Online Surveys = Ongoing Insights

Simon Property Group Gets Great In-App Feedback with Surveys

Simon Property Group Gets Great In-App Feedback with Surveys

Simon Property GroupEstablishing a successful online presence for your business can be a hurdle, but conquering the mobile world? That’s another beast entirely.

How do you understand which features your app users want to see improved and make it easy for them to provide quality feedback on the small screen? One way is to use SurveyMonkey’s Mobile SDK—a devkit that lets you collect in-app feedback from users in real-time.

For Simon Property Group, the nation’s largest shopping mall operator, having a well-designed mobile survey was key to boosting user feedback within the Simon Mobile App—a who’s-who and what’s-what of hundreds of retailers and sales to ease the shopping experience for their customers. Patrick Flanagan, Simon’s VP of Digital Marketing & Strategy, is here to let us in on how his company used the Mobile SDK to make gathering and analyzing customer feedback to improve their app easy.

Floor’s yours, Patrick!

Simon had been trying to find a way to make it simpler for our mobile app users to leave us quality feedback for a while, but without a handy in-app survey tool, we kept running into a few walls.

The 3 big challenges of collecting mobile feedback

  • Getting specific feedback in a private environment. On the App Store, there’s no way of asking specific questions or following up with users’ reviews, and you rarely receive actionable information about their frustrations. Also, if the user has constructive or less-than-positive feedback, we’d rather receive it privately instead of having it appear in the App Store for all to see.
  • Collecting feedback without compromising UX. Mobile users are sensitive to non-native content being framed into apps, so our previous solution of embedding surveys through an iFrame made for a subpar user interface design–especially when the only way for users to access the feedback form was to dig through our hamburger menu.
  • Analyzing user data easily in one place. There aren’t any analytics tools out there to comb through all the raw text you get from reviews in the App Store, so you’re left to do all the tricky work yourself.

Slicker design, more feedback, and comprehensive analysis

Using well-executed in-app surveys helped resolve many of the issues we’d been facing and boost our feedback volume and quality. We could easily write up a survey, choose when we wanted to prompt users for feedback during their time in the app, and deploy it in just a couple of minutes. Since we were most interested in gathering data on users’ early impressions of the app, we scheduled surveys to check in with them after they’d opened it a few times to help us identify what we could tweak.


Changing the way we collect feedback from our app users gave us a quick fix to those 3 quandaries that were stumping us before. Now,

  • It’s easier for users to share quality feedback with us immediately so that we can respond. Pop-up surveys bring the feedback platform right to the user so they don’t have to scout it out themselves. These real-time responses give us a better understanding of not just what users do in the app, but also how they feel about it. Having this context helps drive our product roadmap to make improvements that matter most to our users.
  • Our UI and UX have improved. Our surveys look and feel like they’re a part of our app and don’t direct users away to an external web browser. Users can transition smoothly back into using the app right after submitting feedback.


  • Our survey response data is centralized and easier to analyze. All of our user feedback data now lives in one place, and we can look at it as it’s coming in—individually, or on an aggregated trend basis. We can see exactly where, when, and why we’re slipping in the app–and then pick up the slack.

In less than 2 months after launching the SDK on the Simon app, we collected more than 200% as many responses (309, to be exact) as we’d had in the entire year before. We’re now able to take this larger sample of data and direct it towards making the Simon Mobile App even better.

An open dialogue means customer satisfaction

Conducting effective mobile surveys allows us to understand much more of what’s on our customers’ minds than we knew before. We can stop guessing whether they like a new feature in our app and just ask them while they’re using it instead. The ability to create and edit surveys in minutes without touching a single line of code means we can constantly ask new questions to better listen to what our users want in real-time.

Keeping all of our customer feedback data, templates, measurements, and analysis features unified in one survey platform is a huge help; as a digital marketer, that kind of centralization of information has a lot of value when implementing app improvements.

We’re looking forward to integrating SurveyMonkey’s Mobile SDK into a few of our other tablet and loyalty-specific apps on Android and iOS—collecting in-app feedback helps us continue filling in gaps in customer satisfaction with new insights every day. 

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