Apptentive Fan Signals

Fan Signals are a collection of features that help you capture, analyze and act on the feelings of your consumers, building critical emotion data over time. These signals enable customer segmentation tied to categories of emotion to help you predict churn, boost revenue, and retain customers throughout their mobile journey. Fan Signals are derived from recurring Love Dialog interactions, with consumers being characterized as either Fan or Risk

Apptentive’s Love Dialog has been very effective in measuring customer love in the moment. As you capture data from the Love Dialog, Apptentive automatically segments your customers into one of several Fan Signals groups, based on their Love Dialog responses across the span of time. Over time and across customer journeys, signals are qualified as either:

  • New (expressed for the first time), 
  • Repeat (expressed sequentially), or 
  • Shifted (from one state to another).

Based on these different signals then, consumer segmentation includes these six (6) “buckets” or divisions of customer types:

  • New Fan – Answered yes the first time they responded to a Love Dialog
  • New Risk – Answered no the first time they responded to a Love Dialog
  • Repeat Fan – Answered yes at least twice sequentially to the Love Dialog
  • Repeat Risk – Answered no at least twice sequentially to the Love Dialog
  • Shifted to Fan (from Risk) – Answered no, then yes to sequential Love Dialogs
  • Shifted to Risk (from Fan) – Answered yes, then no to sequential Love Dialogs

As critical as capturing emotion is to boosting mobile customer experience, so is taking action on that data. With Fan Signals, you can trigger more precise targeting of in-app interactions and incentives, or drive external marketing campaigns through data portability. This added emotional intelligence drives new growth and customer engagement, increases lifetime value and retention, and reverses churn and competitive risks.

Using Fan Signals

Apptentive currently enables Fan Signals capabilities in three ways on the Apptentive dashboard: Fan Signals Charts, Fan Signals Filtering in Insights, and Fan Signals Interaction Targeting.

Fan Signals Charts

Located on the App Health section of your Apptentive dashboard, Fan Signals Charts allow you to aggregate consumer emotions at a glance. Each chart will provide a breakdown of how customers are distributed across each bucket of a particular signal. 

The Repeat Fans chart reports the percentage of Repeat respondents who have responded as Fans to subsequent Love Dialogs versus those who have responded as Risks to subsequent Love Dialogs. We would generally expect the bucket of Repeat Fans to be larger than the bucket of Repeat Risk as at-risk customers are more likely to churn than engaged, happy customers. Both buckets, however, provide crucial information about the emotional state of longer-term customers.

The Shifted Fans chart reports the percentage of respondents who have Shifted from Risk to Fan  in subsequent Love Dialogs versus those who Shifted from Fan to Risk Risks. Shifted Fans are typically validation that you’ve improved your customer experience or made a positive change to your in-app experience. Shifted Risks tend to show that you’ve made a negative change to your offerings or that customers have recently had experiences that have left them unhappy. Identifying this bucket is critical as it creates an opportunity to avert churn with this cohort, but companies need to quickly take action or risk losing them to a competitor.


The New Fans chart reports the percentage of respondents who have responded to the Love Dialog for the first time, expressing that they are a Fan versus those who have expressed that they are a Risk in their first Love Dialog Response. 

Fan Signals Filtering in Insights

Apptentive Insights are a great way for you to analyze open-ended feedback from Message Center, Surveys, and app store Reviews. Through filtering, sentiment analysis, and a presentation of key phrases, Apptentive Insights allow you to spot and follow trends in your feedback data. Fan Signals filtering allows you to understand what’s important to specific buckets of customers. Are all of your Shifted Risk customers experiencing a similar bug? Do your Repeat Fans have some similar feature requests? These filtering capabilities help you to uncover patterns based upon shifting customer emotions.

Fan Signals Interaction Targeting

How would you act if you knew customers were ready to leave? How would you engage with your most loyal customers? Apptentive allows you to utilize all Fan Signal buckets in interaction targeting. This, in turn, allows you to tailor your interactions and messaging to customers based upon their shifting emotions and quickly act throughout their mobile journeys.

Fan Signals targeting works similar to all other Apptentive targeting segments by allowing you to choose each bucket as part of the WHO targeting criteria. You are able to select both the Fan Signal bucket and supporting criteria for it – such as the timeframe in which someone appeared in that bucket.

