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Home Blog ASO Guides ASO Advanced Strategy: How to Reply to App Reviews on App Store&Google Play?

ASO Advanced Strategy: How to Reply to App Reviews on App Store&Google Play?

Oct 25 2021

app reviews
It's no secret that high ratings and positive reviews lead to more downloads.

People tend to trust the opinions of other users. The opinions of other users can have a significant impact on the download decisions of app store visitors. These ratings and reviews may be more influential than any marketing campaign.

No matter how good a product is, the problems still exist. When they do, it's not uncommon to encounter a sudden spike in negative reviews. For example, Instagram accidentally changed their favorite feature at some point and ended up causing a huge outrage in the review section of the app.

Responding to these reviews can make users feel like their issues are being heard. It feels good to feel like you have meaning and value as an app user. Even if the problem won't be solved immediately, it's good to know that someone is working on a solution.

The importance of replying to app reviews

Stand out from the crowd app marketing

Ratings affect the visibility of your app. Good ratings indicate to potential users that you have a quality product. Therefore, ratings can have a significant impact on conversion rates. Most users will check the rating of an app before downloading it.

Increase your conversion with positive app ratings

Since your average rating is an important app store ranking metric, the biggest benefit of responding to app reviews and keeping users happy is getting them to change their negative rating to a positive one. A helpful response can turn a 1-star rating into a 5-star rating.

Find out what needs to be fixed faster

Crashes, bugs and other critical issues are usually reported first in the reviews. Being proactive can also improve your star rating - this reviewer even said they'd like to change their star rating if they could fix the problem!

Connect with real users

Find out what they like, what they hate and what you can improve from the data you already have! No need to wait for survey data.

Enlarge your fan base

When you make angry users happy and satisfied users happier, you start building what every company dreams of having ...... a crazy loyal fan base.

These people aren't just users.

They will recommend your app to their friends, they will defend your app in public forums, and they will provide valuable feedback. So take care of them, because they are important to your company and your app is important to them.

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Strategies and best practices - pay attention to app reviews

1) Be on time

Replying days or weeks after an iOS or Google Play review is not smart. Do you leave a support email in your inbox?

2) Use names (theirs and yours!)

Reviewers are people too! A small thing, but it shows users that you consider them more valuable than a pre-defined response. Make like Opera and treat your users like real people.

3) A bad experience deserves an apology

Even if you think the complaint is invalid, it is still directed at the user. A brief apology will make the reviewer feel heard and acknowledged. Don't hesitate to apologize or admit fault for your user's poor experience with your service. As an app developer, apologizing to your users will make you a person, not a businessman who only cares about numbers.

4) Be specific about any additional information you want

Reviewers are often unsure of what further information would be useful to you. If you really want quality information, you need to ask for it clearly.

5) Tell users what action you have taken (or plan to take)

As the old saying goes: action speaks louder than words. Being a good listener is a good first step, but in general, users really want their feedback acted upon in some way. This is especially true if you are offering real-world goods or services outside of your app.

Users also want to know that the negative experience can be resolved in some way. Solving problems for your users helps a lot and can actually reduce churn: our research has found that if you resolve a user's complaint and fix the mistake, they will continue to use your app 96% of the time.

6) Point users to helpful solutions, FAQs, and help documentation

Again, stay relevant and specific. A simple solution or link to targeted help documentation may deter users from going elsewhere.

7) Off-line conversations

By providing your email address in the response, you allow users to contact you directly. Taking the conversation away from the app store allows you to dig deeper and get to the root cause of the problem. Plus, it shows that you really care about helping them solve their problem.

8) Respond to criticism in 4 and 5 star reviews

Give as much attention to happy reviewers as you do to wishy-washy ones - the good people who give you good star ratings deserve some love!

9) Follow up

Built in a feature requested by many reviewers? Fixed bugs that you initially surfaced from the reviews? Go back to those users and share the good news.

10) If in doubt, think about what if

When all else fails, try thinking like a user. Each of us has had good and bad user support many times, so use your personal experience to guide you in the right direction.

