Our research into financial app use showed that the two biggest issues with financial apps are the same ire-inducing problems users experience with all kinds of apps: 1) the app freezing and 2) a dropped Internet connection. Next on the list are insufficient transaction details and the inability to speak directly to a customer service representative when help is needed. Furthermore, three major categories of app problems were noted: problems managing accounts, problems managing rewards, and, interestingly, problems searching for help.
It became apparent from our research that more frustrating for app users than app problems themselves was the inability to solve them. We refer to that inability as an app “dead end”—a situation where a customer experiences an app problem, seeks help, and can’t obtain it. The research also points to a solution: enabling users to access help more quickly and easily may be the most significant way to improve app user experience.
Problem Resolution Attempts
When financial app users experience a problem with an app, 9% said they simply give up on the app while 35% seek help, and 23% temporarily give up, but try later to get help. Of those who seek help, some actively search for guided help to resolve the problem, but most users seek to speak directly with a customer service representative. At this point, a variety of obstacles prevent them from finding the help they need, resulting in a dead-end experience.
A wide range of causes for dead-ends was identified. The most common is that smartphone calls for help are dropped or disconnected (37.9%) or users simply hang up while waiting on hold because the wait time is too long (31%). Another 27.6% are chalked up to customer service agents lacking the knowledge or authority to help—or because customer cannot reach a customer service representative at a time convenient for them.
Dead ends also result from user error, slow response rates during texting or chatting with customer service representatives, difficulties with email customer service conversations, and various other issues.
Consequences of App Dead Ends
After experiencing an app dead end, about one-third of financial app users say they delete the app from their phones, while others say they use the app less frequently. Still others complain about the brand or the app on social media. Twenty-eight percent complain on Facebook while 18% complain on Twitter.
Twenty-nine percent of customers are less likely to recommend the brand to a friend or colleague. Further, these customers rate the brand, on average, two points lower on a scale of one to 10 than before they experienced the dead-end.
While one of the primary benefits of successful app use is found time, when users are unable to finish the task they set out to perform, the result is often the opposite—a sense of time lost or stolen from them. More than 80% of financial app users surveyed said they want a customer service solution that enables them to request a callback from a customer service representative as soon as possible or at a scheduled time of their own choosing, so they can solve the app problem and complete the task.