APM The 3 Stranger Things That Caused Poor App Experiences
October 25, 2017

Derek Stevens
CA Technologies

If you're a fan of Stranger Things, you know the Upside Down world is downright terrifying. What's also terrifying is the fact that many organizations haven't yet adopted an app analytics tool. Over the past two years, I've had the opportunity to hear first-hand how companies on the leading edge of digital transformation are leveraging app analytics to better understand how their customers are engaging with their applications and how they've made drastic improvements to the customer experience of their apps.

With the new seasons of Stranger Things being released, I thought it'd be a good time to highlight some of the "stranger things" our customer discovered about their apps using CA App Experience Analytics .

Stranger Thing 1: The API that Broke the Banking App


APIs are amazing, but sometimes they can cause strange behaviors in your app. This story comes from one of our larger banking customers who released a new version of their application early in the morning when most of their customers were still sleeping. When the release was pushed live, the app team used CA App Experience Analytics to closely monitor the real-time insights of their application for any signs of a poor customer experience and they soon spotted a problem.

The data showed a large portion of their users dropping off at a particular screen. They quickly discovered that a third-party API was causing the new version of their app to crash. Armed with this knowledge, they were able to quickly fix the issue before most of their customers started their day. Despite all the hard work and testing from their DevOps team, the app didn't behave the same in production as it did in pre-production.

Once your app is in the wild, unexpected things can occur. With an app analytics tool, you'll be armed with the real-time insights you need to prevent an issue impacting a small number of users from turning into a full-blown customer experience catastrophe.

Stranger Thing 2: The Case of the Monitoring Zombies


Most organizations today are using multiple siloed monitoring and analytics tools to get the data they need, from marketing insights to crash and performance monitoring. This story comes from an organization that was experiencing poor mobile app performance, which was having a big impact on field activity and customer engagement.

After wrapping their applications with CA App Experience Analytics, they found out that the crash analytics solution their developers were using and an analytics product they invested in to monitor their customer experience were causing the poor experience. App analytics solutions are unique in that they can gather and provide insights on app performance, crashes and errors, design, and customer experience with a single SDK — reducing the need for managing multiple SDKs with custom coding across teams. By moving to CA App Experience Analytics, this organization improved their app's responsiveness and generated key insights on the experience they were providing to their customers.

There are many benefits to having a single analytics tool — not only does it reduce the number of SDKs, but it means your developers, operations teams, QA, and support are all looking at the same data. Reducing finger-pointing, improving MTTR and improving app performance all result in a better app experience for your customers.

Stranger Thing 3: The Ancient Tomb of Mobile Devices


As you well know, technology changes at a rapid pace which means it also becomes outdated very quickly. In preparation for a product launch, this organization updated and pushed its new application to their devices, but they soon noticed a problem. At some locations, purchase transactions were slowing. With CA App Experience Analytics, they saw a decrease in activity and noticed that the only transactions coming through were from their newer devices. It turned out that the older devices couldn’t support the new application which was resulting in longer lines, fewer customer transactions and lost revenue. For this customer, a new point of sale app outpaced their devices. Luckily, they quickly rolled back to the application which provided a short-term fix while they worked on updating their application and devices across their locations.

Stranger things are bound to continue with app releases happening faster than ever before. Today's application delivery chain is too complex to catch every issue before the product is shipped, but leading companies are getting much better at not only building quality apps, but being incredibly responsive when issues occur and that's where app analytics tools can really help. You get a true understanding of what your customers are experiencing and when a poor experience occurs, you know about it and can respond in real-time, helping you to keep the stranger things at bay while your customers remain happy and loyal.

Derek Stevens is Principal Product Marketing Manager at CA Technologies
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