71% of Apps Cannot Answer the Most Basic Customer Service Questions

Results from an Agent.ai study asking “Will your app work on the Samsung Galaxy S8?” to the Top 100 Google Play apps

The Mobile App Industry’s Customer Service Problem

Shep Hyken’s recent Forbes article, Are You Part Of The $62 Billion Loss Due To Poor Customer Service?, highlights some very unsettling statistics about today’s customer service landscape. In his article, he referenced a report from last year by New Voice Media, which found that businesses are losing $62 billion every year due to poor customer service.

To follow up on this report, we recently ran our own study on mobile app-based customer service practices; analyzing the response rate and resolutions provided by the Top 100 Google Play apps. Statistics from our research paint a very similar picture to the study above, and it’s easy to see that the top performing apps are neglecting customer service, and losing revenues and customers in the process.

Our Study:

We asked the Top 100 applications listed on the Google Play Store the following basic question:

“Will the current version of {insert name of the application} be compatible with the release of the Samsung Galaxy S8?”

Device-specific support questions are common FAQs that every app receives — and therefore should be easy to address. Further, device-specific questions are by default inquiries that come from users that are likely loyal and active, hinging the fate of a $700 device purchase decision based on the support of said app.

Statistics from our research:

  • 71% of the apps did not answer the question or provide a resolution.
  • Of the 29% that responded with a helpful response, the average response time was 25 hours.

While this was not necessarily a question that required an immediate response, it is surely a missed opportunity for app developers to keep a loyal user engaged — and one that likely has a considerable LTV. When popular apps have teams dedicated to reducing churn, improving retention, and user acquisition teams spending upwards of $10 to acquire new users, it is a major problem to have customer service either neglected or an afterthought.

What can be done?

All companies — regardless of size or resources — should be able to deliver customer service that’s responsive, personalized, and helpful. Here is a list of some ideas mobile teams can consider to improve their customer service:

· In-App Chat and Messaging

The ability to chat directly with users within the app, or via push notifications, provides a faster, more seamless user experience. Email-based ticketing is inefficient for apps. Messaging allows for asynchronous conversations between developers and their users — streamlining resolutions.

· Artificial Intelligence

New artificial intelligence-powered customer service software can give companies the ability to do more with their existing service teams, and introduce greater elasticity and efficiency to their company.

· Understand Customer State

New SDK tools allow for service agents who answer questions to understand the state of the user before they respond with an answer. Time is wasted in gathering basic data around what device the user is using and the app version they’re on. At Agent.ai, for instance, we let developers send any event they desire to the agent dashboard, allowing agents to have such answers on hand, immediately, without inconveniencing the user or wasting their time.

· Rewards

Have an app that has an in-app currency or customer offering? Agents can engage, retain, and appease customers by delivering custom rewards or coupons at the end of customer interactions. Make sure customers feel good after interacting with you and reward them for reaching out and spending their time in order to remain a customer with you.

· Weekly Voice of the Customer Meeting

If your team does not have a weekly meeting to discuss what your customers are saying, you’re missing a huge opportunity to improve your product — and work towards reducing common app issues.

Studies like those by New Voice Media help shed light on the often neglected importance of customer service. The mobile app industry should take note and rethink the importance of customer service to reduce churn, improve ratings, drive organic acquisition and increase revenues.