Categories: Developers / Mobile Apps

Gathering and implementing feedback is essential to the ongoing success of your mobile app. We’ve spoken before about conducting user research and testing. But what about once your mobile app is out there in the wild?

There are a number of ways you can capture user feedback that you can use to guide future releases and updates.

Add a contact form

Listen up: Everyone has an opinion about your mobile app.

Listen up: Everyone has an opinion about your mobile app.

It’s simple, and it works. An in-app contact form lets users share problems, issues or ideas for your app. Importantly, any problems will be shared directly with you and not for the whole world to see.

No one likes typing on a touchscreen, so keep it as simple as possible. Auto populate fields if you can, and try to automatically gather information such as device, OS and app versions. Loading an email client is a low-fi alternative.

You can write a script to categorize feedback into buckets such as “bugs” or “feature requests”. As trends arise you can consider them for your implementation schedule.

Try an in-app help desk

There are a number of in-app tools designed to offer support to your users. Every conversation doubles as feedback gathering, so these can be invaluable for identifying areas of friction users are experiencing in real-time. Popular tools include HelpShift, HelpStack, Instabug and Apptentive.

Like the contact form above, this approach aims to deal with user issues within the app itself. Quarantining negative feedback is important for your mobile app’s reputation, and dealing with problems in real time can help prevent users from leaving public facing negative reviews.

Offer in-app surveys

In-app surveys are great for mobile app feedback.

Surveys are great for gathering feedback on your mobile app.

Companies like SurveyMonkey let you integrate simple surveys into your app. Basically you pick the key questions you want answered, integrate the SDK and wait for feedback. You can also prompt happy users to review your app in the App Store.

Surveys are interruptive by nature, so keep it brief and focus on what you really need to know. Avoid general questions and opt for one-click responses where possible.

Implement social listening

Social listening uses natural language processing to “read” what users are saying about your app. It monitors social media, forums and review sites to observe trends and identify keywords and positive and negative sentiment around your mobile app.

Implementing social listening is probably beyond the bounds of a smaller app. However, for larger apps it’s a valuable way of collecting additional data. As a bonus, you can also use it to see what users are saying about competing apps.

Request mobile app store reviews

App store reviews give a clear picture of what users do and don’t like about your app. Note that people are more likely to leave highly positive or highly negative reviews, so review pages aren’t necessarily a true metric of your app.

To avoid the reputational risk associated with negative reviews, use some of the options listed above to help contain and manage negative feedback. This will help ensure that the reviews that do make it on to your page are more likely to work in your favor.

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