The application sends out automated emails with links to a report that was requested by the user and created by the application. The sender address is 'firstname.lastname@example.org' and obviously not meant to receive any further correspondence.
As it turns out, this exact no-reply email alias receives 'feedback' almost on a daily basis, some valuable and constructive, others from painfully true to filled with hatred, meaningless and doubtful.
Here an example:
Thx….this rocks……I am soooo gonna use u for this shit 🙂
What should we do with this answer?
It is important that you hear something... anything... that you give your users a channel to voice their experience from which you can/should learn and grow. Don't label them 'stupid' just because they "didn't get it", all the opposite, maybe YOU didn't get it because a reply to an incoming email seems intuitive and picking up the phone or opening a web browser with a link to a feedback form isn't.
So what can be learned from something seemingly unwanted - or to say it differently: not anticipated?
- Take your customers serious.
- Turn supposedly unwanted correspondence into contextual insight (observations drawn from data that resonates with an understanding of the business).
- Turn them into business opportunities. Let them help you make better and faster decisions or simply improve the quality and perception of your application.
- Optimize your automated emails following the guidelines for transactional email
Do it like Facebook. When Facebook realized that their users reply to email notifications about let's say comments on a picture of them, they simply turned those replies into a comment on the comment.
On the downside, less users go to the actual site to post the comment and continue using the service but on the upside the communication doesn't stop and becomes more real-time and valuable. A little give is a little more take I would say. Right on!