mobile checkout experience. And you can use it in your mobile app survey to determine how satisfied customers are with your overall app experience, a recent interaction with your customer service team, or your company as a whole. 

CES 

Customer Effort Score (CES) surveys are designed to measure how easy it is for customers to do business with you. It asks: on a scale from 1-7, do you believe the company made it easy for you to handle you issue? To calculate your CES, take the total sum of responses, then divide by the total number of survey respondents.

Customers might love your products or services, but if you make it difficult or frustrating for them to get issues resolved, they won’t stay with your company over the long term. Finding effective solutions to problems quickly provides a less frustrating experience for your customers, and that improves your customer experience. 

You can use the CES survey to ask about a recent customer service interaction with microtargeting. You can also ask about the app experience itself, and inquire about self-service resources for troubleshooting that you have on the app or a recent customer call or live chat experience. 

Yes or no questions 

Sometimes keeping it very simple is the best way to get a high survey response rate. You can use mobile app surveys to ask yes-or-no questions about the app experience overall, certain pages or functions on the app, or about the general customer experience. 

Of course, these simple questions won't give you as much rich insight into the minds of customers like more sophisticated ones will. But they can be useful for getting quick feedback from customers in the moment, such as asking if they enjoy your app, if they found what they were looking for, or if they need any help. 

Open-ended response questions

Open-ended questions can be a survey on their own, such as asking app users what they like or dislike about your app or what one change they would like to see in your app or products. They can also be added to other survey types as a follow-up question, such as NPS, in order to get more qualitative feedback along with a numerical rating. 

These questions have a lower response rate, because they require more thought and effort from customers to complete and your app users have busy lives. But they are often worth including because they help you understand not just what customers feel about your app or your company, but why they feel that way. Those insights can help you make the right improvements. 

Mobile app feedback forms 

Targeting customers with surveys at certain points in the user experience is helpful when you’re looking to gather feedback about specific interactions. But what about when a customer wants to offer feedback or point out an issue? They shouldn’t need to wait for a survey to appear to give their feedback. 

This is where mobile app feedback forms come in. These commonly live on the homepage or your app and offer customers a way to contact you immediately with issues or problems. While these feedback forms are filled out on your customers’ terms, they still offer valuable insights into the app and customer experience. 

Mobile app survey questions 

What questions should you be asking customers in your mobile app surveys? As with selecting a survey type, it depends on your business, your customers, and your goals for setting up your survey. 

There’s a survey question for every need and industry, and you should feel free to customize all these examples to maximize their effectiveness for your survey goals. 

  • How would you rate this mobile app?

  • Are you satisfied with our mobile app? 

  • What do you like the most about our mobile app? 

  • What do you like least about our mobile app?

  • Would you recommend this app to a friend?

  • What were you trying to achieve with our mobile app today? 

  • What prompted you to use the mobile app today?

  • What feature did you expect but not find?

  • How often do you use the following features?

  • Did the app help you accomplish your goal?

Key takeaways 

Mobile app surveys are a key part of your customer feedback program. They can help you improve your mobile app user experience, optimize important parts of your app, gather feedback on the overall customer experience, and surface minor issues before they become major problems. 

GetFeedback can help you design and launch beautiful, effective in-app surveys that match the look and feel of your app experience and are targeted to the right people at the right time. Plus, with sophisticated real-time analytics, you’ll be on top of any emerging trends. And our extensive integrations mean your customer feedback is connected with the programs your team is already using every day. 

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*Net Promoter, Net Promoter System, Net Promoter Score, NPS and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.