Mobile Customer Success: why it matters and how you can nail it
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Have you ever heard the saying, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently?” This quote by Warren Buffet has been repeated in businesses for decades. While it may take less time to build a reputation in today’s world of startups and unicorns, a solid business reputation can still be ruined in a matter of minutes. What your customers say about you truly matters to the success of your business.
Reputation management has grown significantly more complex in the last couple of decades. Today’s world is a mobile one with 3.2B smartphone users on the planet. 42.78% of the world’s population owns a smartphone, meaning they have immediate access to platforms where they can share their opinion on what your company is doing right and not so right.
Number of smartphone users worldwide from 2016 to 2021
Mobile development companies need to be able to quickly gather comments and reviews from countless customers on multiple platforms (think Twitter, App Store reviews, blog posts, YouTube, Reddit, and more). This feedback has to be managed and integrated into future versions of your app. You’ll also need to have a customer success team trained and ready to help users get the most out of your app. It’s a huge undertaking and one that must be managed correctly so your business can thrive.
In this customer success guide, we’ll look at what it is, why it matters as well as methods and strategies for managing feedback and more.
Customer success: what is it?
In recent years, there has been a shift from customer support to customer success. This change has led to the common misconception that customer success is just a fancy new term for customer support. While some companies may be swapping the terms without changing their strategies, the definition of customer success is actually quite different from customer support.
Customer success is a proactive strategy for increasing customer satisfaction, retention, and loyalty. Customer success representatives work to anticipate customer needs and challenges so that they can offer solutions and answers ahead of time. This strategy allows companies to de-escalate issues, prevent greater problems, and delight customers with engaging, relevant information.
What is customer support?
Customer support is a reactive approach to customer issues and challenges. The initiative is on customers themselves to contact the support team and raise an issue. Customer support representatives work to resolve these problems through social media, email, phone, or chat.
A quick note: customer success and customer support don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Depending on the size of your user base, you may need both. However, a strong customer success strategy can help to reduce the number of customer support requests you receive.
Customer success and customer support don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Depending on the size of your user base, you may need both. However, a strong customer success strategy can help to reduce the number of customer support requests you receive.
Why do companies need customer success
So why is customer success important? Isn’t it just enough to resolve problems as they occur?
Common sense tells us that acquiring a new customer is more expensive than retaining a current one. But did you know that customer acquisition costs (CAC) can be as much as 5 times more than retention costs? Take a look at your own CAC numbers, and you’ll likely find your first customer success metric that needs to be managed.
Simply solving problems is no longer enough to retain a customer. With so many options on the market and disruption across industries, you have to do more to keep your customers satisfied. To be blunt, if you won’t, your competitor will.
Customer success does more than improve retention rates; it also delights customers and gives them a story to share with others as an example of how your company went above and beyond to make them happy. Those are the kinds of stories that have a real impact and bring in new customers at a lower cost to your company.
If you’re looking for more statistics to explain the importance of reputation and customer success management to your team, look no further:
- 97% of consumers research companies before buying their products and 12% do so on a daily basis. (BrightLocal)
- 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.(BrightLocal)
- 66% of consumers use online reviews and opinions to decision whether or not to do business with a company. (Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising.)
- Better reviews can help organizations significantly raise their SEO ranks and 65% of consumers trust search engine results the most (Edelman Trust Barometer).
Your business’s reputation matters and your online reputation is usually the first and often the only one your potential customers will get to know. The overall sentiment of user feedback is the face of your business and the most influential factor when it comes to users deciding whether or not to download your app. Businesses with more positive reviews and online sentiments appear more credible and trustworthy to users. These reviews also serve as a competitive differentiator. Your user experience can truly set you apart from competitors and encourage brand loyalty.
If you want to get and stay head, you have to create experiences that your users will want to share with others. These experiences transform into stories which can be told again and again by your business and your users.
Speaking of stories, let’s take a look at a couple of companies that are nailing customer success.
Slack: using customer success to boost engagement
The collaboration hub, Slack, has an estimated 12M daily active users. Its rival, Microsoft Teams, has reported having 13M daily active users. However, Slack recently revealed some more data that paints a fuller picture of the app’s success. Slack users are connected to the app a whopping 9 hours a day and use it actively for an average of 90 minutes. 70% of Slack’s top 50 customers are also Office 365 subscribers, meaning they pay for a Slack license despite having access to Microsoft Teams already.
