In order to create the ultimate mobile app experience, Victor Zhang of Safeway did his homework; and is now sharing his insight as a guest Finger Food blogger:
iPhone users find Apple iTunes’ app rating and review feature helpful since these ratings and reviews are from similar users like themselves. These ratings and reviews are naturally a good way to gauge customer satisfaction levels. I reviewed the following apps, and am sharing my findings with you:
- American Airlines (3 stars – 448 ratings)
- Wells Fargo Mobile (3.5 stars – 741 ratings)
- Target (4 stars – 3636 ratings)
- Grocery IQ (3.5 stars – 122 ratings)
- Krogers (3 stars – 63 ratings)
Risk factor one: inability to use the app.
This may or may not be the mobile application’s fault. If a customer really wants to use it, but something prevents from them doing it, the customer is upset and gives the app a low rating. For example, a Kroger customer who gave the app 1 star says, ”Creating an account on the website is a horrific experience! After a dozen attempts was still unable to complete…”
In this area, the reasons for low ratings may include: iOS version limitation, registration issues, login issues, password recovery issues, and so on.
How can we avoid this: approach the customer experience holistically. Any hurdles and issues that prevent the customers from using the app should be addressed.
Risk factor two: limited functionality
Customers expect some basic functionalities, and if the app fails to meet the customers’ expectations, the customers will give the app low ratings.
For example, a Kroger 1 star customer says, “Would be great if you added weekly ad and shopping list.” A Wells Fargo Mobile 1-star user says, “Waste of time app. This app is far too limited to be useful …”
How can we avoid this: the current set of functionalities in specs should meet the customers’ need. However, we need to closely monitor the customers’ feedbacks and usage patterns, and then invest in the area customers ask for.
Risk factor three: a feature not working after update.
People do have stronger reactions to the feature changes, especially when a certain feature they use frequently stops working. For example, a 1-star Grocery IQ customer says, “Sharing doesn’t work any more! …”
How can we avoid this: QA and testing are crucial.
Risk factor four: application stability.
If the app crashes often, it’s inevitable to get low ratings. The reason for crashes may or may not be caused by the application. For example, a 1-star Target user says,
“Works for about 10 min and then constantly crashes …”
How can we avoid this: Many factors need to be in place to create a stable application: front-end and back-end. This is what our engineering team, partners and vendors can control.
Risk factor five: usability.
If the app is complicated to use, some users react in a very negative manner. For example, a 1-star American Airlines user says, “Worst App all time!!!!!! This is a completely unusable app…” An another one says, “Not a user-friendly app!”
How can we avoid this: We can avoid the usability problems by using user centric design principles throughout development. We should always put users at the center of what we want to achieve.
- Victor Zhang , Product Manager – Interactive Marketing, Safeway.com