Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Mobile Apps: Customer Feedback

There is several ways to get feedback from your customers.

The basic principle I have learned in Marines goes like this: if one of the Marines does not know how to do something, there is a good chance that some other platoon member does not know it either, hence the Drill Instructor screams at all them. 

Bouncing your app against the real audience is expensive and time consuming, therefore observations should be keen and not lightly disregarded as “user is stupid, they did that wrong", developers like to say that way too often. Keep in mind the principle outlined in book “Don’t Make Me Think” .

Here are few of the customer feedback methods we use:

  • Give the app to a typical user (a child for kid’s game, etc.) who has never interacted with the app and observe the interaction without any explanation of how things are supposed to work. Take good notes and fix the issues immediately, once the user figur out the difficult part the chance is lost. 
  • Provide eMail feedback inside the application. Many people would be surprised how few apps have  support email that is easily accessed from mobile applications. Also, many app developers who have not used that method might be surprised how many emails they will get and you do want to be in touch with your users. Many of them will try to help with suggestions, some with thank you, and most will vent --  users that cannot find an easy way to vent to you personally, will do that in market review and you will loose your rating. 
  • Read the reviews of your app. Try to fix problems and after releasing the fix make sure that several people write positive counter-review thanking you for fixing the problem
  • Have Facebook page for your app that is easy to access from mobile.
  • Have Twitter account for your app that is easy to access from mobile.
  • Have Google+ page for your app that is easy to access from mobile.
It is OK if people criticize you on your Facebook, Google+, or Twitter -- you can manage it, however negative reviews and ratings cause irreparable damage.

To read more download "Roadmap for Mobile Business" at