We app makers want our apps to ace all metrics. We want the numbers to climb, be it in the name of engagement, retention, conversion, stickiness, net promoter score or any other fascinating new metric out there. But the most important metric that essentially decides all these other metrics is the one and only – user happiness.
If your users are happy with your app, they will engage more, convert more and spend more. They will promote your app via word of mouth, which still reigns as the one thing consumers trust most. Not only that, happy users are more likely to forgive any occasional issues that arise in the app, and are more patient with you in general. Happy users are the ones who become loyal customers and brand advocates. And did I mention that loyal customers spend up to 67% more than new customers. Happy users make you happier by validating all your hard work and make your late nights and million lines of code entirely worth the effort.
If you aren’t already teaming with excitement to go out and make your users happy today, then take a quick minute to read the above paragraph one more time.
How to Measure User Happiness
Despite being the most pivotal determinant, happiness is a rather obscure metric to measure. Just how do you quantify user happiness?
There are a few ways.
For starters, all the engagement metrics such as retention rate, churn rate, total life time value and average session intervals are a fair indicator of how users feel about your app. However, for a more defined, measurable result, you need something more.
The oft-used metric is the Net Promoter Score or NPS, which measures customer satisfaction and loyalty. It involved asking the user to fill out a survey indicating their satisfaction level. All the other ways to gauge user happiness too primarily hinge on surveys and feedback forms.
As Tomer Sharon, Head of User Research and Metrics, Goldman Sachs, puts it,
“User happiness is a self-reported metric, which means you have to ask people to rate their happiness rather than tracking their behavior”.
So that’s what you do – you ask your users how happy they are with you. Ratings, surveys and other creative ways to get feedback are the most direct and effective tools to measure user happiness. But doing feedback well is an art you must skillfully master. Asking the wrong people the wrong questions at the wrong times could do more harm than help.
Feedback Best Practices
Now it is a well established fact that people aren’t thrilled about filling out surveys. From a user’s perspective, surveys are a lot of hard work. Deciding whether they are slightly happy or moderately happy is a dilemma. When their experience is not quite 4/5 but they also don’t want to go as low as 3/5, there’s more confusion. All such surveys are a ton of cognitive load you cannot expect users to willfully accept.
You need to make it easy, fun and probably rewarding for them to provide you the feedback you really need. So here are a few feedback best practices you need to follow:
Keep Surveys Short
Can you pack a punch in a one-question survey? It’s a win if you can, really. No one likes too many questions.
But the one question can’t just be – how happy are you with this app? It has to be more precise. Something aimed at a particular function or feature, like “Are you happy with the new share feature?” For information on multiple features, you could try including one specific question each time they complete a session. Accumulating small chunks of feedback wins over expecting the user to fill out a two page survey.
Bite Only What You Can Chew
Always ask questions only when you are seriously interested in acting on them. Don’t ask a user if they would like an advanced in-app search experience, if you aren’t actually planning to develop it in the future.
Stay on Context
Right questions at the right time to the right users – that’s the golden triangle of feedback. Isolate your target recipients. If you cater to multiple audiences, tailor your questions. If doctors as well as nurses use your app, don’t ask nurses about the new neurosurgery photo-journal you just introduced.
If you really need some feedback that users are reluctant to respond to (maybe because it’s rather long’ish), you can nudge them by offering incentives like a month free of premium, or extra game points. You could call it incentive, or genuine reward for their time, but a few little freebies can really make customers feel better about providing feedback.
How to Increase User Happiness
So now that you’ve measured the happiness level of your users, you want to increase their happiness. Here are a few basic principles to follow, if you wish to make and keep your users happy:
Get Their Work Done
First things first – users downloaded your app for a reason. Help them address that reason as quickly as you can. Get them onboarded quickly and accomplish what they came for. They came for music? Skip the e-paperwork and get the music started right away. They came to order food? Oh boy, they are hungry, and will shoot you down if the app wastes their time. In short, get to the point quickly, and first finish the primary task they downloaded your app for. All the other chores like logging in, creating account and learning the new features can be done later.
Always Be Around To Listen
Make yourself easily accessible to the users at all times. Live chat, phone support, social media, whatever it takes, be there when the users need you. If they are having trouble finding what you need and you aren’t available to assist, you are giving them a bad experience they may not forgive.
Always respond to user queries. In places like social media, public forums and app store reviews, how well you interact with one user will establish your image with every other user who sees it. Answer questions, resolve problems and offer solutions promptly to really make users happy.
Keep the App in Top Condition
This one easily goes without saying – keep your app working flawlessly. Make sure it is up to speed, loads up quick, no bugs and crashes and definitely no data leaks. If you secure all ends and get the work done, your users will stay happy, simple.
Happy users make happy businesses. So make sure that above all the dozens of KPIs you manage, user happiness remains your core priority, because in the end, that is what brings in the money and the accolades. So use the above guides to effectively measure and increase your users’ happiness and keep your app thriving in the fierce competition.
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