Mobile has forever changed the way we do business. The customer experience is no longer fostered only with face-to-face communication, e-mails or even with an engaging website. Mobile, and specifically mobile apps, are now at the forefront of customer engagement. Considering consumers check their phones an average of 150 times a day (and for some of us many more) this presents an opportunity to engage with consumers anytime, anywhere and in any context.
It’s important to recognize that creating an app and getting your customers to download it is a huge win, but it’s only the first step. With over 2.4 million apps available in the Apple App Store and Google Play, providing users with an app alone isn’t enough to retain them. Your app must provide some benefit and satisfy some need your customer has because if it doesn’t they will be quick to find another app that will. That being said, apps provide you with numerous ways to create customer loyalty.
Here are are a few ways to keep your users coming back:
- Make your app easy to use. It may seem like a given, but creating a simple user experience will help you retain customers. Go back to the basics and understand the context of why your customer needs to use your app and then build your user flow around it. You don’t want to lose your user because your app was too confusing or took too many steps to get the information they are looking for. For example, allow options for users to store their credit card information to easily make in-app purchases and to autosave their username so they don’t have to enter it every time they reopen your app.
- Create personalized experiences. Analyze your user data and their actions within your app to gain insights on what they are looking to gain out of your app. By creating tailored custom messages and push notifications notifications specific to your user will provide much more personalized experiences, encouraging users to keep coming back. For example, notifying your user about a specific sale that may interest them - as opposed to general sales - shows an active engagement in whom a customer is.
- Have an appreciation for immediacy. Today’s consumers want what they want, when they want it. It’s important to deliver the information your users are looking for immediately when they need it. As we mentioned, consumers are looking for apps to bring them some sort of benefit or solve a problem of some type. By meeting your consumers needs when they need you to you will gain their trust and loyalty. For example, if you are an airline app and your user is running late for their flight you will want to show them their flight status the second they open your app, instead of showing them upcoming travel deals.
- Offer mobile rewards. Many popular apps these days have in-app rewards systems. Rewards are awarded based on your user taking specific actions like checking in to a physical location, filling out a form or simply opening your app again. There are different types of rewards you can offer depending upon your app and what will encourage your user to stay in your app or come back. For example, real-life rewards like a free cup of coffee or virtual rewards like becoming a virtual mayor. Rewards encourage user participation, sense of fulfillment and entertainment through a little healthy competition.
- Keep your app fresh. Continue to make updates to your app and to share them with your users. This includes everything from updating the look of your app to the user experience to the actual content. Remaining vigilant to feedback and a never-ending quest for improvement are imperative. Lose track of what the target demographic needs and/or wants, and you can be sure that competitors will be willing to offer what’s lacking. For example, try running A/B tests on different home screens for your app or change your look to align with an upcoming holiday.