app support

Building an App: Support

After developing your app, the app maintenance and support cycle starts. By keeping these two factors in mind, you are able to keep your app alive and working. Previously, we talked about app maintenance and maintenance strategies. In this post, we are going to talk about app support.

An effective support process is crucial if you want to have a successful app development experience. Your support team is directly faced with your users. If they don’t do their job properly, this will reflect on your whole business. If your support team takes too long to respond or respond unfriendly and poorly to your users, you will lose your reputation.

Why is it important to have good support in app development?

The right support process will grow your user recognition and lead to more favorable reviews. A sound support system helps you save resources by keeping users engaged and reducing the amount of money spent on gaining new users. Hence, customer feedback obtained through support platforms provides many insights.

There are many benefits from gaining customer feedback through your platform:

  • You can receive the insight to improve your user experience.
  • It allows you to identify issues sooner rather than later if something unforeseen is happening in your app.
  • Regular feedback enables you to measure how happy your customers are with your service.
  • The feedback you receive can improve your maintenance because you can avoid some pitfalls that would make a user leave your app.
  • Use feedback to gain actionable data. You can use this data to fine-tune users’ flow, on-screen copy, and even content layout.
  • Feedback helps you to find brand ambassadors, possibly letting you increase your marketing reach through them.

Having a robust and strategic support system helps you to monitor your customers’ needs and problems. Therefore, by listening to their feedback and following their simple questions, you learn how to improve your user experience. Thus, this strategy will help your maintenance team since it is critically important to keep your application alive and working.

As you can see, the support team’s job entangles with your maintenance team. Consequently, for building a flawless app, you need to have both of these teams working together.

Keep in mind that growth in mobile apps and games is very unpredictable. Small apps can suddenly go viral overnight, and their users can grow to millions in a short time.

A great example is Instagram. It took less than three months for Instagram to hit one million users. By the time Facebook bought Instagram in 2012, there were 40 million users with only 13 people to support the app. 

To illustrate the subject consider these things while building your app’s support system:

Mobile app users have different expectations regarding customer service and expect a fluid user experience to seamlessly and continuously use the app. That’s why having native, in-app support is so essential. This approach encourages your app to grow and gain the recognition it deserves. 

Accordingly, to make this journey easier for your users, consider the following steps:

1. Assist Customers to Find Their Answers on Their Own

Have a look at our checklist below to make sure you’re giving your users as much information as possible so they can help themselves.

It is better to reduce the need for customers’ contact for support. Don’t get me wrong; your support team should provide excellent support when it is needed. But if you do not provide your users with enough information, your app is not as user-friendly as it is expected to be.

  • Provide a built-in install structure. When a new user opens your app, they should see a clear, easy to understand, step-by-step installation structure.
  • A way to get back to the installation structure. Users might skip the structure step. Please provide them with a way to revisit those steps so they don’t need to contact you for help.
  • Have a verification step (if possible). If your app requires inserting Liquid or HTML, consider adding an automatic action. This action grabs the page and checks the needed action. This verification step can tip users off to common mistakes and avoid frustration.
  • Write support documentation. Excellent documentation is the best way to avoid unnecessary or repetitive requests. Depending on your app’s complexity, this documentation can be an FAQ page or a full, multi-page manual. Make sure your document links principally to your app, and it is easy to find. Keep this document up-to-date based on your users’ feedback.
  • Pay attention to common issues. If you are getting constant inquiries about a single issue, consider attaching a paragraph under ‘information’ or ‘hint’ in your app’s UI where users keep running into them.
  • Tell users how to contact you precisely, clearly, and often. Clearly and specifically, link your email address or your support URL to your app. Help your users find where to contact you quickly and easily. If your users find you easily, the problem will get solved by a slightly annoying email! Not a bad review on the play store! 
2. Better and More Organized Support Structure

With a more organized support structure, you can keep track of the threads, get to know your users, and have an organized team. Follow these steps to organize your support team:

  • Have a single point-of-contact for your customers. Use a [email protected] email address. This point-of-contact will help you to organize similar threads of all the inquiries. 
  • Have a reliable helpdesk. A good and dedicated helpdesk helps you to keep track of threads and customer information. Your helpdesk should simplify the threads, let you add notes, and see what you’ve discussed in the past. With this method, you get to know your users more closely.
  • Use a proper tool like Zendesk or HubSpot to assign and manage requests. Most definitely, your support team involves multiple people. If you have multiple people handling support, a helpdesk will let you assign threads, and alert you if two agents are trying to reply at once. A shared inbox can be fairly confusing. This helpdesk helps you to keep track of who’s meant to be working on what.
3. Design and Develop the Best Support Experience

A support experience is an on-going process. By listening to your customers, you need to make it better and better. The support you provide can work as a marketing strategy and a way your users remember your app. Don’t forget. People might not remember what you told them, but they will never forget how you make them feel. Your users should always feel heard and appreciated.

  • Be friendly and approachable. Focus on approachability and pragmatics. Avoid sounding too corporate or technical.
  • Get proactive in dealing with issues and communicating with users. Occasionally you, just like any other human being, mess up or discover a bug that’s been affecting your users. It’s a good idea to figure out who it has influenced to get in touch with them, even by a quick email. You can explain that they may have seen some issues and your support team has resolved everything. With this approach, their minds are at ease. This also reduces the chances of getting another support inquiry. With this approach, you will look accountable, honest, and responsible.
  • Use other forms of communication with your users when things get complicated. Use graphs, illustrations, or short videos if your users have a complicated problem. The simple use of other forms of media helps you avoid a lot of confusion and many back-and-forths.

A reliable and useful support process doesn’t ensure shining five-star reviews. First and foremost, you need to avoid all those one-star reviews where users cannot get started with your app!

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