User communication is one of the key elements that helps you stay on the right track while developing and after you publish your app. Getting feedback on your app is crucial for the following reasons:
To help you to locate and improve problem areas
To enable you to get in touch with your user community
Feedback is at the heart of business growth. Having the right tools and strategy to gather feedback from your users can help you evolve your app from an average product to an awesome, must-have sensation. In this piece I will offer you tips on how to get quick feedback on your app.
Getting feedback before starting development
Share your idea with technical audiences and communities before you get down to coding your app. There are a lot of people out there willing to help you propel your initial idea into something more innovative, and what’s more is that most of them are willing to share their knowledge and experience for free.
When it comes to getting counsel on new app ideas, online communities like matchup.com are a gold mine.
You can also consider going social and sharing your ideas in social networks like Facebook and Google Plus, where you can conduct polls, generate conversations and acquire feedback on new ideas.
Feedback during testing phase
It’s good to have an assessment of how users will react to your app before having it shipped. One of the easiest ways to get feedback during the final stages of app development is creating a pool of beta testers through a free focus group. A lot of people will voluntarily test your new app and give their recommendations and feedback from a user perspective. If you’re a well-connected developer, you’re likely to know many such people already. You just need to look in your own email contact lists or consider posting on popular forums.
Sometimes, seeing a video of how people use your app can help a lot in finding out the strengths and weaknesses of your app’s user-interface and -experience. Two great tools that provide video feedback from your app are UserTesting and the Appszoom Video Feedback Service. Getting video reviews helps you pinpoint where users are getting stuck using your app and why they leave. This is great for pre-release and beta testing purposes.
UserTesting lets you choose your target users and produce 15 minute videos with audio commentary by real people using your app. The Appszoom service, on the other hand, gives you the advantage of having real pros evaluate, test, and give video feedback on your app. When you see your app in action in the hands of an "average" or expert user, it's simple to share comments and reactions with your team members as well.
Getting user feedback and responding to user queries and comments after shipping is extremely important as well. Make sure you stay active on social media networks; this way you’ll create trust among your users and show them that you’re actively engaged with your app’s community members and value what they have to say. This can be anything from creating hashtags and setting up Twitter chats to hosting a Google Hangout webinar.
You also have the option of setting up a forum on your company website in order to get feedback from users and respond to user queries. In comparison to social networks, the advantage of custom forums is that you’ll have total control on the visibility and administration of user feedback on your app. However, take note that users are more inclined to post in well-known and trusted social media environments.
A considerable number of users never bother going through the pains of finding your site or social media page on the on the web and posting their thoughts and questions. That is what in-app feedback is for.
Regardless of the mechanism used, feedback gotten from inside the app always produces the most accurate and subjective results regarding your app’s performance. Moreover, in-app methods are especially useful when your user-base is still small and you’re having trouble getting people to talk about your app on forums and social media.
In-app feedback also helps identifying your most active – and most valuable – users, people you might want to go to for testing of future apps.
There are many ready tools and packages that help you add feedback support to your app off-the-shelf. Helpshift and Apptentive are two such tools that you might want to consider using for your next app.
Helpshift is an easy-to-use feedback tool that integrates as an in-app customer support platform. With features such as live in-app communication with users, in-app notifications and push notifications, automated surveys, and a web-based dashboard that keeps track of feedback, Helpshift helps mobile app developers to extract real user feedback and to make improvements to the user experience. Helpshift offers a 30-day free trial and a free option for apps with under 10 thousand MAUs (monthly active users), but beyond that, you’ll have to pay for its services.
Apptentative offers similar features, plus a CRM integration tool that helps turn your app into a sales platform.
It takes a one-two combo of people skills plus the right tools: The Basics Of App Marketing: Interacting With Your Users
The value of negative feedback and how to control it
You should always pay special attention to negative feedback. Although it might sting, negative feedback is priceless when it comes to finding out what’s wrong with your app and fixing it before it spins out of control.
However, it wouldn’t do to see negative feedback about your app spilling all over forums and social media, and you should have a strategy to quarantine negative feedback and control its visibility.
Add an email feedback option to your app, and keep it in a position that is always accessible, such as the sidebar or the settings screen. Email feedback shouldn’t be relied on as a primary feedback solution, but it’s a must have and it can help avoiding negative feedback on App Store or Google Play.
You can also use tools such as Instabug, which integrates with your app and offers bug and crash reporting, statistics, team collaboration and plain in-app feedback features, encouraging users to engage actively in the bug-fixing process instead of grumbling about it in the public.
What to do with feedback
If you want to create lifetime value and lasting users, you should definitely address user feedback by implementing changes to your app and shipping updates. Making drastic changes to your app might be tough, but in the end the suggestions from the people who use the app will be the most reliable and worthwhile.
Once you’ve applied the changes, you may want to think about sending a complimentary copy of your new app to users interested in receiving an up-to-date version, especially those who have given negative feedback in the past.
How to Get Feedback on Your App, Quick and Dirty