updated icon March 15 2016
Share

With hundred of apps getting introduced to the app stores almost everyday, it is becoming harder to acquire new users as well as retain the existing ones. According to research, about 80% of apps are deleted after their first use. And there is about a 60% chance that the user who haven’t used the app in the first seven days, never will.

app_retention_stats.jpg

So how do you ensure your app isn’t uninstalled from a target user’s phone?

By bridging the gap between the app developer and the user – what we popularly refer to as customer service or support.

Here are 10 tips to make your app’s first impression an ever lasting one, and reduce the uninstall rate by 20%:

1. Listen to your users (ratings and reviews)

Negative user reviews don’t just bring down the position of the app in the store, but also deter other users from downloading it. Listen to all the negative feedback and improve your app to address the problems stated.  

Set up a private channel for complaints. Listening to what the users have to say is the only way to understand what they are looking for, the problems they are facing in the app and how you can make their experience better- before they decide to uninstall the app.

2. Understand your users

It is important to understand your customers to be able to come up with strategies that prevent uninstalls. While most businesses define the general demographics of their target users, very few of them deep dive into the details.

Data such as what their likes and dislikes are, their app usage – when and how, their activity triggers, etc can help create strategies that segment and target them in the app. Segmenting allows you to custom target users based on their in-app behavior, and focus on retaining them post download.  

The entry barrier to get an app to the store is considerably low and with the hundreds of options available to a user, he isn’t assured to only interact with your app. Hence, it is important to create a holistic experience for the user and that only comes with understanding.

3. Offer proactive support 

According to Help Scout, only 4% of unhappy customers raise their complaints and almost 91% of them just abandon the app due to a bad experience. Hence, it is important to offer proactive support in the app and reach out to them before an uninstall occurs.

Mobile users have way too many choices in the app store, hence losing them after a tough acquiring is like missing out on a golden opportunity that is never coming back to you.

4. Consistently deliver updates

There are many businesses who are bringing their concepts to mobile apps today. And there is a high chance that at least a handful of them offer the same thing you do to the same target market. The only way to ensure that users remain loyal to your app, is to consistently deliver updates.   

While bombarding them with major updates every other day is only going to increase your chances of an uninstall, a modest number will keep your users engaged. Be it small bug fixes or introducing a new feature, it is important to let the users know that you’re improving for them.

5. Monitor and optimize app engagement 

Apart from making efforts to continuously keep improving the user experience on the app, it is also important for developers to monitor and optimize their app engagement. This also helps understand if the app is being used for the purpose it was actually made for and also identifying potential market opportunities.

Observe how your users are making use of the app, at what stage are you losing them and see if you can pinpoint the reasons behind their behavior. This should include the in-app engagement including social sharing, retention, conversion rates, popular features and time spent on the app.

6. Implement personalization

If you have been keeping a tab on the digital trends, you would know how important personalization has become. Whether you’re acquiring a new customer or making efforts to retain an existing one, all your efforts need to revolve around what he wants to see and interact with.

Rather than being generic, push out tailored messages according to user data – their likes and dislikes, frequency of app usage, in-app purchases, devices used, etc. The more contextual your messaging is, the more relatable your app becomes at every stage – reducing the number of uninstalls drastically.

7. Create a mobile FAQ section 

Today, most users prefer self-service instead of having to reach out to a help desk when something doesn’t work for them. Hence, creating a mobile FAQ section is important. If your user can readily find the answers to all their queries, they’ll be instantly gratified. Nudging them to place a phone call or write an email leads to uninstalls…

Make sure the FAQ section is embedded in the app and is easy to find. The user shouldn’t be forced to leave the app to look for solutions on the internet as it lowers this experience on the app.

Another smart strategy to implement is to make the FAQs searchable. Analyze the common queries of your users, update them regularly in your database and offer an autocomplete feature to them. A native FAQ section helps users find answers to their questions instantly, improving their experience and reducing the number of tickets raised. It also increases the amount of time a user spends on the app.

8. Become easily reachable

Only a few users actually bother to report a problem with the app (point no.3). Hence it is important that you make yourself easily reachable. Provide the users with the right channel to express their concerns and make sure you address them as quickly as possible, as well as let them know once it is done.

For example, Facebook lets you report unpleasant posts on your feed. You can express your concern regarding the post in just a few clicks on the options given. They then notify you of the action taken against the post – the turnover time of which is usually under 24 hours.

facebookreport.jpg

9. Build a community 

According to MarketingCharts, about half of the users an app acquires, come via a positive review shared on a digital platform. This goes to say how important word of mouth is to grow in the competitive app market.

So establish a community for all your users. Where they can express their concerns and find solutions to their issues, as well as interact with you and other app users. For example, engaging your players in real-time conversations will help you gain their trust as well offer instant gratification.

Companies like GetSocial allow you to add chat functionality in your app in minutes, also enabling cross-channel and cross-app communication – this eradicates the process of moving back and forth, keeping the user on your app longer. It also helps you manage your community and engage with them on a personal level. Be it informing them about upcoming features and updates, or acknowledging feedbacks – building communities keeps the users engaged as well as improves the understanding between developer and users.  

10. Implement in-app help/support 

Apart from the FAQ section, it is important for businesses to get an in-app help/support feature implemented in their app. This is primarily for users who can’t seem to find the right solution for their issues in the answered questions – and you don’t want them to leave the app seeking for solutions or other apps that might offer them a better user experience.

Instead of redirecting your users to a browser to seek support, make of contextual deeplinking. This will help you seamlessly redirect them to a support page within the app without hampering the user experience.

Another way to address this need, is to make use of live chats, proactively engage users with push notifications and in-app surveys. These tactics help improve user retention and boost one-to-one communication.

If you want users to retain your app for a longer period, you need to engage with them on a regular basis in one way or the other.  

What other tactics have you made use of for reducing uninstall rates of your app?