Eighty percent of apps on a smart phone will not be there in a year. It’s one thing to be deleted, quite another to be blacklisted
Believe it or not, there are worse things than can happen to your mobile application than being deleted. Your business can be blacklisted. I am not talking about a political or cultural blacklist that is set off by an official group, and begins and ends at specific times. A customer blacklist is unofficial. Its duration is far longer, and more uncertain.
Consumers are fickle by nature. Eighty percent of the mobile apps on a smartphone today will not be there a year from now. An app can be deleted for a lot reasons, many of them innocuous. A blacklist is when a customer decides that his experience with your application was so terrible, he will never use it again.
“If a customer has a problem with a mobile application three things can happen. One, he deletes the app. Two, he will never download anything else from you. Three, he will think twice every time he wants to buy anythingassociated with your brand. The user blacklist is the worst thing that can happen to a business,” says Tal Barmeir, CEO of Experitest.
A bad mobile experience has ongoing consequences. Even after you invest in new updates to fix what’s wrong, disgruntled customers will not be interested. If your mobile app is designed to generate interest in physical products, the reputation of those products will suffer as well. It is entirely possible that someone will dart right past the local coffee shop to buy from a competitor three blocks away because the local shop’s app delivered the wrong flavor of espresso the previous day.
When it comes to blacklisting brands, people have long memories. Remember New Coke? Microsoft Vista? Big companies have the resources to wait it out and regroup. Most businesses don’t.
How to prevent a customer blacklist
The best way to prevent a blacklist is to deliver a flawless experience to every user. This can be achieved with comprehensive mobile testing. Mobile application testing is the practice of testing every function on your mobileapplication for errors. As long as you discover the problems with your app before your user does, he or she will have a great experience with your brand. Mobile testing also adapts to the agile nature of mobility. An application must be re-tested every time a small change is made, a new update is developed, or the app is enhanced to match updates made by the operating systems it runs on. Mobile applications must provide the same pleasant experience on devices with different shapes, sizes, and mobile operating systems.
A challenge unique to mobility is network location. An app can be accessed in Singapore as easily as it can be downloaded in San Francisco. It is up to the business delivering the app to make sure it runs as smoothly in all places. Even if it’s “not your fault” that your app was slow in a remote part of Malaysia, the person who had the experience won’t hesitate to post about it on Facebook to his friends and followers in Manhattan.
A good mobile testing tool includes functional testing, performance testing, load testing, and network virtualization. Most mobile applications get one-star ratings because of errors, freezes, crashes, poor page performance, and a long list of problems that can be resolved with comprehensive mobile application testing.
As long as you can guarantee spot-on execution and seamless performance for your users, only your competitors will have to worry about the dreaded customer blacklist.
The views expressed are of the author. Geektime invites global tech and startup professionals to share their opinions and expertise with our readers. If you would like to share your point of view, please contact us at [email protected].