7 best practices for creating a stellar mobile experience
With so many businesses hopping on the mobile bandwagon, it’s no longer enough just to create an app. Companies also have to create an engaging, user-friendly mobile experience.
Published June 2, 2020
Last updated August 12, 2021
In an increasingly mobile-centric world, more and more consumers are downloading apps. In 2019 alone, 204 billion mobile apps were downloaded worldwide—a 45% increase from 2016.
In response, companies are scrambling to serve and support their customers on mobile. But with so many businesses hopping on this bandwagon, it’s no longer enough just to create an app. Companies also have to create an engaging, user-friendly mobile experience. Their apps must be easy to navigate and pleasant to look at and, most importantly, offer value to the user.
What is mobile experience?
A mobile experience is the journey any end user takes when using a mobile product or service. Any successful mobile-friendly website or app should be engaging, with purposeful design that’s easy to use and navigate.
Why does mobile experience matter?
More and more customers are engaging with companies on their phones. And gone are the days when having a mobile responsive website is enough to please them. With 73 percent of retail transactions now happening using a mobile device worldwide, companies must be prepared to offer them seamless opportunities to shop and connect.
Messaging apps were already hugely popular in places like Latin America and Asia, but usage has surged to an estimated 2.77 billion monthly users around the globe. Among customers, the popularity of mobile-based forms of communication like WhatsApp or SMS/text messaging has grown faster than any other business channel. As a result, these channels are rapidly transforming how people interact with brands.
In 2020, social messaging saw the biggest jump in customers saying it’s their favorite way to connect with a business.
Convenient, conversational, and personal, messaging promotes an ongoing dialogue between customer and company. With messaging, customers can easily get their issues resolved on the go or while they’re doing other things, like walking the dog or working from home.
How can you improve your mobile experience?
- Develop a customer engagement strategy
- Create an onboarding flow (but keep it optional)
- Provide in-app support
- Empower support agents with mobile help-desk software
- Simplify navigation
- Offer SMS/text support
- Encourage users to give feedback
Hoping to create a strong mobile experience for your brand’s app? Keep users coming back by following these seven best practices.
Develop a customer engagement strategy
First and foremost, you need to develop a strategy for keeping users engaged with your app. Start by analyzing your current customer base. What is unique about their relationship with you as a brand, and what aspects of the customer experience do they value most? If community is important to your customers, consider adding social elements to your app, such as social share buttons or forum pages, where customers can share reviews and ask questions.
If your app can be used to buy products, send push notifications to give customers real-time delivery updates. You can also offer in-app FAQs to help customers quickly find answers to common support questions. The most successful apps create a valuable experience that users can’t get elsewhere. Your customer-engagement strategy will help you identify what that experience looks like for your target audience.
Read more: 4 ways to create mobile customer engagement.
Create an onboarding flow (but keep it optional)
To get value out of your app, users need to know how to use its features. With that said, people don’t always want to complete this introductory training. In fact, many first-time users will abandon an app if they’re forced to complete an onboarding flow.
To retain more users, keep introductory messaging and tutorials optional in your app. One solution is to add a carousel menu to your login or sign-up menu, like the one below.
Users can learn about the app’s features by swiping through the images, or they can ignore the prompts altogether and continue the sign-up process without interruption.
Another option is to create a full-screen modal tutorial as the TNT app uses.
TNT users can choose to read the modal about the CAST icon feature, or they can easily bypass it by clicking the “Try Later” button.
By offering onboarding flows, you’ll likely reduce the amount of app-related support questions your agents receive. Just remember to keep the onboarding experience optional to avoid losing users early on.
Provide in-app support
Offer support resources directly from the app so users can receive assistance the moment they experience an issue. Embedded FAQs and knowledge-base resources help users solve simple problems on their own. This is particularly valuable for any support team feeling overwhelmed by the volume of tickets they’re receiving.
Virtual keyboard app SwiftKey, for example, struggled to provide one-to-one support as their company grew. By embedding Zendesk Guide’s knowledge-base tool within their app, SwiftKey was able to achieve a self-service ratio of 70:1. That means for every 70 views of SwiftKey’s mobile help center, only one support ticket is created. This ratio means support agents have more time to focus on more complex user issues.
To handle complex issues, consider adding live chat to your app using the Zendesk Embeddables mobile software development kit (SDK). Users can connect with a real customer support agent without leaving the app or disrupting the flow of their mobile experience. Plus, Zendesk Embeddables automatically detects what device or version of the app was being used when the customer’s issue occurred. This gives agents the context they need to resolve tickets faster and more efficiently.
Empower support agents with mobile help-desk software
The easier it is for users to contact customer support on the go, the more ticket requests your agents are bound to receive. Mobile help-desk software gives your team the flexibility to handle these requests from anywhere, at any time.
With Zendesk’s mobile help-desk software, agents can communicate with users via live chat, view up-to-date customer profiles, resolve tickets, and even view performance reports by using only their mobile device. Your team can provide the level of service your customers expect and enjoy a stellar mobile experience.
Read more: What is a mobile help desk? (+ top 6 features to look for).
Create an effortless mobile experience by limiting the number of steps users have to take to complete key tasks within the app.
Say, for example, your app offers multiple tiers of customer support. Simplify navigation by creating a menu, like the one below, displaying each communication method. Users can easily locate and access the support resources they need without having to scroll through a clunky interface.
Look at your mobile app’s usage data to find out which features and functions your users engage with most. Consider adding a navigation button—accessible from anywhere in the app—that takes users to those features in a single click.
Keep your customers engaged by making it effortless to accomplish the tasks your app was designed to do.
Offer SMS/text support
Sixty-four percent of consumers said they were unlikely or very unlikely to download a brand’s app*, according to Zipwhip’s 2020 State of Texting report. For these users, the next best way to connect is via texting. Need proof? According to Zipwhip’s report, 53% of consumers would rather communicate with customer support via text than any other channel.
Text-based communication uses your phone’s native software, so it doesn’t require agents or users to log into a third-party app. Agents can respond more quickly and efficiently to inquiries, and users can receive the support they need, where they want it—on their phone’s native texting app.
Read more: Text support: get it right the first time.
Encourage users to give feedback
Give your users the option to provide real-time feedback the moment they experience an issue. Instabug, for example, is a bug-reporting tool that can be added to your product’s app. It allows users to quickly report an issue without needing to directly contact an actual support agent. The tool automatically produces detailed reports about the issues that users report and provides steps that developers can take to reproduce and solve the problems.
When you give users the option to provide real-time, in-app feedback, you make it possible for developers to instantly identify issues with the mobile experience—and to make adjustments accordingly.
Bringing exceptional support to the mobile experience
Consumers look to brands who can provide exceptional customer support, wherever they are, whenever they need it. And in today’s smart phone-obsessed world, the most effective way to meet this expectation is to provide that experience on your brand’s mobile app.
The seven best practices above are designed to help you stand out from the competition. Use them to create a valuable, efficient, and convenient mobile experience that will keep your users engaged.