Customer Feedback

TLDR;

We get lots of interesting feedback - it is best to take note of it (as a small firm) as it can give you early insight into your apps


We are lucky enough to receive lots of customer feedback (mostly positive, but a few negative). There are three main channels for providing feedback, in order of popularity:

  1. In-app (via the feedback option - which comes in via email)
  2. Direct emails (info@teazel.com).
    And of course:
  3. Via app market reviews

This article focuses on 1 & 2. We'll save the marketplace feedback for another article.

Our direct email feedback breaks down into six categories:

  1. Accidental
  2. Praise
  3. Praise + Puzzle Correction
  4. Confusion / Missing Features
  5. Payment / billing issues
  6. Random other

Accidental / Empty

For some reason, the way we have designed the feedback option means we get quite a few empty emails from people. Being well-mannered developers, we create a fresh email pre-populated with the Subject Line, App name, Device name and App version - and then add a template message body telling the customer that we have done this. The net effect of this is we get lots of message like this:

Subject: Crossword Feedback on a iPad - 7.1.2 - Rosalie's iPad - iPhone OS - 1.4

Body: We like getting constructive feedback - it helps make better games. Sent from my iPad

It isn't a huge problem and on the iOS platform we tend to see different names go past (Rosalie's iPad) which is kinda sweet. Our market demographic for our puzzle games seems to favour the more mature puzzle players (this is borne out by the names we see - Edith, Audrey, Iris and so on. Top 5 Names in Each of the Last 100 Years

We've also noticed that the number of mistaken feedback emails directly corresponds to the volume of downloads - when we receive spikes of emails we also get spikes in sales.

Since we became the top crossword app on iOS (when you search in the UK) the numbers of rogue emails have increased considerably.

Praise

Obviously the most satisfying emails to get are in praise of our apps, of which we get quite a few. Generally these break down into:
1. Comments on the Crosswords / Codewords being fun to play
2. How easy to use the app is
3. How much they are enjoying the puzzles
4. Other little gem's, such as:

I love it!!!! Can't get enough!!! Was going into withdrawals with no computer and no internet. Thanx [sic]

Sweet ones

Great app. Great fun. Thanks for your efforts. We all sit around at McDonald's and solve at least 1 puzzle including my 88 y.o. mum.

Another happy customer

Crossword Feedback: Very enjoyable and keeps me occupied when I'm bored

Crossword US feedback:

I Love it, very challenging, and educational too.

and

I this game! I play it a lot and love all the differant [sic] settings you offer!!

Crossword iPad

Interesting and right amount of difficulty for me. Good exercise for the mind and also provides good dexterity practice for an 82 yr old new IPad user like me! Cheers

Different ones

...By the way, I have narcolepsy and ADD. I use your puzzle to engage my brain to help me stay awake and alert in church.

Multi platform

Great app I love this app had it on my blackberry and am so glad it is on android.

Starting to blush now :)

Really great A great crossword puzzle game, a mixture of questions not too hard or too easy Thanks guys

Simple

Best crossword I've come across, Android or IOS!:-)

Finally.... best of all (not much you can say to that.... lovely)

Changed my paradigm. All my life I despised crossword puzzles. Now in my early 50's, I found a new passion. I stumbled upon this app, and I decided to give it a go. I figured I would get fustrated and toss it like so many times over the years. Somehow, this product just clicked with me. New technology converging a legacy puzzle with a modern integrated environment (Android, web, lookups, and hints), resulting in cognative productivity while enjoying my leisure downtime. My thanks to the developers. Anthony Cordaro

It is nice to see that the media project a negative view of the internet/world - from the comments good and bad, it all seem very constructive and positive.

Praise + Puzzle Correction

Our eagle eyed players are very good at spotting clue problems. Some of these can be plain old mistakes (mis-spellings in clues / answers), factual errors, or more rarely, issues around cultural understanding. We always make a note of the problem (to be fixed in the next release), respond to the user and include a thank-you credit in the game's Help screen.

Confusion / Missing Features

This one is a more tricky aspect of game support. It is amazing how many people would like (or expect) there to be an "exit" option on Android (despite it not really being required). We do try to accommodate as many feature requests as possible (see our settings) and carefully consider each suggestion.

Payment / billing issues

Another painfuly aspect we do see quite a few license failure checks failing (mainly on Android) and primarily caused by failures outside of our control, since Google run the license server. Thankfully we are able to resolve most issues.

Random other

We also get junk email just like you, but its targeted junk, usually from start-up apps stores:

  • New Advertising Services

We get countless emails telling us they can improve our revenues with adverts (we don't have any adverts in the puzzles games)

we think you can generate up to $5 CPM with their banner ads. You're free to display these ads whenever you want in your app so that it's not intrusive.

It is hard to imagine many people take them up on the offers given that we get emails from different providers every day.
They rarely make any effort at personalising their email, so frankly they nearly all get ignored. Sorry chaps.

  • Offers to buy reviews on iOS / Google.

We see fair number of these:

We make unique downloads and then leave a positive review, in perfect English, just what your app needs to get more exposure. Our prices are 5 reviews : 10 $ 10 reviews : 17 $ 25 reviews : 35 $ 50 reviews : 60 $ 100 reviews : 95 $
500 reviews : 400 $

  • New Google Play Developer Account

Google banned your account? Buy a new one without risk! 1 Google Play Developer Account costs: $199
10 Google Play Developer Accounts costs: *$1699

Which is a strange one to get as we haven't (which they can tell as our games are still available). Not too sure what the market is like for selling google accounts.

Summary

All in all, getting customer feedback is thoroughly enjoyable, and it keeps us abreast of what player want in a game. We also find out very quickly (and privately) when we've accidentally introduced a problem. Far better to receive a few private emails than get publically trashed with dozens of 1-star reviews because user can't reach you any other way.

We would encourage other developers to always allow your customers to contact you directly from within the app. Don't be put off by the scary thought of thousands of emails bombarding you, because we see a manageable 20-30 emails per day from 500k+ players, and they'll help you keep a finger on the pulse of your apps.