One of my goals for Phanfare is to be as transparent as possible with our customers. In that spirit, here are the results of our recent customer survey. We surveyed our paying customers and our free users. I am going to focus on the survey results of the paying customers in this post because they are significantly more engaged in Phanfare.
By and large, our customers are happy, but a significant portion of those who are not happy desire many of the features that we removed from the product in January 2008. We plan to address the needs expressed by our customers in the coming months.
How likely are you to recommend Phanfare to a friend or colleague?
This is the net promoter question and we have been asking it for nearly 5 years now. So we have some important longitudinal data. Our net promoter score right now is 52%. That is composed of 63% promoters, 26% neutral and 11% detractors. Going back to May 2007, our net promoter score was 71%, which is phenomenal. I want it to be as high as it once was. We are working on that. Read on.
Do you use a smartphone as your primary cell phone?
51% of our customers use a smartphone. iPhone is number 1 at 19%. Blackberry is number 2 at 18%. 7% use Windows Mobile devices and 1% use Android devices. Nokia running Symbian scored 1%.
I was happy to see that the iPhone was number 1 since we have invested a significant amount of time in creating a management and viewing experience for iPhone users with Phanfare Photon.
The Blackberry is equally important to our customers. Our support for Blackberry is basic today. You can view your albums on a Blackberry but there is no management client. If RIM releases a device with storage (flash-based) included in the default configuration we might do client.
Which tools do you regularly use to manage your photos and videos on Phanfare. Check all that apply.
You could choose more than one. 15% of our customers use the Mac client. 49% use the PC client, and 57% use the web client. This supports putting more effort into updating the downloadable clients but also reflects that much of our paid usership predates the release of Phanfare 2.0, after which, the web client was emphasized over the downloadable clients. When we have analyzed what our recent customers are using, it is usually the web client only.
Phanfare Photon for the iPhone is used by 13% of our customers. The Picasa plugin has a 7% representation. Lightroom is 5%. Aperture only 2%. iPhoto plugin 7%.
But filtering on customers who also use the Mac client, 23% use the iPhoto plugin and 9% use the Aperture plugin, 8% use the Lightroom Plugin. This indicates that Aperture is slightly more popular than Lightroom on the Mac and Mac users are more likely to use a professional quality post processing tool.
Overall, no plugin scored above 10% indicating that adding more plugins should not be a high priority.
How important are each of the following potential enhancements to Phanfare Photon for the iPhone.
We asked this only of people who used Phanfare Photon for the iPhone. 79% of customers want “better stability and fewer crashes” from the app. This dwarfed everything else.
Addressing stability is hard for us because some of the instability comes from the iPhone itself, but we are working on improving the stability and in a pending release we have addressed some of these issues.
Other popular enhancements were “searching your collection” and “faster shot to shot time.” I am happy to report that search is in the pending Phanfare Photon release and we have done what we can to improve shot to shot time within the constraints of the Apple SDK.
When we asked Phanfare Photon customers to rate the app on a scale of 1-5, they gave it an average of 4.1 stars. Although this post does not address the free users, one stat I will share is that free users gave it 2.7 stars, indicating that you need to have a large collection and see the way Photon fits into the larger set of tools to really understand the merits of Photon.
Phanfare Photon is a better media browser than it is a digital camera, especially for our customers who tend to have expensive DSLR cameras in their bag as well.
Thinking about the way your photos and videos are displayed on the web, how important is each of the following potential features.
We asked what new features our customers want in the web display of photos and videos. Items that were important included:
- Site passwords
- Album passwords
- Access control lists (ACLs)
- more fonts & colors
- More background themes
- More control over web layout
- Personalized URLs (you.phanfare.com)
Items that were somewhat important were:
- Ability to embed a phanfare slideshow in a blog
- CNAME support
- Anonymous comments on albums
Items that were not important or confusing (we gave a choice if Not Sure) were:
- Removal of the Phanfare navigation ribbon
- support for directly editing the page CSS
- displaying geotagging information on a map (which we already do!)
We plan to address many of the important needs, although in some cases our solutions might not be the exact solution proposed in the survey.
We are always thinking of new ways to integrate Phanfare with other services and products. How important are each of the following to you?
Our customers hardly care about any of the services & devices we proposed. Of the following services, not one scored more than 10% saying it was extremely important: Boxee, Apple TV, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace, Roku, WordPress, Blogger.
Of all these services/devices the one that generated the greatest interest overall was YouTube. The service that generated the least interest was MySpace, which did not shock me.
We have asked before where our customers want to display their photos and videos and “the living room TV” scores above 50%, but whenever we propose specific solutions, it generates a yawn. What that says to me is that customers are interested in the idea of displaying their content on the living room TV but the integration has not been invented yet that is convenient enough. I suspect that when TVs can display the content directly without the help of a box, consumer interest will be higher.
Phanfare already offers integration with facebook and flickr, and the facebook integration is quite popular, so it might just be the case that we already offer the most important service integrations.
Thinking of Phanfare’s management and storage features, how important are each of the following potential improvements to you?
Items of great interest were:
- storage of RAW files
- support for video over 10 minutes
- keyword tagging
- trimming of video within Phanfare
- historical graphs of viewer activity to albums
Nearly everything we proposed scored pretty well though. Second tier interest in:
- face tagging
- downloadable progam that watches your hard disk to put up new content.
Items with limited interest were:
- putting phanfare caption data in the EXIF header for export (16% shrugged “not sure” on this one – meaning a lot of people don’t know what the questions means)
- better support for adding geotagging information to photos that lack it. (also generated 15% “Not Sure”)
This supports my belief that spending your days clicking on photos and marking where they were taken is a task best left undone.
Phanfare sells books, cards, prints and data DVDs today. What other personalized photo and video products are you interested in?
Strong interest in calendars and DVDs that play in consumer DVD players (we offer data DVDs and a data DVD subscription service today). Reasonable interest in mugs and canvas prints. Fairly low interest in Keepsake boxes and blankets.
Our fulfillment partners already make all these products. Adding these products to the mix comes down to justifying the engineering time to build the configurators given that the revenue will be modest and could slow down our improvement of the core services. I was surprised to see calendars score so high. I have used an electronic calendar for over 10 yrs.
58% male, average age looks to be 43, 68% use a digital SLR regularly.
We have surveyed for a greater set of demographic data in the past and we found that our customers tend to have above average income. I believe that, at least until the cost of online storage comes down, hosting your photos and videos with a service that stores them redundantly and in multiple states will be out of reach of most consumers.