In the 1990s, AOL was the largest internet company in the world, but now it is just a footnote in history. The customer count of AOL reached a peak of 35 million in the 90s, but by 2003 their attrition rate was an astonishing 200,000 customers per month.
While the American company was great at luring customers into its service through initial discounts and other incentive schemes, the customers had a poor experience after coming onto the platform.
Experts mention AOL’s example as a cautionary tale of the Net Promoter Score – the metric that everyone should measure according to Harvard Business Review Magazine.
The article on the concept of the Net Promoter Score was written way back in 2003, but its learnings are as relevant today. The only thing that has changed is that the net promoter score of your business now is often decided on the app store or the play store – the app platforms created by Apple and Google, which are the lifeblood of smartphone software.
As Apple and Google have continued to enhance the application ecosystems, any software business that wants to succeed is now mandated to develop a terrific user experience in its application. And just the user experience is not enough. You need the people downloading your app to trust its security, privacy, and overall reliability of the information.
If you are a business that has an application on the app store or play store, this article will help you with seven steps that you can take to increase the trust of your audience in your application.
1. Ask For Rational In-App Permissions
You may have seen this scenario repeated multiple times as a smartphone user. You download a mobile app, and it wants access to a truckload of data on your phone. Photos, videos, documents, SMSes – such applications need control over almost everything.
If you want to increase trust in your application, keep the in-app permissions rational. Ask for them when they are needed. Avoid using blanket permissions based on all features of your app, and ask them as and when a feature usage requires additional permissions.
2. Be Transparent With Data Usage
Tell your users the truth. Do not worry about their reaction. In the age when the average person is becoming much more tech-savvy and aware of the importance of data as the oil of the 21st century, you must tell your users exactly how you are going to utilize their data.
3. Get Genuine Reviews
You might see links that tell you to click here to buy reviews, and being able to get genuine reviews for your application can go a long way in ensuring the trust of potential users. Do not try to game the user with fake reviews. They have seen enough of them to be able to differentiate fake reviews from real ones.
Even if you are planning to buy reviews, ask pilot users to write their feedback based on actual usage of the apps. Even better, get social media influencers to post their genuine opinions. In the 21st century, authenticity beats everything else.
4. Let Users Control Their Visibility
This one is simple. To gain the trust of your audience, you avoid hoodwinking it, and a common way that application developers lose their faith is by not giving users control over their visibility.
Put yourself in the position of your users. Would you like it if you were unable to control your digital footprint and had no control over who could see what you were doing on the app?
5. Do Not Overdo The Dopamine Effect
The modern-day user does not like it when you try to make things too addictive. There has been a lot of discussion on the addictive effects of gamification in applications. It has almost become counterproductive for developers to do too much gamification, and it goes back to the theme of being genuine and real as much as possible.
6. Dynamically Address The Concerns Of Your User
Think about how many times you have had a terrible experience with a product or service and posted feedback or lodged a complaint. You always feel much happier if the company addresses your disgruntlement quickly. Applications are no different – the more dynamically you respond to feedback and concerns, the more users will trust your software product.
7. Balance The Use Of Advertising
Finally, do not focus on the short-term holy grail of high advertising revenues. The business models of applications are often dependent on having a long relationship with the user and being able to have a low user attrition rate. Showing too many advertisements will only irritate your user, cause them to lose trust, and go away from your application.