As important as the release of an app is its ongoing maintenance and upgrades. It is critical to keep in line with the provider’s software requirements, and ensure that it continues to meet your audience’s expectations.
Many businesses fall into the trap of delegating a budget for initial app research and development and fail to include the long-term costs associated with the running an app. It’s difficult to plan for these updates and bug fixes. So, you should keep any budget modest and even consult your app developer about regular maintenance costs. The costs will also depend on which app developer you hire – if any.
A great resource to help plan and undertake maintenance of your app are – unsurprisingly – your users. They will leave both positive and negative feedback and the feedback is pivotal in determining and tweaking your app to ensure it is meeting user expectations. Many great app developers incorporate user feedback into future upgrades to enhance their app and be seen to actively take on board user suggestions.
According to research, almost three out of ten apps will be uninstalled within 30 days of downloading*. Furthermore, 25% of apps will be opened only once**. This means that you have to get things rights from the get-go for your users. It might be useful to understand some common reasons why users uninstall or remove apps to help steer your own app’s development. Some of the common reasons include:
- Bugs – which mean that app does not work
- The interface is counterintuitive or hard to use
- The app gives too many notifications
- The app takes up too much storage, and
- Privacy concerns about the data collected.
Consider these in the context of your app and maintenance. The common reasons above, as well as the reasons your users may confirm with you once your app is released, provide great information to review every few months. It helps understand why users like or dislike your app, and how you can make enhancements to meet their expectations. Equally, your competitors’ apps and their customer feedback provided may provide handy insight into what is or isn’t working for them.
User retention is crucial. Keeping users using your app is an increasingly important feature. Think about Facebook or Instagram where they offer users different features and functions all with an aim of keeping their users on their apps to allow for more direct marketing to occur. Whether you adopt this method or not, is your decision. However, the important takeaway for app owners is that your users are your customers and without retaining them using your app, you won’t have a customer base. The best way to do this is to add new features or functions that enhance their experience.
Below are some questions to ask yourself when you are evaluating or reviewing your app:
- Are my app users happy? What can I change about the app to enhance their experience?
- Has app providers new software or hardware been released? Do I need to plan for this or update the app? How can I utilise this update to increase my user engagement?
- Are there any known bugs or errors? Have any users reported issues? Have I used the app recently to check how I feel about the interface?
By reviewing your app and keeping the above
information in your mind, you will ensure that your app continues to evolve and
enhance, while still reaching new users and retaining your current users.