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Are Dating Apps Providing the Best Customer Experience?

Erin Ollila
February 13, 2020

3 minute read

It’s the season of romance, and according to Pew Research Center, 3 in 10 adults have previously or are currently using a dating site or app. But how do dating apps users feel about the customer experience they receive when looking for love? We interviewed individuals of various ages from all over the United States to see what aspects of online dating were exceeding expectations and which were failing. Here’s what they had to say.

The ease of signing up

The consensus is that registering for an account is relatively simple. However, the option to register for a new account by using your social media profiles brings in different opinions. While some users like how it makes the process easier, others worried that it pulled in too much personal information into the dating app.

For example, Ellie from Washington, D.C. says, “I think by connecting them to Facebook, it makes it super easy to sign up. It’s also easy to ‘reopen’ them after deleting them.”

However, Tina from South Carolina reports, “I mistakenly used Facebook for the sign up which imports excessive information. That caused me to freak out and immediately delete it.”

Balancing privacy and profile customization

Dating apps users want the ability to share what they choose about themselves with potential matches, but they’re still worried about how much information is being divulged to strangers.

Shanon from Washington D.C. says, “I like that you can list what you’re looking for (casual, long-term relationship, marriage, etc.) and get some of the preliminary info out of the way. I can add that I am a mom and my education level and more and skip the small talk.”

Nikki from Massachusetts agrees and says, “I pretty much get to re-do my profile every few weeks since I travel so much. That’s pretty fun and what’s great about dating profiles, you get to customize it to your needs or circumstances.” She continues, “I like that I can exclude information about where I work or where I went to school and decide what other social media profiles I show.”

Though, Shanon shares a concern that many other individuals mentioned: “As a woman, I worry about safety and how much info to reveal.” She’s not alone.

Pew Reseach Center found:

“Six-in-ten female users ages 18 to 34 say someone on a dating site or app continued to contact them after they said they were not interested, while 57% report that another user has sent them a sexually explicit message or image they didn’t ask for. At the same time, 44% report that someone called them an [offensive] name on a dating site or app, while 19% say they have had someone threaten to physically harm them.”

Matchmaking isn’t as “smart” as users would like

Here’s one way the customer experience is failing: dating app users are tired of seeing the same suggested matches over and over again. In fact, most of the users we interviewed completely distrust the compatibility-matching process. They’re asked to answer personality-based questions, and assume that the data provided is compared against other users’ information. Yet, the users suggested don’t seem to match they criteria they claimed to be looking for.

“[Some companies] do a personality profile and say they are matching you with like candidates. Not so. They throw any live body at you…” says Tina.

Nikki provides another example and says, “I do have to say that the apps take a bit to adjust to all my traveling. A lot of times it’ll take a few days to stop showing my possible matches from my old location, so that can be a bit frustrating.”

According to IBISWorld research, the dating services industry made 3 billion in revenue in 2019. Improving customer experience starts with figuring out ways to use AI to better match potential partners.

Enough with the marketing

One way to give users a better experience, according to interviewees, is to stop marketing to them. Users can read through impersonal personalization techniques, making them feel distrusting and turned off of the entire process.

Tina says, “What’s irritating is the emails from the apps saying “Your profile is getting a lot of attention” or “You’re so popular.” Really? Because some guy clicked on one picture and never sent me a note?” Users want sincerity — from both their connections and with the dating service they’re using.”

According to the people we polled, there’s no one perfect app or approach to connecting with others who are interested in meeting new people or finding love. But with some safeguards for personal security and better match options, the customer experience is bound to improve.

Erin Ollila
Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform – and even transform – its intended audience. After a 12+ year career in human resources, she's jumped headfirst into digital strategy. Erin is a geek for SEO and all things social media.
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