Support email is the “dirty little secret” of independent App Store developers. You may imagine that after you’ve finished all the work of designing, building, and marketing your app, that it’s time to sit back, high-five your favorite pet, and watch the sales roll in.
Unless your app is completely brain-dead simple or has absolutely no sales, you can count on receiving at least a few support emails over the upcoming weeks and months to keep you busy. If you’re hoping on maintaining a five-star rating on the app store, you will probably want to respond to all of these in some way. Here is a list of five handy URLs that will help you to deal with many of the common inquiries that you will receive.
- “How to Get a Refund from the Apple App Store” : If your app is selling for a low price, it can often be more economical to offer a refund to a user rather than try to solve their problem. This is especially true if it’s an issue that looks unfixable without a new release or will take a long time for you to reproduce. Users generally respond well to this gesture and are satisfied that you’ve acknowledged their issue and have taken action to compensate them.
- “Redeeming a Free Promo Code From iTunes or iPhone” : When you launch your app it’s often a good idea to give out the promo codes Apple provides in the iTunes connect portal. Often times, users haven’t used promo codes before – including this link will save you a lot of questions from confused users to whom you may have provided a code.
- Google Labs Canned Response Gmail Plugin is a great tool for quickly responding to commonly asked support questions. If you find yourself getting the same questions more than a few times, just craft a generic response for that particular issue and save it to your canned responses. The next time a support issue comes in for that problem, you just select, customize (maybe by adding their name), and send.
- UserVoice is a great resource that allows you to create a custom support page for your app. Users can add feature requests and support questions which you as the page moderator may approve and then reply to at your convenience. Users can also vote up feature requests so you can get an idea of what your users want most in the next release of your app. The best part is that the “Basic” UserVoice plan is free which allows for one app support page with one moderator is free, which is a great way to get started with the tool to see if it suits your needs.
- Simple instructions users to take and email a screenshot are a valuable tool in your arsenal of supporting your customers. The previous link provides a nice text-based explanation of both taking the screenshot and then locating it in the Photos app so the user can email it to you. This step-by-step guide offers a nice visual guide for taking the screenshot for those that may still be confused by the text only description.