5 Ways to Get Feedback on Your Mobile App
Sometimes what separates the “good” apps from the “great” apps is how their developers use customer feedback to improve over time. If you’re not tracking customer feedback and responding to it in meaningful ways, you’re missing out not only on a chance to improve relationships with your customers and community, but also to integrate this feedback into the ongoing improvement of your apps. Feedback can help you identify problem areas, create new solutions and imagine greater possibilities for what your app can help people experience and achieve.
Here are five easy tools that every app developer should use to get customer feedback:
- App store reviews: This idea might sound obvious (after all, everyone knows about app store reviews), but it’s often surprising to see how many developers focus only on their app’s star rating and don’t pay attention to the actual comments. Look for examples of customers having trouble with your game – what do they complain about? Where is your app frustrating people or losing people’s interest? On the flip side, by reading app store review comments you can also gain insights into where your app is succeeding. Listen to the raves as well as the rants. You might be pleasantly surprised by some of the things your app is doing well – and these positive comments might help you identify bigger opportunities. Also be sure to listen for how your customers talk about your game – what words and phrases and descriptions do they use? Without realizing it, your customers might be writing the marketing copy for your next mobile banner ad.
- Facebook: Social media is not only a great way to promote your app, but it’s also an ideal listening tool for gathering feedback. You can use Facebook to have conversations with customers, conduct polls, and get feedback on ideas. For example, you could post a poll about “which features would you most like to see in our next app update?” Or “Which level of the recent game update did you enjoy most?” Social media isn’t just for promoting a message and selling to customers, it’s also about engaging with customers to show them that you value their ideas and feedback.
- Set up a customer forum on your website: Facebook has some great tools for generating and tracking feedback, but there are some limitations to what Facebook can do – plus the feedback is all contained on your Facebook page, which limits your flexibility in using the data. If you want to get wider-ranging customer feedback in a format that your company can fully “own” and control, it’s best to create a customer forum on your own website. Here is a good example of a customer forum that Subatomic Studios created for their game Fieldrunners 2.
- Run your own free focus groups: One of the cheapest, fastest and easiest ways to get feedback is to simply round up a group of your friends and family and observe them playing your game. Where do they get stuck? How long does it take them to figure out what to do? When do they get frustrated? What are some suggestions that come to mind as they play the game – which comments and complaints do you hear most often from your “focus group” testers? Sometimes the best way to evaluate an app is to share it with someone else who was not involved in developing it, and then watch what happens. Friends and family will notice things about your app that might have been overlooked during the development process.
- In-app feedback: Perhaps the most powerful method of getting customer feedback is soliciting it in the app itself. Whether it’s a “Contact Us” button, asking your active users about what they think of your app or running in-app surveys, you can learn the most from people who are actually in your app and using it. You can build these capabilities on your own or use tools from companies like Apptentive to get more feedback from your app customers in a matter of minutes.
Once you’ve gathered customer feedback about your app, you need to take the next step and implement changes based on what you’ve heard from your customers. Sometimes this requires app developers to swallow their pride, spend some more time and effort to correct mistakes, or even consider re-vamping some of the key elements of the app. But in the end, your app will be more successful if its final version includes the perspectives of people who actually use it.
What’s your take on this? What are the benefits (and limitations) of customer feedback? How do you know which feedback to listen to and which to ignore?