Five ways to gather and analyze app user feedback more effectively

Did the delivery executive delivering your last food order ask you to provide feedback? What about the last time you were using an app and were prompted to drop a review on an app store?

The value of customer and user feedback has never been more sought after. The most obvious benefit of gathering valuable feedback is improving the overall performance of an app. Generally, this is the big reason many companies with an app in the market push a lot for user feedback.

However, getting reviews and ratings has other advantages as well. For instance, app stores tend to provide more organic visibility to apps which have a larger number of reviews. A robust user feedback system can thus help apps with app store optimization as well.

The challenge here is gathering feedback and analyzing it for constructive ways to improve the app. Not all users are open to providing detailed feedback, Most in fact try their best to bypass feedback formalities altogether. This naturally makes it difficult for companies to know where they stand with their app users.

The sections below provides information on five ways to improve the process of gathering and analysing feedback from app users.

Table of contents

#1 - Refine feedback-gathering mechanisms

#2 - Segment users providing feedback into different cohorts

#3 - The customer is not always right - The Squeaky Wheel customer

#4 - Test feedback-based changes before full-scale rollout

#5 - Develop your app update strategy around user feedback

  #1 - Refine feedback-gathering mechanisms

Getting feedback from app users is difficult, and for obvious reasons. There is no direct incentive for users to take some time out of their day and provide feedback. How many apps do you review diligently after using for a period of three to four days?

The solution to this is refining the feedback-gathering mechanisms available to an app.

What is the goal of gathering feedback? This part can vary from app to app. Let’s say you have an ecommerce app you built with a convert WooCommerce to Android & iOS app builder. The main reason you want to gather user feedback is to improve your overall mobile app design.

Who are the people who would have had problems with your app design? These are probably users who don’t use your app often or simply uninstall it. Such users will have more to say about all the negative aspects of your app.

Targeting such people with email and push notification campaigns can help companies get valuable feedback. This targeted approach further helps them achieve their goal of improving the overall design of their app.

The goal of gathering feedback can also be to improve the overall visibility of an app on the app stores. We mentioned earlier how app ratings and reviews are a legitimate ASO factor. Creating in-app pop-ups directing app users to the review page or offering in-app currency/deals to write reviews helps increase the number of app store reviews.

#2 - Segment users providing feedback into different cohorts

It is not wise to put all the incoming feedback into one basket. Doing so takes away the context within which each feedback is coming from. Thus, it makes perfect sense to segment user feedback into different cohorts.

Let’s take an example. Assume you build a blogging app by turning WordPress to mobile app for Android and iOS. You get a lot of feedback on the latest content you posted on your app. Your older app users which roughly account for 85% of your total users love the content. The new app users don’t like it as much.

A little work with some of the best mobile app analytics tools shows the new users have a lower LTV compared to the older users.

Does it really make sense to anger your old users with a wholesale content change then?

Segmenting user feedback according to LTV helped your app in this example. Generally, this exercise helps you see the value of the feedback and the context in which it is coming from.

#3 - The customer is not always right - The Squeaky Wheel customer

Entrepreneurs and companies are trained to believe customers. ‘The customer is always right’ is not a new saying. It’s been around ever since companies have competed with each other to earn the good grace of their customers.

One unhappy app user is often more vocal than fifty happy users. However, the massive impression one unhappy user makes can force your company into making changes.

These customers are known as squeaky wheels. They are generally small in number but occupy most of the attention of a company with an app in the market.

The solution? Companies must weigh the feedback they get from their users. If a bad experience is corroborated by other users in large numbers, it makes sense to make the necessary changes.

To simply go about making changes because of a handful of squeaky users is unwise. Companies at the very least must complete a thorough testing of the app before making any wholesale changes.

#4 - Test feedback-based changes before full-scale rollout

It is natural for an app to undergo some changes after some feedback from users is taken into consideration. However, it is not right to simply roll-out these changes.

Mechanisms like A/B testing and focus group testing is a good way to check if the new changes address the problems users were facing earlier.

This is especially important when the changes made in an app are large in scale. Small updates can still be rolled out without a lot of analysis. However, big updates must go through the conventional process of mobile app testing.

#5 - Develop your app update strategy around user feedback

Rolling out new app updates is an important part of running any normal app. There are many reasons companies regularly update their mobile apps. The obvious reason is to provide the best possible user experience. Other factors like ASO and feature maintenance are also part of the mix.

Addressing user feedback should also be a significant part of a company’s app update strategy. While user feedback cannot be the sole deciding factor when it comes to shaping an app update strategy, it should certainly be an important part of it. This can also help ensure that focus on user feedback is not a seasonal trend, but a regular part of an app’s ethos.

In conclusion

From development to marketing, user feedback can help apps improve across all verticals. The challenges in getting valuable feedback from app users often obstructs companies from creating a better version of their app.

This piece provides insights on gathering and analyzing app user feedback with five insightful tips. There are many other methods to study and leverage app user feedback besides the five mentioned here. Nevertheless, the five ways covered here can set companies wih apps in the market on the right track.