If You’re Not Using Mobile to Track Customer Sentiment, You’re Doing It Wrong| By |Emily Carrion

Customer sentiment: it’s how we keep our finger on the pulse of our customer base and understand how decisions impact the way customers feel about our brand. We can all agree that it’s an important metric and that historically it’s been very difficult to capture a significant volume of responses in a short time period. Because of this, it has been challenging to take action based on this low volume of sentiment feedback.

Mobile has completely changed this reality.

With mobile, you can collect data from upwards of 10% of your customer base. (Some Apptentive customers hear from upwards of 25% of their customers). That’s a massive improvement compared to the less than 1% of customers companies typically hear from with NPS and other customer sentiment tracking methods.

(Learn more about how to find the right place, right time, and right person for your in-app communications, and how to treat your mobile experience with the personal touch customers deserve.)

Not only are you able to significantly increase the number of responses on mobile, you’re able to do so quickly. It would take several months to gather that many responses on other channels (like web, in-store, email, phone, etc). This results in an inability to make business decisions based on customer sentiment.

If you’re not using mobile to track customer sentiment, you’re doing it wrong.

NPS mobile survey example

Example of an Apptentive mobile NPS survey.

Why mobile is the best place to track customer sentiment.

We’ve already covered the basics: tracking customer sentiment on mobile lets you gather more responses faster, which in turn lets you make informed business decisions.

Mobile is the most powerful channel for NPS.

If I told you that you can hear from 50% of your customers, would you believe me? You might ask how long it would take to collect that many responses. Outside of mobile, that would take years. But when using mobile for NPS, it can happen within a few months.

One of our customers, who has an app in the Books & Reference category, received a 51% response rate and over 500 unique responses to their in-app NPS survey in less than two months.

The truth is there is so much more you can do with customer sentiment data.

Here are three ways you can get more out of customer sentiment tracking with mobile:

1. Segment customers to move them up in the NPS scale.
After you gather NPS on mobile, you can start segmenting customers by promoters, passives, and detractors—this opens up a world of possibilities. Create campaigns that are designed for each group’s specific needs. Tailoring communication for these three groups will help move them up the NPS scale. For the customers who are already at the top of the scale, personalized communication with help keep them there.

If Starbucks were to send a free drink to all of their mobile app customers, they could use NPS segmenting to make sure the message about the reward is ultra-relevant. Let’s examine how an in-app Note can be tailored differently to promoters, passives, and detractors:

NPS Notes image

Disclaimer: This is an example of what you can do, not actual screenshots.

2. Target customers based on sentiment.
Segmenting customers based on how they feel about your company makes campaigns more relevant and makes it more likely customers will be receptive to the message you’re trying to send them.

In addition to using Notes (like the Starbucks example above) to send personalized messages, you can also use customer sentiment segmenting to hone your ad targeting.

Promoters, passives, and detractors will respond to the same ad differently, so why waste the money? For example, if you’re running a campaign to drive referrals, detractors aren’t the right audience. Using your sentiment segmentation to target only to your promoters will be more impactful. Create ad copy and promotions that will pull iffy customers back in, and keep happy customers happy.

Over time, you can measure how well your targeting strategy worked by tracking customer engagement. Did passives and detractors start using your app more often? If the answer is yes, then targeting customers based on sentiment worked.

3. Run beta tests with specific sentiment groups.
Consider your mobile customers a built-in focus group. Not only are they actually your customers, you have a lot more background information on their behavior and preferences than you do in traditional focus groups. There’s a lot you can do with that information to optimize your beta tests.

Just like you can segment customers to target them with different messages, you can segment customers to identify who is best suited to participate in beta tests.

Beta testers should be engaged, so promoters are an ideal group to tap into for beta testing. Depending on your app’s privacy settings, you’re able to get even more granular with segmenting based on how often customers use your app, what features they use, etc.

The feature you’re testing will determine who should participate in the beta test. For example: if you’re testing a mobile payment feature, it makes more sense to test it with customers who use your app to place orders (and purchase) instead of testing with customers who primarily use your app just to browse.

Segmenting customers on many levels will help ensure the feedback you receive during your beta test is as valuable as possible.

In conclusion

Using mobile to track customer sentiment allows you to extend beyond knowing how your customers feel about your brand. With mobile, you can effectively move people up the NPS scale, optimize communication, and identify the best groups of customers to participate in beta tests.

Whether you’re in product, engineering, marketing or on the leadership team, tracking customer sentiment on mobile will help you do your job better. In addition to the possibilities above, you’re able to hear from a larger percentage of your customer base than any other channel—and do so lightyears faster than other channels.

So, yes, it’s worth saying a third time: If you’re not using mobile to track customer sentiment, you’re doing it wrong.

Do you collect customer sentiment via mobile? If so, what do you do with the sentiment data?? I’d love to hear your strategies in the comments section below!

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