5 Tips to Recover From a Buggy Mobile App Launch

Bugs happen, even to the big guys, but don’t freak out. A Compuware study from earlier this year found that 79% of users are willing to retry an app once or twice if it fails to work properly the first time. Here are five tips to keep bugs from bogging you down.

1. Don’t Skip Quality Assurance (QA) and Testing

Make bugs a nonissue—fix them before your app gets into users’ hands. Prior to any release, test your app on devices. It’s the easiest way to find out if something’s not quite up to par.

2. Keep An Ear to the Ground

Users aren’t shy about voicing their opinions, so pay attention to reviews and any feedback that comes directly from your app or website. Also look at backend data. Analytics show you where drop-off and crashes are happening.

3. Fix It

Once you pick up on grumblings or identify where things go wrong, respond quickly with an update to improve the user experience. As an added bonus, app stores typically reset reviews with new app releases, clearly marking older reviews as applying to the previous version. This helps to mitigate any early negative feedback and show users that you’re on top of things.

4. Own Up to Big Mistakes

Get an apology out there if something’s significantly wrong. Within hours of launching the horribly buggy Gmail app for iPhone, Google tweeted: “The iOS app we launched today contained a bug with notifications. We have pulled the app to fix the problems. Sorry we messed up.”

5. Befriend the Critics

Users are far more willing to give you the benefit of the doubt when they’re engaged in your business. It’s important to let them know you’re listening and that there are real people behind your app. A few easy things you can do:

  • Be gracious
  • Respond quickly
  • Post news about upcoming app improvements on social media and your website
  • Invite vocal users to become beta testers
  • Reward users who provide constructive criticism with discounts on in-app purchases, game level upgrades, etc.

Follow these tips and you might get that second chance at making a great first impression.

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