Last year, Grubhub ran a free-lunch promotion on its app that at its height was driving 6,000 orders per minute. Then, there was a technical glitch that prevented some customers from placing their orders. Recently, Chipotle’s “Boorito” deal led to an app crash leaving customers airing out their frustrations with the brand on social media.

Technical glitches happen. Despite the thousands of hours their teams likely put in to prepare for the promotional periods, something broke in their app. This raises not just the question of how do we prevent something from breaking or going awry but more importantly, what do we do to quickly fix it and minimize the impact to the business, customer loyalty and overall brand perception? 

It’s all about how you can use your data to quickly identify not just the problem, but its solution, and then use that insight to determine where in a long list of priorities it falls. Success is found by making the below four investments to best empower your mobile teams for success. 

Complete visibility into your mobile app experience. 

For many digital brands, their native app can be a blind spot. In fact, recent research from Quantum Metric found that 41 percent of digital brands today don’t have clear visibility of how customers use their native app. When something goes wrong, you need a clear understanding of what your customers are experiencing and what has happened on the backend to cause this issue. 

If there is a glitch preventing customers from completing their orders, restaurant brands need to know where this is happening in the customer experience and what is actually causing that glitch. Is there an issue early in the experience or a design flaw that is leading to user error? These are the types of questions that your digital team needs to be able to respond to, in real-time. 

The insight to size and scale every issue. 

Once you have an understanding of what is happening you need to breakdown which set of customers it is impacting, the size of that group and its impact on the business. By quantifying every digital issue, brands can separate the single person who has an issue and was loud about it on social media, from the app crash impacting thousands of people during lunchtime. It helps teams to prioritize and focus on those areas that will have the biggest impact on the business. 

And this isn’t just about the sheer quantity of customers impacted by an issue, but the type of customers impacted and its potential effect on digital KPIs. Is this issue impacting loyalty members? New customers who received a promotional code as part of a marketing campaign? These sort of questions are just as important to the plan of action and help to align teams – like marketing and product—on the best solution. 

Have a strategy for supporting the digital employee experience. 

Just because an issue is impacting digital, doesn’t mean it’s only happening on digital. Many times, after something goes wrong, customers are going into your physical locations, calling customer service, and interacting with members of your team to try to solve their issue. This is where having the right digital employee experience is critical to minimizing the impact of an outage of a glitch.

Digital employee apps help provide the right communications to the team, updates on potential workarounds for deals or promotional offers and can even help track customer issues and concerns. These teams sit on the front line of the customer experience and when things go wrong, they are a critical part of maintaining customer loyalty and saving sales. 

It’s not always about things that go wrong. 

We’ve focused on what to do if you have something like an outage, glitch or other issue that causes noticeable frustration or outrage from customers. But just because something is working as it was designed, doesn’t always mean it’s working as the customer expects. A promotion could go off without a glitch or outage and yet you could have a navigation for order pick-up that confuses customers and causes them to order to the wrong location. Or the add-ons section isn’t visible in the first half of the screen on mobile devices. 

There are numerous ways your mobile experience could be limited outside of errors and that’s when you need to ask yourself, what could we be doing better? How can we assess opportunities to optimize? This is where investments in analytic tools that enable proactive exploration of your data are key to identifying those opportunities to improve the digital experience and create more opportunities for customer delight. 

Be it an app crash, glitch in the UX design or even an unseen area of friction in your experience, every moment has an impact on mobile sales. In fact, recent research has found that 55 percent of digital leaders say a mobile app error would have a significant impact on their revenue. While a lot of investments should be placed in preventing major issues, you equally need the right investments to quickly respond when something goes wrong, responding quickly to support the needs of your customer and the needs of the business. 

Danielle Harvey is Global VP and Head of Travel and Hospitality Strategy at Quantum Metric. As an industry leader, Danielle provides expertise that helps airlines, hotels, and other travel providers optimize the digital customer experience. Danielle has 15 years of experience as a practitioner in the travel industry, having spent 11 years with Wyndham Hotels and Resorts and four years with Avis Budget Group. She has held leadership roles in digital, marketing, and analytics.

Outside Insights, Story, Technology