Today’s marketers and product managers have the power to reveal new fans, at-risk consumers, and shifts in emotion from customer experience over time in order to gauge sentiment. With this level of unique data from ongoing interactions—both online and onsite—brands can respond faster to revenue opportunities and build loyalty, while enhancing their own first-party data.

This post outlines how to gather, measure, and act on mobile customer sentiment based on data from our just-released 2020 Mobile App Engagement Benchmark Report.

How to gather mobile customer sentiment

Apptentive’s Love Dialog feature is used to gather the data, which starts with a simple “yes” or “no” question: “Do you love our brand?”

In 2019, 94% of all consumers who were prompted by a Love Dialog responded “Yes” or “No” rather than closing out of the prompt. On iOS, the number was even higher at 97%, compared to 87% of consumers on Android. The Love Dialog garners such high response rates primarily because of its simplicity. People are willing to answer short, simple questions and share feedback when they’re proactively asked for it at the right mobile moment.

Love Dialog Conversion RateLet’s focus on the people who responded “Yes” to the total “Yes” and “No” Love Dialog responses. In 2019, 64% of consumers prompted responded that “Yes,” they loved the brand. On iOS, 62% of consumers responded “Yes,” and 68% of consumers responded “Yes” on Android. These quick, positive responses are a great way for brands to take a regular emotional pulse from their consumers, without asking them to leave the app for feedback or take another step away from their intended use of the app.

Love Percent

How to measure expressed mobile customer sentiment

There is a new standard for measuring mobile customer sentiment and emotion through in-app customer voice and feedback initiatives, which is looking at what Apptentive calls “emotion data.” We capture emotion data through Fan Signals™, which allows your brand to measure expressed sentiment across time and touchpoints, helping you identify when sentiment has shifted and why—down to individual customer IDs.

In measuring expressed sentiment, we segment customers into four categories:

  • New or Repeat Fans: Customers who have expressed positive emotion for the first time by answering “Yes,” or who have expressed positive emotion at least twice in a row.
  • New or Repeat Risks: Customers who have expressed negative emotion for the first time by answering “No,” or who have expressed negative emotion at least twice in a row.
  • Fans Shifted to Risks: Customers whose expressed emotion has shifted from positive to negative, or from Fan to Risk.
  • Risks Shifted to Fans: Customers whose expressed emotion has shifted from negative to positive, or from Risk to Fan.

In 2019, the average number of New or Repeat Fans was 60% (iOS 58%, Android 65%). The average number of New or Repeat Risks was 31% (iOS 32%, Android 28%). On average, 5% of Fans shifted to Risks (iOS 5%, Android 3%) and 4% of Risks shifted to Fans (iOS 5%, Android 3%).

Expressed mobile customer sentiment

What does this data tell us?

There are various reasons why expressed mobile customer sentiment shifts.

Shifted Fans are typically validation that you’ve improved your customer experience or made a positive change to your in-app experience. Shifted Risks are the opposite and tend to show that you’ve made a negative change to your offerings or customer experience that people aren’t happy with.

Mobile customer emotion > mobile customer sentiment > customer experienceUltimately, expressed emotion is useful when brands make a connection between the shifted sentiment and what’s changed in their in-app experience or product offerings. For example, if a large number of your loyalty program members suddenly don’t “love” you and shift from Fan to Risk, you can trace back to what changed in your in-app experience to understand—and hopefully correct—the shift. If a repeat Fan suddenly shifts to Risk, that’s the best opportunity your brand has to get ahead of retention drop-off. If the customer is a repeat Risk, you have less of a chance in being successful retaining them.

If a customer is consistent in their expressed sentiment, that also calls for a certain type of action. For example, if the customer is consistently a Fan who has not shifted, your brand’s job is to help turn them into advocates. Again, the converse is true: if the customer is consistently unhappy, your brand needs to take dramatic action to keep them as a customer or you are in danger of losing them to a competitor.

It’s your turn

Most product leaders believe they measure emotion and sentiment when in reality, the metrics they rely on don’t tell a complete customer story. And measuring and acting on mobile customer sentiment correctly is critical to customer experience success. In order to measure sentiment correctly, you must also capture and understand the emotions that drive it; you can’t have one without the other.