Marketplace Tips – Avoid negative feedback!

I’ve seen this happen a number of times, both to my own apps and to others and there is nothing quite so frustrating – you spend months developing and testing your apps and finally have a version 1.0 ready for release – you pass ingestion and await the rewards with anticipation!  Next thing you check out your App in the Zune marketplace and .. horror of horrors .. someone has given you a low rating and negative comment!  What’s worse is that you know that their comment has its roots in something unfounded (I once had this happen on a large App where the user complained they couldn’t download over 3G – this is actually Microsoft policy in order to save on potential ISP charges, but as far as the user was concerned it was an issue with my own app and they made it clear that they were not happy!  This comment was from a US user and I watched sales rise in all other markets but this one!)

So how can you stop this kind of thing happening?  The short answer is that you can’t, but what you can do is mitigate this by offering users an easy way to feed back directly to you in the first place (rather than to your entire potential customer base!).

I now have a templated page which I use on my recent content oriented (read easy to develop) apps which offers a couple of options from within the phone App itself (and importantly, they are not hidden behind a secondary menu):

image

Behind these two buttons the code is quite simple:

private void Review_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
{
    MarketplaceReviewTask mRTask = new MarketplaceReviewTask();
    mrTask.Show();
}


private void btnfeedback_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
{
    EmailComposeTask ecTask = new EmailComposeTask();
    ecTask .To = “IanWalker@WebServicesUK.com";
    ecTask .Subject = "Feedback on My App Name";
    ecTask .Show();
}

The hope is that the user will choose the first option to provide any negative feedback.  (Of course if they provide positive feedback you can always invite them to review your App!)

NB You can see this in action on the following Apps:

3 thoughts on “Marketplace Tips – Avoid negative feedback!

  1. I really like this idea. I will be adding this type of page to my forthcoming application as well.

    Also, another way that you might be able to subvert negative comments about limitations that are out of your control would be to inform the user why they are unable to accomplish a task. Using your example, if you allow in-app downloading and the user attempts to download a file that exceeds the limits, display a message dialog as to why they cannot (carrier limitation) and what they can do to resolve the issue (connect to wifi).

    Of course, some people will still be committed to venting their frustrations; however, it is my opinion that most people will be pleased you took the time to provide them with an explanation. This might also change their outlook on the application and you might even get a positive comment out of it.

    • I think this is outside developer control but hopefully MS will pick up on this issue and make it clearer as to why large apps cannot be downloaded via 3G in situ. Thanks for taking the time to feedback!

  2. Thanks!

    I put this in my latest app.

    Also, make sure everyone knows that in the includes to add:

    using Microsoft.Phone.Tasks;

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