There is nothing to worry about.
With the buggiest software in the world it’s very unlikely that more than 30% of all users will request support or report bugs.
This might not be what you want to hear, but your users will never be as passionate about your software as you are. In fact, users are only passionate about themselves and their problems.
You don’t need any special tools at this point. Email + Trello for bugtracking and project management(if you’re not using anything else). Even Trello use their own software for bugtracking and feature requests. We also use Trello for managing 6 relatively small software projects (plugins). Feature requests, bugs, roadmaps, marketing plans—we keep everything there.
The group will be small so i dont mind open chat. private messaging might be a plus.
If you really want to go this way, I’d recommend Slack. It’s free, insanely easy to use and searchable.
Here are my 2 cents, take 'em if you will:
- Start building an FAQ section or a knowledge base. Note the most common questions and add them there. Create a few basic “How do I…” tutorials. This is called self-service. If you start growing exponentially, support requests might really explode and a searchable database of ready solutions is what will save you.
- Don’t expect users to engage in personal chat, unless they have a problem they want resolved or a feature request. Time is the most valued currency. And they don’t care about your software, they care about their own problems.
- You’ll have to reach out to your free users. Don’t expect them to report bugs. They will likely move on to another solution.
- Be careful how you determine which features are awesome and which are crap. Blindly following your “vision” will get you just about nowhere. (If you don’t believe me, here’s some first-hand bitter experience). Blindly listening to your users feature requests will get you in another place you don’t want to be. Real businesses listen and try to figure out how they can serve their customers best. So, always look for the core problem that the customer is trying to solve with your product. A feature request is the user telling you how to solve a problem. What you need is a problem and proof that it’s a common problem. Then, you are the one who decides how and if you are going to solve it.
Congrats on launching your first product. I wish you lots of success!