August 7, 2018

The one product metric that drives customer acquisition, retention, and revenue

Much has been documented about the enormous cost of software bugs. Depending on the application you are building, one error can translate into millions in lost revenue every minute.

Considering the fact that all companies are rapidly becoming software companies in order to stay competitive in today’s economy, application stability can make or break your business. Users have an opportunity to abandon your product at every stage of their life cycle: from reading complaints about bugs before they even try your product, to the crashes they experience when they try to open your app after a new release, to the errors they encounter when they try to make a purchase on your app. Believe it or not, application stability impacts the entire customer journey.

Stability impacts whether or not users decide to use your app

Imagine for a minute that the game you’ve been anticipating for months has finally been released into the wild. You search for the game in the app store, click to view the app listing, only to see an underwhelming two and a half star average rating. You read the reviews:


Do you download the app? Or do you decide that it’s not worth the time and frustration?

For the majority of mobile apps, positive reviews are essential to raising awareness and driving user downloads. Of the top free iPhone apps, 67% have a rating of four stars or better, and 92% have a rating of three stars or better. The apps with the highest reviews and ratings are rewarded with higher app store rankings.

What contributes to poor reviews? According to Google, when leaving a one star review, 42% of the time the user mentions app stability and bugs.

Potential customers will read reviews before they decide to download or buy your application. If app stability is one of the top reasons users leave negative reviews, app stability directly impacts whether or not a user will even consider trying your app.

Application stability determines whether or not your customers continue to use your application

Once you convince a user to sign up and try your app, the work of creating a happy customer has just begun. Successful activation requires driving users toward completing key product actions and creating habitual usage, but successful retention depends on consistently delivering a stable experience.

Technology users have a very low tolerance for unstable applications.

In the reviews for a popular B2B marketing automation product below, stability issues can contribute to a negative impression of the product champion and prevent power users from realizing the full value of the technology:


Customers are not likely to continue using, let alone advocate for, products that make them look bad and can potentially hurt their careers.

Considering the cost of acquiring a new customer can be anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one, it seems prudent to invest resources into delivering a stellar, stable customer experience to retain your existing customers.

Application stability ultimately impacts whether your company succeeds

For teams building high volume applications or apps that execute financial transactions, integrating stability monitoring into development processes directly translates into increased sales conversions, in addition to reducing customer support tickets.

The cumulative impact of improved sales, customer retention and loyalty are irrefutable.

Investments in customer retention pay handsome dividends in the long run. In one study by Bain & Company, researchers found that a 5% increase in customer retention rates increases profits by 25-95%.

Customer retention is the biggest lever you can pull for long-term business growth. Invest in delivering high quality, stable experiences to retain your customers.


The most adaptable engineering teams are using application stability monitoring tools to align priorities across product, dev, and ops teams, so delivering new features quickly no longer means sacrificing application stability. Ultimately, these decisions profoundly impact the growth of your business, from customer acquisition and retention, to revenue and profit.

BugSnag helps you prioritize and fix software bugs while improving your application stability
Request a demo