According to a study from the NIH, there are over 259,000 health-related applications (apps) available in app stores. In such a crowded place, how can you make sure that your app stands out and grows? Putting technology considerations and gamification techniques aside, there is a major contributing factor: Perceived benefits. Depending on how your customers perceive the benefits of your app will have a direct impact on retention and growth.
The importance of Churn
Churn is a key metric to evaluate an app’s success and growth because it focuses on customer retention. It measures the percentage of users who stop using your app within a particular time period. In the world of mobile development, users who come and go are quite common: According to TechCrunch, the median churn rate for subscription apps is around 13% for monthly subscriptions and around 50% for annual subscriptions.
Churn is particularly impactful at two steps of the customer journey:
Spotting the bad users
Some users download your app when really they should not be downloading it to begin with. This step is costly because you will have to deal with refunds and servicing people who are not going to be with you long term. It also impacts your rankings and growth rate. This mis-step happens often because it is hard to truly evaluate if an app is “right” for us. Evaluating the quality of an app just from the information provided in the app stores is very tricky. Furthermore, we all know that the 5-star rating system is not reliable: It often focuses on the app’s interface rather than its ability to deliver on its promises.
Some users come in with one expectation and get another one instead. For these users, and for you, it would have been better if they had been able to “screen” themselves before using the app.
The jaded user problem
The second group of churn users is more problematic for app makers: Users who feel the app is no longer working for them. In Health care – not just the app world – people often forget that their improvement is linked to the efforts they put in. And just like people stop taking the prescribed medicine early because “they are feeling better now”, so do people stop using apps.
So, how do you prove that your app works and delivers results? Your users have to really associate using your app with the benefits they are now experiencing the real world.
Reinforcing the app’s value
Okaya is focused on solving the mental wellbeing assessment and workflow problem, and building the best-of-breed wellbeing diagnosis API. For over 2 years, the team at Okaya has been exploring how to use the technologies available in today’s environment, coupled with an innovative use of machine learning algorithms. The core idea driving our development activity was to see if it was possible to recognize and quantify an individual’s wellbeing from a short video stream.
How can your application benefit from this API? It’s very simple: In just a few lines of code, your user checks in. A check-in is taking a 15 second video selfie. At that time, the user can opt-in to share other information with us. Then we use this longitudinal information along with different data sources to see how the user is trending. You now have the power to not only better help your users by taking immediate actions based on the assessments; you can also be more strategic in how you develop new subscriptions, services, and offers to keep your customers longer on your app.
By giving this new experience to your customers, you are transforming how they view your app and your business. You are migrating away from being “just a product” to an advisor who can help them reach their goals and improve long-term. This is when you get the best user retention.