Getting consumers to download your startup app is one thing, but keeping them engaged is a different ball game altogether.

By Asavari Sharma

Did you know 77% of new users never use the app 72 hours after installing it? An average app loses 95% of its newly acquired customer base within the first three months across both Android and iOS verticals.

The reasons for the same are many, including unattractive UI, bad onboarding experience, privacy concerns, excessive push notifications, reduced need, and more. That is why it is necessary for a growing business like yours to identify the loopholes in your mobile app and to improve the experience it offers.

1:1 communication is a must

Although it is OK for the first customers to explore the mobile app on their own, it is critical for your startup to get the product/market fit right when the app is in the beta phase. And, that can happen through increased engagement with the first customers. These numbers justify my point:

  • By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. [Walker]
  • 89% of businesses will soon compete solely based on customer experience. [Gartner]
  • Businesses burn a hole in the pocket while acquiring a new customer. Seriously, that is expensive by six to seven times more than keeping an old customer engaged. [Marketing Metrics]
  • The probability of selling an existing customer is 60-70% as opposed to 5-20% in the case of new customers. [Invesp]

Therefore, reach out to your first customers and take their feedback as soon as your mobile app starts getting downloads. As a business owner, you need to understand the gap between what a consumer wants and what your product offers.

Products doing it right

Slack and Intercom engaged with their early customers from the beginning itself. It’s through their initial conversations with them were the two collaboration software tools able to fill the gaps between what their customers expected and what was offered to them.

So, the idea is to stay in touch with your customers to get first-hand feedback from them. I understand getting feedback consistently sounds tedious, but it will surely help you improve the product journey.

How can you have meaningful contact with your early customers? Let’s find out:

1) Cloud telephony

  • It’s frustrating for 89% of customers when they have to repeat their issues to multiple representatives. [Accenture]
  • 87% of customers feel there is a greater need for brands to provide a consistent experience across mediums.

For an early-stage startup like yourself, investing in technology may not be a priority because that’s expensive. However, guess what? The right technology can make all the difference! The easiest way to fetch feedback from your first customers and to build a great user experience is through cloud telephony.

By using calls and SMSes, you can reduce the number of touchpoints you need with your early customers. But through cloud telephony, these calls and SMSes can also be tracked and measured to innovate consistently. Cloud telephony enables quick two-way communication, which otherwise would be inconvenient.

2) Web push notifications

The most significant advantage of push is, unlike email and social media, the notifications appear right in front of the consumers in real-time, on the desktop. And, that increases their chances of responding promptly since the messaging is personalised.

Whether the early customer has left using the mobile app midway or hasn’t logged in for days, you can use push to nudge them to take action. If not, you can redirect them to the customer care center in case they are encountering an issue.

3) Social media

According to a Gartner study, the failure to respond to customer complaints on social platforms can lead to a 15% increase in churn. Therefore, keep your ear close to the ground and be quick in communicating with consumers on social media.

Besides, the use of social media for retargeting has also become popular. By adding a code to your website, you can track the movement of the visitors and serve them with ads while they browse elsewhere on the web.

It doesn’t matter if they use their phone or tablet – you can reach out to them through targeted advertisements, addressing a pain-point that can be resolved with your product, once the mobile app gets downloaded.

Customer conversations are a wealth of information. They provide insights that you can use to improve your product and the overall user experience. Early engagement helps businesses to not only sustain customer relationships for a more extended period but also boost their brand equity.

For every consumer who complains, 26 consumers don’t say anything – irrespective of their good or bad experience with a brand. Therefore, don’t wait for your early customers to complete an action, form an opinion of your product, get disappointed, and leave. Approach them directly and make their product journey as easy as possible.

Asavari writes a lot, knows a thing or two about marketing, and advises entrepreneurs on their digital personal branding. She likes keeping a tab on emerging technologies. Her areas of expertise lie in financial services, technology, eCommerce, CX and data analytics. You can write to her at [email protected] or connect with her on LinkedIn. Check out her smashing website today!

App stock photo by BigTunaOnline/Shutterstock