When it comes to the modern app market, the users are flooded with apps that all do similar things, giving them more options than ever for even the simplest tasks. Most users cope with this glut by downloading several apps, trialing them, and then sticking with the one that works best for their needs. So, as the market becomes more saturated with apps, it becomes more critical that your offerings not only stand out and attract new customers, but also keep a loyal base of customers who opt to keep it.
But, how can you ensure that your app is the one that gets picked every time? We look at boosting your retention rates below.
The Statistics: What You Need to Know
Current market research suggests that up to 80% of those who download an app delete it within the first three months of installation. And, it has been a given of the business market for a long time now that attracting new customers costs considerably more than keeping the ones you already have. (Suggested costs indicate it is up to seven times costlier to attract new blood.) Obviously, the key to fast and meaningful growth lies in keeping the customers you have and not constantly searching for new ones.
But, how can you ensure that your app experience keeps users on your side? Below are a few proven strategies to focus on.
1. Ease of Use from the Very Start
This facet of user retention for mobile app companies is often dressed up under the somewhat jargon-like title of “app onboarding”. What this boils down to is how quickly users can put your app to use and how little fuss is required for them to do so.
For example, lengthy signups, unresponsive or obscure support, and non-intuitive interfaces all cripple the shamelessness of your on boarding process and make users look elsewhere.
There’s a few things you can do to limit the initial user frustration, including:
- Allowing signups through existing social media accounts;
- Offering short, useful tutorials that do not require considerable user investment;
- Only asking for the required information as signups that are clearly only data fishing will instantly turn away consumer; and
- Keeping your interface simple and intuitive, with the features that matter most to the users being in plain sight.
2. Make the App Effortless for the Consumer?
Remember, users are bombarded by a ton of apps each day. So, no matter how great the services offered by your app are, your users will not keep coming back to it unless they have good reason to do so. This is why you need to find a non-intrusive, simple way to encourage them to interact with your app.
Push notifications can be used to good effect here. Such notifications are automatic messages which notify users, even when the app is not open, triggering a reminder for them to use the app’s features. Of course, there is a fine line to walk here. If you harass your user with endless push notifications, you will become a pest. So, make sure all such notifications are personalized and keep them scarce. You want to offer a gentle reminder to use the app’s features, not drive the users into unsubscribing to get away from being nagged.
Market research also suggests that avoiding triggering phone features, such as vibration and (depending on the point of the notification) phone sounds, can be key. Users become aggravated when their device appears to receive important messages from friends and colleagues only to find it was a simple app notification instead as this interrupts their day.
3. Customer Service Is Still King
It can be frustrating to see a constant focus on providing great customer service in every tip article, we know. But, the fact still remains that great customer service is what makes or breaks a brand. And, that is no different in the app arena.
Customers need to feel like your product’s end goal is to serve them, not the other way around. And, building a trusting, loyal relationship that entertains and serves the customer keeps them coming back to you. So, the old fallbacks of good customer service come out to play here:
- Be genuine, sympathetic, and caring in all customer interactions.
- Respond immediately.
- Pay careful attention to the feedback you receive and improve on your service based on the feedback.
- Offer rewards to the consumer.
- Make sure all the information they receive from you is helpful.
4. Focus on Community
We live in the era of social media and yet this is the time when people feel more isolated and lonely than ever before, despite being more connected. So, encouraging a community around your app product will help people feel more welcome and more engaged with your services. This, in turn, will boost your retention rates.
An online community wherein they can share feedback also helps you by highlighting where consumers are dissatisfied with your product and what new features they would like to see. The more you can understand your consumer, the more you can tailor your product to match their needs. Use blogs, online forums and interactive FAQs to help invest the user in your product.
5. Make Sure Your Product Stays Updated
Even the best apps will look dated and behind the times eventually and, in a fast-changing landscape, that can happen quickly. Updating your app regularly with new and useful features and personalized content will help keep your users interested. But, make sure you do not do this arbitrarily; use your analytics and user behavior or feedback to drive these updates to ensure that they stay relevant and interesting to the user.
Competition is tough in this particular arena. If you are dedicated to keeping your customer base and keeping them happy, you have to make sure you roll out these and other strategies to make your apps work for them. The more engaged a user is, the higher your chances are of retaining them.
So, what strategy do you follow to improve your user retention rate?