It appears that Google made some changes to a couple of their Android applications recently, and based on feedback from an associate, it wasn’t announced. This is a bit surprising, and reminds me once again as to how important communication is for a local business to keep consumers happy.
My associate shared the following story with me:
“There was an app that I wanted to download, so I looked and looked and looked for my Android Market Place app (the app used to download and purchase other apps on Android supported devices), but it was nowhere to be found on my phone. I kept looking through my phone thinking I might have accidentally deleted it, but there was no record of it anywhere. I finally went online and did a Google search on ‘Android Market App Missing’ and found that recently, Google changed the name and icon for a couple of their apps. They changed Android Market Place to Google Play, and Google Books to Play Books. I was a bit surprised that they changed the name at all for these basic apps, but was maybe even more surprised that I didn’t receive any communication or notification about it. And after reading the forums, I wasn’t the only one caught off guard by the change…”
I’m sharing this not to debate why Google updated to the new version of the app or changed the name and icon, but instead, to use this example as an indicator of how important it is to effectively communicate to consumers to keep them happy and well-informed. Sure, some may argue that the update from Android Market to Google Play was seamless, but as my associate noted in the story above, several forums on the web had users who approached the subject with confusion. After all, there are often a lot of apps on an individual’s Smartphone these days, and we know where to locate the ones we use most. When what we’re used to seeing isn’t visible anymore or has moved or changed, then it’s nice to know that ahead of time. Not to mention, it’s nice to know what changed were made with the update, if any, and why it occurred.
Generally, Google is great about communicating and announcing changes and updates to products or services, so I’m not sure what happened this time. And it’s not like they’re going to lose disgruntled customers over this given that we love our apps and our phones and can get over something like this. At the same time, a small or local business might not be so lucky, and definitely can’t afford to lose customers, especially when those customers are disgruntled and have the power to create a negative perception for that local business; and as we know, bad news can spread like wildfire. Plus, communication and transparency is just the right thing to do in most cases.
If you’re a local business, do what you can do communicate any changes for your business to your employees and consumers as soon as possible to keep everyone in ‘the know’ and happy.