App users today have an almost infinite number of options and, as a result, high expectations for the apps they use. If you want your app to be successful, you need to keep your users happy and engaged.
The first step toward happy users is understanding how they're engaging with your product and where they're deriving value. Here, we'll discuss the most useful customer engagement metrics for apps, including which ones matter most, common mistakes made with customer engagement analytics, and ideas for how to use your user engagement metrics to improve your app and keep your users coming back for more.
What Are Customer Engagement Metrics?
Customer engagement can mean a lot of things depending on the context. Let's look at a broad definition:
"Customer engagement is the extent of the relationship a customer has with a brand. It can be strengthened – or diminished – with every interaction." (Customer Communications Group, Inc. )
Customer engagement metrics are used to track and measure those interactions. A subset of customer analytics, these metrics focus on how often users interact with an app and how pleasant (or unpleasant) those interactions are.
Why Should You Care About Customer Engagement Analytics?
Without a clear understanding of how users are perceiving your app, you can't truly know if said app is serving its intended purpose.
User engagement metrics paint a holistic picture of how people are really using your app and how much value they are deriving from it. This allows you to tweak your offerings and services to keep customers happy and coming back for more. And you need users to keep coming back. Here's why:
88% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its product or services — up from 80% in 2020. (State of the Connected Customer)
Tracking customer engagement metrics allows you to gather insights about your customers, troubleshoot problems, and make meaningful improvements.
Mistakes Often Made with Customer Engagement Analytics
Before we dive into the best customer engagement metrics for mobile apps and platforms, let's take a look at some common mistakes companies make when measuring user engagement.
1. Not starting with clear goals
Like we mentioned above, customer engagement can mean a lot of things depending on the context. If you don't start with clear goals, you'll have no way of knowing if you're heading in the right direction.
Companies that launch apps do so with an overarching goal in mind. Your user engagement metrics should directly tie into those strategies.
This will help you narrow down the large list of customer engagement metrics so you can compile a set of metrics that makes sense for your specific app and purposes.
2. Not including both quantitative and qualitative metrics
When thinking through customer engagement analytics, companies often turn to quantitative measurements. It's not surprising, as quantitative metrics give you precise data. The exactness of this data can feel more trustworthy and actionable than the subjective nature of its qualitative counterparts.
However, relying on quantitative customer engagement metrics alone will not tell you the full story. For example, you may be able to see how many daily active users you have but you won't be able to understand how those users are perceiving your brand or platform.
To truly master customer engagement analytics, you need to include both qualitative and quantitative measures.
4. Not staying consistent
Consistency is key. Customer engagement metrics are not a set-it-and-forget-it initiative. You need to be actively monitoring your metrics so that you can act on key learnings and insights fast. Otherwise, you risk losing customers due to preventable issues.
Don't forget, it's a lot easier to keep users than it is to win them back.
Top Customer Engagement Metrics for Mobile Apps and Platforms
There are many different customer engagement metrics you can use to measure engagement. First, you need to define what it means to be an engaged customer—as that will vary depending on your business and your goals. Then, you can mix and match the user engagement metrics that will give you the most complete picture of your customer.
Examples of customer engagement metrics for apps
To help you get started, we’re outlining some of the best customer engagement metrics for mobile apps and platforms.
1. Active users
Let’s start with the obvious one. Your daily or monthly active user count is a very strong indicator of how engaging and valuable your app is. The more active your users, the better your business outcomes.
2. User churn
User churn, also known as user turnover, is the percentage of customers that choose to stop using your app or platform. You’ll want to keep an eye on user churn in relation to the total number of users. A spike in churn indicates a pressing problem that you’ll want to address. It’s also an integral metric when making any changes to your features and functionality as it will let you know if those changes are being poorly received.
3. Feature usage
There are a ton of features you can easily add to your app. For example, you may want to give your users the option to translate messages within your app or react quickly with emojis. Tracking the usage of these features will allow you to know which ones your users are enjoying and which ones are superfluous so that you can dedicate time and resources to the highest value additions. Monitoring feature usage will also help you better understand who is using your app and what they are hoping to get out of it.
4. Brand sentiment
Brand sentiment tells you what people know and how people feel about your brand, which lends to overall brand health. It’s important to measure brand sentiment and, more specifically, how interactions via your app affect brand sentiment. This information will let you know if your app experience is helping or hurting your brand, and thus your customer loyalty, so that you can adjust accordingly.
5. Conversion rate (goal completion)
Conversion rate and goal completion are critical customer engagement metrics. However, what those metrics look like will vary depending on your business. For example, you may count a new conversion every time a customer makes a purchase or you may count a new goal completion every time a customer spends 2 hours inside your app in one day. Whatever it looks like for your company, conversion rate and goal completion have a direct tie to business goals. As such, tracking these metrics will help justify the cost of investment in your app.
6. Customer loyalty
As we called out earlier, the boom in apps means that users have almost unlimited options. You want to keep them using yours. Tracking customer loyalty is a great way to measure success in this area. You want to know how likely your customers are to switch platforms, and what you can do to prevent that from happening. Customer loyalty can be tricky to pin down, as it involves taking qualitative measurements (like emotions) and translating them into quantitative metrics but it can be done.
7. App performance metrics
It’s very likely that you, or someone at your company, is already monitoring app performance metrics such as load time, crashes, and latency. It’s important to keep these metrics in mind when you are analyzing customer engagement as they could play a role in the usage and sentiment trends you’re seeing. Is that spike in customer churn due to a new competitor hitting the market? Or is it because your app keeps crashing?
Implementing user engagement metrics may seem like small potatoes compared to other initiatives, but it’s absolutely critical to the success of your platform. You need to know your users and understand their behavior in order to succeed.
One proven way to increase customer engagement in mobile apps and platforms is to implement in-app communication. One of the most sought-after features in the app market today, text, voie and video messaging can be relatively easy to implement and provides a ton of benefits such as a refined user experience and increased customer retention.
Whether you’re just getting started building your app or you’re simply looking to add chat moderation features to an already-existing app, CometChat is here to help.
Connect with a member of our team to learn more about how in-app text chat and voice and video messaging can make engagement skyrocket on your website or app.