To understand why in-app feedback is important to your customer service, consider this factor: An infamous 2015 Microsoft study found that the average modern human has about an eight-second attention span — down from twelve only a few years earlier, thanks to our increasingly digital lifestyle. (You now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish, Time cruelly noted at the time.) For brands trying to compete among all the digital noise, this is an alarming statistic. And it’s probably getting worse.
In addition to being easily distracted, customers today expect customer service to be inline, native and conversational. In that context, even push notifications are now passé if you’re trying to manage your customer relationship in a positive, proactive way. While there are still some positive use cases, push notifications can often be disruptive out of context, and only 40 to 59 percent of users subscribe to them in the first place — with only about 10 percent of those opening them.
Email is polite but easy to ignore. Most professionals receive about 120 email messages every single day. With inboxes overflowing with information, why would anyone bother to respond quickly to your non-urgent request for feedback on customer service?
If you want rapid responses, you have to act while you already have the attention of your customers, which is why in-app feedback is so important. In-app messaging, in general, happens in context, and has 8x the response rate over push notifications. Here’s why it matters for gathering and managing feedback on your customer service efforts.
Stay ahead of negative reviews with in-app feedback
Customers genuinely want to have their issues resolved. They typically only resort to publicly shaming your brand when their frustration level peaks, and they can’t reach a resolution. If you fail to solve the issue in a satisfactory and timely manner for the customer, you risk a PR ding: negative reviews on public forums like social media or the iTunes App Store.
Capture customer feedback in the moment, on the other hand, and you can re-direct unhappy customers to your support team instead of dealing with a potentially damaging review. Proactively capturing and handling customer feedback quickly can turn looming negative commentary and ratings into positive reports on your customer-service responsiveness.
Use in-app feedback to evolve your product more quickly
Since 46 percent of negative reviews contain “constructive criticism,” they often contain feedback that can help you directly improve your app. The ability to request feedback right within your app empowers you to more quickly incorporate that feedback into product evolution. That’s important, in a market where all types of businesses feel the pressure to iterate and improve their products at a rapid pace (especially in mobile gaming).
Harness in-app feedback to boost CSAT scores
Customer satisfaction (CSAT) survey scores are an important marker of your effectiveness as a brand. You may already be gathering quantitative customer service metrics such as number of issues resolved. In-app feedback allows you to gather qualitative reviews to balance your quantitative reviews. By combining these two numbers, you can more accurately measure agent effectiveness in working with customers. (Read more about how to enable in-app CSAT with Helpshift here.)
For instance, Helpshift prompts the user to rate the customer-support experience on a 5-point scale, with an opportunity for optional feedback. Using this technology, Microsoft Outlook’s in-app customer support has been able to maintain a 4+ CSAT rating and still keep the cost of each chat under $1, using Helpshift. We’ll delve into Microsoft’s use of in-app messaging and its results in more detail later in this piece.
The transient attention span of consumers is a trend you can wrangle to your own advantage with in-app feedback mechanisms. Any brand that captures customer attention in the moment is at an advantage in today’s swift-moving business world.
In action: helping pet owners with the VCA Care Club
Take, for example, the VCA Care Club. The pet wellness plan relies on a mobile app, called Care Club, to enable pet owners to chat with a veterinarian 24/7. The app uses in-app messaging to assist the VCA team to respond to all inquiries within 45 seconds. Timing is crucial when a pet becomes ill; owners will want rapid responses to their concerns and questions. Therefore, this quick response time has helped to differentiate VCA’s pet wellness plan in the market. Furthermore, Helpshift has enabled VCA to provide personalized care without the hassle and delays of a traditional call center-based service. The in-app messaging function is convenient and accessible for both pet owners and the VCA team members.