Use Cases

Below are some suggested use cases for specific Fan Signals buckets, as well as some general use cases. While this is in no way an exhaustive list, it should be a good starting point for utilizing Fan Signals Interaction Targeting.

It is also important to consider your vertical as you think about use cases. Our Customer Success Team is happy to help!

General Use Cases

  • Adjust product roadmap based on customer feedback and emotion
  • Re-target shifts in emotion in real-time 
  • Reveal new emotion data behind NPS to improve differentiation, predict churn, and accelerate CX enhancements

Repeat Fans

  • Send a Note with promo code thanking your most loyal customers
  • Ask your biggest Fans to rate your app through the Rating Dialog 
  • Recruit customers into a demo group or invite them to try new features
  • Send a special Survey asking your happiest customers to help prioritize features

Repeat Risk

  • Send a Note containing a special offer to engage with the customer and prevent churn
  • Prompt customers with a Note linking to Message Center to get these at-risk customers in touch with your support team
  • Create a Survey to understand how you can provide a better product, service, or experience for these customers
  • Remove customers in this bucket from certain interactions and engagements that might be better suited for customers having a positive experience

Switched to Fan

  • Send a promo code/coupon through a Note to thank them for their business
  • Send a Survey to learn about their experience; try to understand what is repeatable about this cohort. What changed to improve their experience?

Switched to Risk

  • Prompt customers with a Note linking to Message Center to get these at-risk customers in touch with your support team
  • Send a Survey to learn about their experience – what changed that shifted their emotions?
  • Send a promo code/coupon through a Note to apologize for a bad experience

New Fan

  • Send a promo code/coupon through a Note to thank them for their business
  • Send a Note introducing them to functionality in the app you think would be of interest
  • Ask your Fans to rate your app through the Rating Dialog 

New Risk

  • Send a Note containing a special offer to engage with the customer and prevent churn
  • Prompt customers with a Note linking to Message Center to get these at-risk customers in touch with your support team
  • Create a Survey to understand how you can provide a better product, service, or experience for these customers

Best Practices

Below are some best practices recommended for utilizing Fan Signals

  • Do not use Fan Signals Interaction Targeting to trigger your Love Dialog
    • You want to understand the emotions of all of your customers over time. If you’re limiting your Love Dialog prompt to only one segment of customers, you will miss out on connecting with all of your customers throughout their mobile journeys.
  • Pass Customer ID as custom data
    • Passing an ID that is meaningful to your business will make your data richer and allow you to take advantage of exports and webhooks in the future. It enables for you insights and actions on identified consumers. 
    • Other custom data attributes would also be impactful here, such as rewards level, if the customer has any favorites set (like location or items), and other attributes specific to your app.
  • For more specific targeting, add a time frame in your Fan Signals Interaction Targeting
    • Because we track customer emotion over time, it’s possible for someone to be in different buckets throughout their time as your customer.
    • If you target a bucket without specifying a timeframe, we will attribute each person to the bucket they are CURRENTLY in.
    • If you target and bucket and specify a timeframe, we will include each person who had that fan signal status AT LEAST ONCE during that time period. This means that a customer could be targeted in a bucket that they’re not currently in but that they were in during the time period selected.
  • If you have many Repeat Risks and Repeat Fans, it is more critical than ever to understand their differing experience in separate surveys. 
    • In 2019, the average number of New or Repeat Fans was 60% (iOS 58%, Android 65%). The average number of New or Repeat Risks was 31% (iOS 32%, Android 28%). On average, 5% of Fans shifted to Risks (iOS 5%, Android 3%) and 4% of Risks shifted to Fans (iOS 5%, Android 3%). (source: 2019 Apptentive Benchmark Report)
    • Understanding how the experiences of these separate groups have differed will allow you to acutely zero in on the moments of friction that could cause customers to leave and to double-down on the moments of delight that create loyal fans
  • Analyze and act
    • It’s great to engage with your customers and to gather feedback; however, unless you spend time understanding that feedback and then acting upon it, you’re not closing the loop with your customers. Use customer feedback to inform your product roadmap, influence your marketing campaigns, and engage with the rest of your company around customer experience.

For a walkthrough of Fan Signals reporting and targeting, check out the video below:

If you have questions, or want to set up time to discuss how you can leverage Fan Signals, reach out to your Customer Success Manager or support@apptentive.com.

Updated on October 15, 2020

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