Monday, January 17, 2011

Stay in Touch - How to Contact Your Marketplace Customers

Photo (CC) by  LarimdaME
A while ago I provided some methods and code snippets on how to get feedback from users. Today I show a manual procedure how you can contact some of the customers that reviewed your Windows Phone app. Some might already know this, but not all developers are aware of this Marketplace / Zune functionality, so I though it might be worth sharing.

Most customers are nice people that provide valuable feedback also through the Marketplace review mechanism. Others give you bad reviews and it seems like they might have misunderstood the functionality. And some people just love to rant. Just like in real life. If I feel the urge to contact some of the reviewers, I send a message through the Zune social network and ask for details. Unfortunately, not all review authors are registered there and only ~50% of the people can be found by their username.

Step by Step
1. Go to and enter the Product Id of your app.
This neat little Silverlight app will list all reviews from around the world. I recommend you bookmark the URL with the Product Id.
2. Sort the grid by date, go through the list and copy the username of the reviewer you want to contact.

3. Open the Zune software, go to the Marketplace tab, paste the username into the search field and hit the search button.

4. If the user was found, click on the user's profile.

5. Open the user's profile and send the user a message through Zune ("Send message").

That's it. Not the best solution and you will only reach ~50% of the users, but better than nothing. I would prefer if app developers could comment the reviews.
Please stay professional and don't offend the review authors even if they have written nonsense.

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