L is for Listen

Who doesn’t like a good listener?

Have ways for users of your app(s) to reach you via email or any other communication method allowing back and forth messaging. User feedback is priceless. It helps you decide which features to build first. It gives you ideas for new features. Moreover, if you build a feature a user has requested, chances are this user will become a strong advocate of your app and help spread the word!

Back and forth messaging is important because sometimes it’s best to understand the specific need a user needs addressed when requesting a feature. Knowing this could help you design a better feature than the solution the user had suggested. It also enables you to explain to the user why you’re not building a feature in some cases.

Debugging issues can also be complicated if you only rely on the app store review systems. Users can update their review when you ask for more information but they often fail to follow up. I find email works best for bug squashing.

Last but not least, users could give you great ideas for monetizing your app. I decided to add a ‘Pro’ license tier to TextingStory after being contacted by advertising agencies and it significantly boosted my revenue.

Setting up a dedicated email address is important but in my case the number of emails has always been manageable. TextingStory has a few thousand downloads every day and I get about one email a day in general, except when there’s a really nasty bug inside the app.

I don’t know if it’s the same for all app developers, but I find that users who email are often kind and understand there’s real work involved behind an app. Vindictive users are not the norm. I often get thanked which is nice. Some emails are even just ‘thank you’ notes.

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