Gathering and implementing mobile customer feedback is the best way to truly understand how you can improve your mobile experience, but approaching your feedback strategy can be tougher than it seems.

In our new mobile product management report, we asked respondents how important customer feedback is to their decision making process. We were surprised to see a higher number of respondents de-prioritize customer feedback in this year’s survey. This is one metric Apptentive commits to changing throughout our community and across industries, and we’re doubling down on our mission to educate teams about the importance of customer feedback throughout the mobile product experience.

How important is feedback?

We also asked survey respondents how often they gather customer feedback. We saw a slight decrease in the year-over-year cadence of asking for feedback. More respondents now ask for customer feedback monthly (31% compared to 19%) and quarterly (17% compared to 8%) than daily (22% compared to 44%).

How often do you gather feedback?

Finally, we asked respondents to weigh in on the most pressing challenges they face as mobile PMs, and 23% noted that only getting a small amount of customer feedback presented a challenge for them. Surprising, right? Not so much! Although it may seem as though feedback is less important now that it was two years ago based on our survey results, the data shows the disconnect is likely due to approaching feedback strategies incorrectly. In reality, gathering and implementing customer feedback is the only way to make progress with your mobile product.

Here at Apptentive, we live to help our customers listen to their consumers. When it comes to gathering mobile customer feedback, our years of experience have yielded a long list of practical tips to help improve your approach to gathering customer feedback. Here are six strategies for better mobile customer feedback.

6 tips for better mobile customer feedback

1. Meet the customer where they are

All too often, brands require customers to leave the mobile app when a question or problem arises. If the customer is using your mobile app, give them a way to provide you feedback directly from the app. Don’t disrupt their experience by sending them out of the app to a webpage or to email or Twitter. A disrupted experience typically leads to less action, which means there’s a high likelihood you’re left with a frustrated customer and no feedback.

2. Be proactive

Solicit feedback proactively by messaging your app’s customers at an opportune time, or at the right mobile moment, with a message showing you care about their experience and opinions. Even if the customer does not currently have feedback, prompting keeps your internal feedback loop top-of-mind with customers. That way, the next time they do have an issue with your app, they’ll remember that they can communicate those issues directly with your team—rather than the route of impersonal and indirect app store reviews.

3. Build a two-way feedback loop

Effective feedback loops should be a frictionless part of the customer experience and designed in a way that resonates with the needs of a mobile customer: quick, non-intrusive, and optimized for mobile screens. To see this optimization in action, consider how you prefer to communicate on mobile. If you’re anything like us, you prefer texting to calling, don’t like to write out long responses on a mobile device, prefer to answer in short-hand, and expect any requests on your time, such as survey requests, to be cognizant of your time. The result is a mobile-optimized feedback loop, a communication channel specifically designed with your mobile customer in mind. These channels (often manifesting in feedback forms, in-app surveys, and two-way messaging) can be built into any app or effortlessly integrated with a mobile communications tool like Apptentive.

4. Respond to customer feedback

Once a customer does provide feedback, let them know that it’s valued! Customers should know that their feedback isn’t go into a black hole. Take the time to respond to each customer who leaves feedback. Regardless of whether the feedback is positive or negative, recognize it for what it is—a gift—and give thanks. If the app feedback contains a suggestion or bug report, let the customer know where this issue stands in your roadmap. And once that issue has been fixed or that suggestion has been implemented, reach back out to inform the customer of the impact their feedback made.

5. Act on feedback

Use your app’s feedback to continually improve your product. Regardless of whether the feedback is positive or negative, recognize it for what it is—a gift—and give thanks. Customer feedback provides publishers with pre-validated ideas to fix or improve their apps. These insights should inform your product roadmap and rally your development team around a single point: the customer

6. Leverage customer engagement tools

Now’s the time to start communicating with your customers where they already are: in your app. There are plenty of places to start, but no matter where you begin, we recommend thinking about your goals and how you can better engage and listen to your mobile customers. We also invite you to try out our own customer communication tools (like Message Center, Surveys, Notes, and Ratings Prompts) informed by the lessons we’ve learned from six years of helping some of the world’s best brands collect actionable customer insights.

In conclusion

When asked for correctly, customer feedback can help improve business by benefiting your customers, revenue, product, and data collection strategy. Hopefully the above tips give you a good place to start when evaluating your current mobile customer feedback strategy, along with tips to improve.

Do you ask for mobile customer feedback in other ways? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!