So why should we care about users? Why should we support them? And by “we” I mean all developers and products/services providers.
Caring about your users does mean lots of things. Here are some of them:
- answering their questions
- listening to features’ requests and bugs reports
- being predictable
Lets stop on each of these points.
Answering their questions
It seems quite obvious, but not all understand, that you as a creator do know your plugin/theme/whatever much better than anyone else. You feel how everything works, but not your first-time users. You should cover all possible questions that can come to your mind – so create FAQ section either inside the product (if possible) or on a sales site. You will wonder how much questions you might get if you are open and ready to answer – and believe me, that WILL make you product better.
For example, for BP Groups Extras I have created a special page inside plugin admin area, where 3 most asked questions are answered in details.
Listening for features’ requests and bugs reports
Developers have the ideal picture of what they want to develop. That can be even development just for the fun process, not for the problems their code might solve. But unfortunately creating things for users (not for yourself) should take into account other people needs. And that means asking your end-users[5. Or other ways of identifying what is important to our clients] what do they need, what do they use, how do they use this or that, what is comfortable for them and what’s not.
This can be done via different ways. For BP Groups Extras I use WordPress Support section that is available for every plugin (for free version of a plugin) and created a forum here on a site for those who bought premium extensions. So I have covered (at least I try) 2 main groups of my users.
We all make mistakes, big or small. Code can’t be ideal (as there is no such thing) and sometimes bugs are there in the products. Be thankful when you get a feedback, write down everything users found and try to be honest – accept those bugs and just fix them, you will get a big “Thank you!” in the end. No matter in which way (more downloads, donations, purchases or topics/comments with grateful words) – everything is important.
Most of us like stability. We want to know that everything will be as planned, as expected. Your users want to be sure in you too – that they will get frequent updates, that their questions will be answered, that bugs will be fixed, that features requests will be reviewed and at least some of them implemented. Of course that will take more time from you, but in the end you will get happy user, who more likely will come back to you and order/download something else. Try to meet your own deadlines (as a developer) as often as possible – especially when you announced them publicly. Make yourself more predictable for your clients/users. In turn you will get more social media explosion on release date, more everything, because your users will be prepared and ready to help you spread the word.