Strategies and best practices for minimizing negative reviews

1) Overuse template responses

With so many similar queries, it can be tempting to create a set of prepared responses and use them to answer each review. It's helpful to have a standard set of responses ready to go, but remember that your responses will be available for all to see.

So switch as much as possible to personalize your messages and rephrase your preset responses so that people feel like they are talking to a human rather than a chatbot. This goes a long way in showing your users that you do care about them.

2) Refer each reviewer to other support channels

This falls into the same category as overusing template responses - sending each reviewer to your support email or help desk tool doesn't really help the user as much as it helps you. Put the user first and write a thoughtful, helpful response.

3) Being on the positive attitude

When writing a user feedback response, you should always approach it with a positive attitude.

Even if the feedback is rude, don't attack the user. If there is an inappropriate user review, you can "report the issue" so that the app store can evaluate it and remove it.

It's your job to protect your apps and features - but do it in a positive way. For example, when a user complains about a missing feature, you can point out if there's a workaround or if you're already working on a new feature.

4) Don't argue

Okay, so maybe you already have the feature the angry guy who gave you a scathing 1-star review really wanted. Or maybe the user has requested a feature that will never work in your app for some very valid reason. Resist the urge to argue and send polite, helpful replies to app reviews.

Since you've been working on the app for a long time, you may take some things for granted. So imagine that you're using your app for the first time and show empathy for people's frustrations or problems.

Solution for different types of app reviews

Aggressive users

When receiving aggressive app reviews, it's important to show empathy by adopting a pleasant tone even though you may not agree with the user's opinion. Sharing your app's contact information to offer further support shows that you are willing to discuss and actively try to improve the user's journey.

If you see a review that contains offensive material, spam or other content that violates the conditions of the app store, you can always report the review instead of replying to it. In this case, the user who wrote the offensive review will not receive notification that you reported the issue.

Big supporters

While replying to bad reviews is still a top priority, replying to fans will show how much you care about them, while putting your app in the spotlight.

Re-engage frustrated users

When dealing with complaints about the technical aspects of your app, you should show empathy and support to your users.

Give comprehensive responses that are friendly and natural in tone. The more detailed and transparent your feedback is, the more users will trust your app and feel valued. Rather than simply sharing contact information for user support services, try to resolve the user's issue directly. Seeing your app provide relevant and personalized feedback is sure to reassure your item detail visitors and drive conversions.

3 steps to level up your App Reviews on iOS or Android

1. Read your review

We agree - going through your app reviews can be very time-consuming; however, you have to do it to get to know your users. Especially if you want to prepare some template responses, you will need to read the reviews to identify common complaints/behaviors.

2. Prepare "template sentences" for each case

While applying a template response can save time, you want an authentic and personalized response more than a neutral and repetitive one.

We recommend preparing "template sentences" and associating them with tags so that you can copy and paste some sentences directly from the context. For example, you can use an Excel sheet to prepare a table with sentences that fit each situation. 

3. Fix the problem and update your reply

You can filter the reviews using keywords commonly shared among users who complained about the error. This way, once the problem is fixed, you can update your users and try to re-engage them.

In addition: Google Play Ratings Update (2021)

In an effort to improve the transparency and accuracy of the store, Google Play has announced improvements to its average ratings. Until now, Google Play has implemented a global average rating for all markets in the Play Store; this has been a source of pain for app developers and users alike.

Since an app can vary more or less in terms of user experience and technology development between geographic locations, having a global average rating can make the score very biased.

Google has announced that "starting in November 2021, users on cell phones will begin to see ratings for their registered country" and starting in early 2022, "users of other forms of devices such as tablets, Chromebooks and wearables will begin to see ratings for that device they are on".

Thus, from November 2021, users registered in Brazil will only see the ratings of users from the same country/region.

Google has ensured that in the ten weeks prior to the update, they will contact developers whenever they expect changes of more than 0.2 stars for any device type in key markets.

ASO Topic App Store Optimization,


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