Tuesday, January 11, 2011

On communication

It's been an exciting week for me - the first time I have really felt like I have "customers."

The first month of sales of Beat Dialer was a very disconnected affair - I watched the sales appear in my Google Checkout whilst I slowly added features. Over this time I received two five-star comments - something that was obviously wonderful.

Then, in the last week I received three one-star ratings, two of which with comments that the device Force Closed on Samsung devices.

As I don't have any Samsung Android devices I was not going to be able to reproduce the error (none of my monkey or functional testing showed any problems). I decided to go out on a limb, contacting the two commenters via the Google Checkout's obfuscated email address and offering a refund for more information on the bug.

The results were spectacular: both commenters replied with details of what lead to the Force Closes and were more than understanding that I couldn't test on all devices. One is also a software developer and offered to test a development build of Beat Dialer. From their feedback I have now implemented a fix - thanks guys!

The lesson I take away from the last week is the importance of communicating with your customers - even when working with micro-transactions on something as anonymous as the Android Market.