Mobile app users express difficulty with reporting bugs and sharing improvement ideas with app owners
Mobile applications bring the world to our fingertips. From productivity tools to entertainment, apps provide convenience and connectivity like never before. For companies, they help drive engagement, revenue, and even help create intimate bonds with their customers. But what happens when something goes awry? How easily can users share ideas for improvements? When users are willing to share feedback, do they feel heard?
The latest issue of Pulse Labs IQTM, Mobile UX for NFL News, dives into the NFL fan experience of finding news updates and video clips on different mobile apps. We chose to explore whether the existing app feedback loop is meeting user expectations. App UX is not just about the app, it's also about the customer dialog an app can help create – or hinder.
We asked participants, “How easy is it for you to share feedback with an app developer if you encounter an issue or have an idea for improvement?” Nearly a third of the participants indicated that giving user feedback on apps is difficult, with iPhone users struggling the most at 47%.
Multiple factors contribute to the difficulty users face, including many companies' lack of a systematic process to collect and incorporate customer feedback. Without a reliable mechanism for gathering ideas, issues, and needs from clients, organizations are missing out on valuable insights that can help address user problems and improve overall user experience.
Challenges in contacting customer support
Users often have a hard time contacting an app's customer support, especially for larger apps like Facebook and X (Twitter).
“A lot of the larger apps try to insulate themselves from their customers as much as possible. Good luck finding a support number from Facebook or Twitter.”
—Keith, Millennial, Man, iPhone
Lack of response or slow response
Participants are unsure if their user feedback will be read and considered by the people behind the apps. Some also report not receiving a response from app owners when they provide user feedback or report issues, leading to frustration.
“One time I ran into an issue with an app, not allowing me to use a feature that was advertised as free, and when I tried to reach out to the support, I never got a response back.”
—Alyssa, Gen Z, Woman, iPhone
“I let Travelers insurance know about issues I had with their mobile app via a contact us link. They sent an automated email and responded a few days later.”
—Patrick, Gen X, Man, iPhone
Limited knowledge on feedback process
Some users lack knowledge about how to share feedback on apps and don't know where to start.
“I wouldn't even know how to. I've encountered this issue but never was able to tell anyone.”
—Patrick, Millennial, Man, Android
Given these challenges, most users resort to self-help, attempting to troubleshoot issues on their own. Almost half (48%) of users believe that updating apps may resolve issues and improve functionality, while 24% sometimes assume the issue may be due to their own actions or settings and attempt to rectify it themselves by trying different approaches.
Alarmingly, 19% of users say they will go to a different app or website for the information they are looking for if they encounter app usability issues. This means that unheard user feedback and unreported technical issues lead to higher attrition rates, loss of user engagement, and loss of revenue.
“I don't have time to troubleshoot, so I just move on. If things don't work often enough, I will just skip that app. I have no favorites since most of the free content is generic.”
—Gary, Gen X, Man, iPhone
Users generally hesitate to contact app owners for support. They see it as a last resort and prefer to exhaust other options first. Ultimately, users value a seamless user experience and are willing to switch to alternatives if an app consistently underperforms.
Where feedback wins
Although many users struggle to find ways to submit their feedback, when app owners make feedback routes available, people use them. We saw that, when present, users appreciate in-app customer feedback buttons.
“Any issues and I always go to a contact link to submit my request, it's fairly easy for me because I'm technically savvy.”
—Kev, Gen X, Man, Android
So, how can app owners bridge the gap between user frustrations and ideas and the teams that build apps? The implications are profound:
- Enhanced user engagement: Product app owners, developers, and the teams that support users must prioritize creating user-friendly feedback channels, ensuring that they feel heard and valued.
- Transparent communication: App owners should communicate their dedication to addressing user feedback, assuaging user doubts about the impact of users' suggestions.
- Responsiveness: Be more responsive to user feedback through app updates, newsletters, and, if needed, one-to-one communication. Timely responses foster trust and collaboration.
- Education: Educating users on how to provide customer feedback can empower them to actively participate in shaping the apps they use.
Real time insights for enhanced user experiences
Clearly users frequently struggle to report issues and share helpful ideas about the apps they use, but it doesn't have to be this way. Companies can optimize app UX quickly and cost effectively by embracing innovative tools like Pulse FlightRecorderTM. This cutting-edge solution empowers users to share their experiences effortlessly and ensures that product owners, developers, customer support teams, and operations teams receive authentic and actionable real time insights.
To discover how Pulse FlightRecorder can revolutionize your feedback collection and user experience improvement efforts with real time insights from your app users, reach out to us and get started today.