Boosting App Retention – Getting Sticky With It
So you’ve got your app on a customer’s phone. Now how do you keep it there?
Recently, we talked about how automotive companies should turn towards tech solutions, especially apps, to add value to customers, and how an app has the potential to foster a strong brand/customer relationship. However, this relationship can only be nurtured if your customers keep your app on their device.
Odds are good that they won’t: 90-day app retention rates sit at a glum 29%. The million-dollar question, then, is what can be done to ensure your app doesn’t languish in the 71%.
The simplest method is convenience; if a customer knows they can circumvent phone calls to switchboards or lengthy online forms, they are incentivised to open the app rather than pick up the phone. Something as simple as a fingerprint-based login is all it can take, as in the case of banking apps.
If you want to use an app for customer retention, it makes sense to demonstrate that you value their loyalty by offering substantial rewards. In the case of the auto industry, app use could be tied to a reduction in costs for first party servicing, helping to engender repeat business at a price that competes with third parties.
But these aspects aren’t enough in themselves. It’s hardly a ground-breaking observation, but the only way to make an app as ‘sticky’ as possible is to provide genuine services that customers need, that provide solutions to an identified need. If an app provides a service, or multiple services, that can’t be found elsewhere, then it is bound to stick around on phones.
There’s one thing that can’t be overlooked, however: the need to keep an app evolving. Once you’ve spent the money on building an app, it might be tempting to sit back and relax. That’s a sure fire for your app to get stale and surpassed by competitors.
By constantly adding new functionality to the app, a company can demonstrate their commitment to continual innovation for their customers. This can be done through regular first party updates, but another great option is to look externally. We designed our SmartKey app to fill precisely this role, capable of integrating seamlessly with other apps, offering an opportunity to add real value without the lengthy process of further development. An update with a genuinely useful new function could be what makes the difference between retention and uninstalling.
Just remember: use your app to add value to your offerings, but don’t forget to keep adding value to the app. Do that, and your app might just stick around.