It’s been a while since I’ve given any sort of update on my progress as an “entreprogrammer”. Mainly that’s because I’ve had very little time for it due to working on my latest Pluralsight course (announcement coming soon!). But Skype Voice Changer Pro did reach an exciting milestone of its 50th customer recently.
The good news is that sales have carried on at a fairly consistent rate of around one every two days without me putting much effort in. This is nice as it means I essentially have a small amount of “passive income” from this application, and it seems on track to at least cover its costs. Maybe it will even make enough to replace the laptop my four year old destroyed by pouring water into it.
The bad news is that there are still some bugs. For one, the application didn’t run at all on Windows XP, strangely enough because WPF didn’t like the icon I was using. I wasn’t planning to do anything about this , but since I’ve had a steady stream of error reports, I’ve decided to at least enable running on XP, even if users won’t be able to use all the features.
Another very annoying issue is a bug in the .NET framework that meant the Portable.Licensing assembly didn’t always work correctly. Four different users ran into this, meaning that straight after purchasing they couldn’t enter their license. It could be fixed by getting them to run Windows Update, but I didn’t want to keep having to field support issues from unhappy customers, so I’ve created a non-portable build of Portable.Licensing to work around the issue.
Having the ability for users to report back to me the bugs they encounter has been invaluable in helping me know what sorts of issues my users are actually running into.
Refunds and Chargebacks
I also issued my first refund, and also had my first “chargeback”. As I understand it, this means that someone has actually tried to reclaim their money back via their credit card company by saying that the transaction was fraudulent rather than asking for a refund. This is a pain, as it costs me an additional $15. The customer in question had run into the Portable.Licensing issue, and despite me making him a custom version of the software to get it working, he simply was not happy.
I have no idea if one refund and one chargeback in 50 customers is better or worse than the industry average, but at least it’s not too bad.
Well, I’ve been slack on my mailing list recently, having not sent anything out for well over a month. The mailing list continues to grow and is now at well over 300 subscribers. Part of the reason for that is that I’ve not added any new features to talk about so the sooner I can enhance the product, the easier it will be to keep emailing.
Also, I’m going to see if the latest release reduces the frequency of error reports and support issues. Up until now about 1 in 10 customers has got in touch about a technical issue. I’d like to get that rate down substantially before doing anything to drive up sales further, otherwise I’d just end up giving myself an unwanted support workload.