Improving Microsoft Outlook with in-app messaging
Meanwhile, the Microsoft Outlook team uses in-app customer support to effectively scale its function to help over 75 million monthly users. The team benefits immensely from Helpshift’s self-service options and automatically-collected user and device data. This has helped the team respond to most issues within two hours and also scale to demand during new launches. It also allows them to get to the heart of customer issues and find resolutions more quickly.
As Microsoft’s Partner Director of Engineering, Kevin Henrikson, explains, “We can see what’s going on and respond intelligently even if they don’t provide all the context. That’s far better than instead having to say, ‘Hey, what phone and OS are you using?’ or other basic information questions.”
Finally, in-app messaging has informed product development. When a ‘power user’ suggests new features or product changes, then the team can prioritize those suggestions. Users are invited to provide feedback directly within the app to help the support team get ahead of issues. This also prevents negative feedback from being published on public forums like an app store. User feedback is fed into a weekly app update that maintains a high app store rating and increases adoption rates.
Improving guest experiences at Red Planet
The user experience is also vital, especially for hospitality brands like Red Planet. The hotel chain (one of the fastest-growing hotel brands in Asia) provides mobile in-app support for its customers and employees. Hotel guests, for instance, can ask questions via a two-way chat in the Red Planet app and speak with an advisor in real-time. This can make all the difference during a stay or when booking a room. In-app messaging offers an intuitive and seamless way for guests to interact with the hotel brand. It also supports photo and document attachments, so booking confirmations can be sent instantly by the Red Planet team and photos of a hotel room can be shared by a guest.
Likewise, Red Planet’s front desk employees can use an agent version of the app to support customer inquiries. As the first people that guests turn to for support, it’s vital that the front-of-house team has simple and effective tools to help them answer questions while doing their other daily tasks. The mobile app enables the Red Planet front desk team to answer inquiries on-the-go, across hotel premises, while going about their duties. If the team member finishes their shift before a ticket is resolved, the guest’s details and all previous chats are saved for the next team member to pick up without the guest having to repeat themselves.
Keeping players engaged with Next Games
Retaining players is a key challenge for many gaming brands as the average app loses 77 percent of its daily active users (DAUs) within the first three days. Next Games, the team behind The Walking Dead No Man’s Land, uses a personalized player support approach, aided by in-app messaging- to build a loyal audience.
Using Helpshift, the gaming brand has been able to run its small Player Support team more efficiently, respond quickly to inquiries and engage players with tailored outreach and marketing.
For example, on one occasion, a group of players reached a very high benchmark for one of the game’s social features. To celebrate, the players created a YouTube video that congratulated each other, and this was posted in the game’s forum by the Next Games support team to spark conversation. The Next Games team then took this a step further by creating a personalized trophy for the players. This was sent via a custom in-app message to each player involved. Every single recipient opened that message – with many players responding to the team saying thank you for the message and trophy.
Transforming finance with Neon Pagamentos
Loyalty and trust are also essential to fintech Neon Pagamentos. The brand relied on Helpshift to support its customer service, improving the cost-effectiveness of the function and scaling to support a growing customer base (currently 600,000 users). In-app messaging helps the brand to provide a fully conversational messaging experience that has resulted in a consistent 4+ CSAT.
Neon Pagamentos was founded to make the financial lives of its customers easier and more transparent. A key part of this is providing an easy-to-use and accessible messaging channel for customers to talk to the Neon Pagamentos team when they have questions or issues. Through in-app messaging and automation, the team can quickly respond to inquiries and scale to demand. Customers don’t have to wait on hold for agents to respond and agents can work on multiple tickets at a time. Insights from in-app feedback and tickets are shared across the brand to help identify areas for improvement and to understand how customers are responding to new changes in the app.
For every brand
As the above examples have shown, in-app messaging has many applications across a range of industries. Whether you’re looking to improve your CSTA scores, customer engagement or retention, team efficiency, or cost-effectiveness, in-app messaging can help your brand succeed.
To learn more about how to enable in-app feedback with Helpshift, read about our mobile support solution.