What is a mobile intercept survey?

Mobile intercept surveys conducted as Voice of the Customer Studies (VoC) are the simplest and most effective way to directly get in touch with your mobile website or App users.

There is no way around these kind of mobile surveys, if you are interested in finding out what your visitors are planning to do on your mobile website or App, if they are able to achieve what they came for, where they are thinking of going after their visit, who they are in general and if they are satisfied by the mobile experience you provide.

Voice of Customer surveys are well established in studies with PC users. More and more researchers also conduct VoCs on mobile devices.

How do Voice of the customer studies work on mobile devices?

When entering a mobile website or App users are asked why they are visiting the site by means of an intercept window. After accepting to participate, they can continue to browse the mobile web to finish what they came to do in the first place.

After having surfed the mobile website or App, it is common to use a questionnaire to obtain user profiles, e.g. socio-demographic information, whether the expectations of the site visit were met or not, if users are satisfied or not and if they were to recommend the mobile website or App.

  1. Intercept live visitors of your mobile website/App with an invitation message.
  2. Find out about the intention of their visit.
  3. Ask them to continue what they wanted to do in the first place.
  4. Track their path and the time they need to accomplish their goal (JS tracking code for mobile websites and event tagging for mobile applications).
  5. Ask them to tell you if they were successful or if not why they abandoned their visit.
  6. Measure their customer satisfaction and use questions for user profiling.

Why are Voice of the Customer studies important?

The goal is to provide customers and users with outstanding mobile experiences. With Voice of the Customer studies on mobile devices you can reach a large amount of people in real life situations and – assuming you ask the right questions – find answers that will help you improve your mobile website or App.

Mobile Survey Example

 What user information do you get?

A Voice of the Customer study will tell you:

  • Who your users are (e.g. gender, age, occupation etc.)
  • Why they visit your mobile website/App (by means of Voice of the Customer)
  • If they were able to accomplish their goals when they are intending to leave the site/App (by clickstreams/behavioural data)
  • Whether the experience was satisfactory or not (by satisfaction rates)- Customer satisfaction
  • If they are likely to recommend your mobile website/App to others (by NPS)
  • Which pages of the mobile website/App they visited (by clickstreams)

How do Voice of the Customer studies on mobile devices work in detail?

People who visit a mobile website/App are prompted by an invitation message (intercept) to participate in a short survey (3-5 minutes).

Some Voice of the Customer solutions enable you to determine at which point, on which page, and after what time the intercept pop-up should appear. You can then also set the invitation rate and interval as required. Your users/customers can always decline the invitation and will not be asked again to participate unless you want to invite them again.

Once a user accepts to participate, there are several VoC options he can perform.

Let’s have a look at the three most common Voice of the Customer study options for Apps:

Example 1: Invitation Message + Initial Questionnaire + (Navigation)


Mobile Survey Example 1

As part of this study set-up, the invitation message is often followed by the initial questionnaire to collect socio-demographic data such as age, gender, occupation, income or also interests, customer experience with the mobile website/App or anything else you might be interested in finding out.

Keep the questionnaire as short as possible (6 questions max.). This way participants are likely to complete the survey and can quickly return to your website/App.

In the initial questionnaire you can also ask participants what they are looking to find on your mobile website/App. If you are looking for general information about your visitors‘ interests, basic research and open questions are recommended:

„What did you come to do on the XY website today?“ [open text field].
If you already know what your customers‘ interests are, a set of closed answering options is recommended, because it eases later data evaluation:

„Please select what you came to do on the XY website today:”

  • Current promotions
  • Looking for inspiration
  • Looking to buy something XY
  • Other

In a next step ask participants to continue browsing your site following their initial intention – meaning they should navigate the way they had planned to before they were intercepted. From that moment on their click path is collected until they leave the mobile website or App. Make sure to insert a tracking code on all pages you wish to analyse later.


Example 2: Invitation message + Initial questionnaire + (Navigation) + Exit Alert + Exit Survey


Mobile Survey Example 2

In this study approach, participants are asked to answer initial questions about themselves right after they have accepted to take part in the survey. Once finished, the navigation can be started and the participants can do what they were aiming to do on the site in the first place.

From this point on, all click paths they follow are collected until they close the App. Tracking user data only works on pages where a tracking code was added previously. Make sure the code is added on all pages you are interested in tracking. This way, every path of each user journey can later be obtained in the analytics section of the software you are using to conduct your VoC study.

As soon as a participants intents to close the App an exit alert appears on the user´s screen. This alert only appears if an exit survey has previously been created.

By clicking on it, every participant is directed to the exit survey, where they are asked some final questions. By means of these questions you can find out if user expectations were met, if participants accomplished what they wanted to do or the degree of their customer satisfaction.

Carefully select what you want to ask users without overwhelming participants with too many questions.


Example 3: Invitation message + (Navigation) + Exit Alert + Exit Survey


Mobile Survey Example 3

The third option shown below does not include the initial questionnaire. After agreeing to take part in the study, participants start by navigating the App.

Click paths are collected as soon as a participant clicks on “yes” and ends when they leave the App, providing that tracking codes were added before. Tracking data can be analysed the same way as explained in the examples above.

As soon as participants close the App, they are redirected to the exit survey by an exit alert.

“The exit survey may contain questions about the purpose of their visit, if their expectations were met, and the degree of their customer satisfaction.”

In this example, the socio-demographic data will be obtained at the end of their participation instead of at the beginning (as opposed to example 1).

Top 5 things to take into consideration when creating a VoC study for mobile devices:

  1. Use less than 5 questions in a mobile intercept survey. Studies exceeding 5 questions have higher drop-off rates.
  2. Use as little images as possible since the limited screen size constrains mobile testing.
  3. Keep texts as short as possible: A one line text question on an iPhone or Android phone is approximately 40 characters long in the portrait mode (vertical).
  4. Limit the number of answer options to 4-5 to minimise scrolling.
  5. Enable the auto width setting for mobile studies. This will optimise the look and feel of your study across multiple screen sizes and resolutions.