Got Apps? Type Less, Respond More!
By Ruby Kolesky – Co-Founder of SmashBack
16 August 2018
Today we ask the world for feedback about SmashBack – our beta is now open to the public! You can register here and start using it straight away!
I’ll be straight up here, we are putting our incomplete, but still useful, MVP out because we are very eager to hear your feedback and ideas for our product early on, so please let us know what you think by email, or DM me on Twitter, or discuss on Hacker News or Product Hunt!
What is SmashBack? It’s a combined, (semi) automated inbox for app and web publishers.
SmashBack brings user messages together in one place because your time is too precious to repeat yourself to users all day long, when what you really should be doing is listening to them and acting on their feedback!
The other important aspect of the SmashBack angle is that we aim to keep the interactions warm and personal while combining automation and machine learning to help amplify you.
So, full disclosure the MVP launches with email first, we are working on Google Play Store reviews next (coming very soon) and then we’ll hit up Apple Store reviews after that.
As publishers of (many) apps across both stores, this blog I wrote does a decent job of explaining the problem we have. Following on from that I’ll explain our approach to solving the problem.
If you’re not into heaps of words just look at the gif on the top of this blog. It explains it for you visually in well under a minute. Alternatively, if you like exciting explainer videos we have one of those too, you can check that out here.
1. See it all in one inbox that learns from you as you go
We combine the messages into a single inbox. We hate having to switch between an email client, then flick to the Google Play Store and then to the Apple Store. So when the store channels come online you’ll see it all together in one place. Also handy for getting counts of trends across all the channels.
2. Positive and negative intros are swapped out on the fly
When you respond to your very first user on SmashBack we ask you to reply in sections, so that we can learn you how start a reply to both a positive and negative message. These are automatically put in front of future responses to topics depending on whether the topic itself is positive or negative.
3. Assign phrases to topics used to classify future messages
Of course machine learning and exciting things like fuzzy matching will come into play here soon, but for the MVP we simply ask that you identify key and common phrases that we will check for when other messages arrive, so that we can classify them to topics for you automatically.
4. We remember your response the first time a topic came up
We remember the response you compose the first time for other messages of the same topic. You can tailor it each time if you like, but it’s ready for you as soon as a message is classified.
5. New messages are classified automatically
When a new message arrives it is automatically classified to a topic if any one key word is found. How fancy you get with this is up to you. We can also do smart stuff like handle multiple topics in the same message, topic clashes, plurals, etc. To be honest, we probably got a bit carried away here for an MVP.
6. Next time, all you need to do is review and hit send!
So when this magic happens, and a new message is classified for you, all you do is select it and the response is ready to go. The next thing we’ll do here is allow you to activate time delayed response automation by topic. Once you trust messages for the topic are being classified the way you expect, you can sit back and let that one run itself.
7. Know what to focus on at a glance with grouped topics
This one is pretty important, with categories and topics you can see at a glance where your attention needs to be based on the counts and you don’t have to muck around summing it up manually across multiple channels.
Okay, so that’s the solution in a nutshell. We think this can save busy app publishers heaps of time and improve user engagement too. We really hope you think there is value in the idea and are waiting to hear from you!
By Ruby Kolesky – Co-Founder of SmashBack