One of Slack’s biggest differentiators goes beyond the product itself. Slack prioritizes helping their customers get the most out of the app and uses their feedback to make improvements. A quick glance at Slack’s twitter feed shows the company responding to user questions and suggestions nearly every single minute. User feedback has made it into updates including shared channels, longer channel names, and custom emojis.
Jam City: leveraging an integrated approach to mobile customer success
Mobile game developer, Jam City, has an extensive portfolio of chart-topping games including its flagship, Cookie Jam, Vineyard Valley, and Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery. Jam City has over 50M monthly users. Their Hogwarts Mystery game was named one of Google Play’s Games of the Year in 2018 and reached #1 in Apple’s free-to-play category within 24 hours of release.
Much like Slack, Jam City focuses on creating great apps and then helping their users get the most out of these games. The key to their mobile customer success is a blend of excellent support articles and tutorials available for each game, consistent responses to app reviews, a dedicated customer success team, and a strong social media presence.
How to deal with negative feedback
Receiving a negative review on the App Store or a harshly worded tweet can engage the fight or flight syndrome, especially for those closest to the app. We know that fighting back will further harm our business’s reputation. However, the inclination to ignore the feedback can often be stronger and more pervasive. Ignoring negative feedback can have lasting consequences that are almost impossible to undo.
Think about it. If you were to share your experience with a business and receive no reply, how would you feel? Now imagine you go to download an app recommended to you by a friend and notice that all of the negative reviews have no reply. How would you characterize the publisher? Would your perception of the publisher and the app itself be affected? Of course, it would.
Ignoring negative feedback tells prospective and current users one thing: you don’t care. Plus, negative feedback tends to spread like wildfire and the longer you wait to address it, the worse it gets. Users may use several different platforms to share their opinion if they feel they aren’t being heard.
Ignoring negative feedback tells prospective and current users one thing: you don’t care. Plus, negative feedback tends to spread like wildfire and the longer you wait to address it, the worse it gets.
Here are some quick tips for getting started managing negative feedback from users:
- Put yourself in their shoes. Be as empathetic as possible.
- Explain that you understand their concerns, detail your next steps, and provide a way of getting in touch again if they’d like to.
- Follow up with a fix or update as appropriate.
Strategies for gathering and responding to user reviews
How do you gather feedback from multiple platforms, monitor sentiment, and reply to users? For smaller developers, the initial strategy is typically to assign platforms such as social media or an app store to team members. These team members may use a monitoring tool to find mentions of the business or app and turn on notifications as well. This strategy typically works out okay if you’re receiving a small number of reviews each day. Insights and feedback can be passed along to the development team to inform updates and new releases.
When developers begin to grow and experience more success, they often find it difficult to respond to every review leveraging the same customer success strategy we mentioned before. It’s not uncommon to see developers shifting their strategy to only replying to featured or negative reviews.
Replying to featured reviews only can function as a strategy if you’re still receiving a manageable number of reviews for your team each day, and your negative review percentage is under 10%. These reviews are important as many users only see featured reviews. However, it becomes more difficult to manage these reviews internally through listening platforms and notifications as your user base grows. You’ll need to consider how to segment these reviews by country, location, and device.
Likewise, replying only to negative reviews can work as your customer strategy if your user base is fairly small. We often recommend this strategy when your negative review percentage gets above 10-15%. You can uncover most negatives reviews by monitoring social media, the App Store, and Google Play. As is the case with the other strategies, doing so gets more complex when you factor in multiple apps, countries, devices, and languages. You also miss the opportunity to interact with your most engaged users and encourage them to become advocates.
A truly comprehensive reputation management and customer success strategy should include:
- A method to monitor reviews and feedback across multiple app stores, social media sites, and other platforms.
- Similarly, a method to respond to said reviews.
- Capability to translate reviews from multiple languages.
- Tracking for review updates and changes.
- Filtering by sentiment, country, app, device type, etc.
- Ability to assign review to appropriate internal representatives.
- Tracking of review reply time and current status of pending reviews.
Attempting to do all of the above manually leaves a lot of room for error and can be a drain on resources. At AppFollow, we’ve developed a reputation management tool for mobile apps, focused on increasing user satisfaction. You can instantly receive review alerts, assign reviews with one click, reply directly through tools you already use like Slack or ZenDesk, and monitor your team’s efficiency.
Our customer success application takes the pain out of reputation management and makes it easy to keep your users satisfied. For a closer look at how it all works, check out our reputation management product page.