Managing User Feedback
You worked hard to design and build an app based on your understanding of your users’ needs. Now that your app is published, your commitment to providing users with responsive customer service shouldn’t end. In fact, depending on the size of your user base, you may need to accelerate your efforts to manage user feedback.
There are two components to managing user feedback:
- Developer Responses—these are the replies you provide to user reviews.
- Rating & Review Requests—this is the technique to request feedback from users.
This article provides instructions for providing developer responses and requesting ratings and reviews in your app through Apple and Google’s frameworks. But first, let’s review the best practices.
Best Practices for Managing User Feedback
App Store and Google Play user reviews are a great way to stay in touch with your customers’ ongoing desires. The value of positive reviews is high for influencing how your app ranks in search and compelling others to take the risk to download your app. As with any product, great app rankings and reviews come from a great user experience, so that’s the most important place to focus your efforts. To that effect, here are some important things to keep in mind:
Responding to reviews is no different than interacting with users through media such as email and discussion forums, so take care that you are thoughtful in your approach:
- Represent your brand. Grant access only to team members who know your company’s voice and standards for interaction.
- Respond to all reviews. Remember that users want to be heard. We recommend that you respond to all reviews, no matter how positive or negative they may be.
- Avoid sensitive information. The developer response will appear publicly, along with the original user review. Be careful not to include any personally identifiable or otherwise sensitive information in your response.
- Encourage direct outreach. You can provide a customer service phone number or email address to encourage users to contact you directly to address their unique concern (i.e., trouble with their account).
Rating & Review Requests
While some people will choose to leave a rating or review on their own, others benefit from being prompted. We recommend you be thoughtful about the timing of your rating or review request:
- Do ask for wins. Prompt users to submit a rating and review after they experience a “win” in your app. For a game, this request may connect to a literal win. As another example, for a mortgage app, this prompt may follow a successful payment or new knowledge of a great refinance opportunity that will result in extensive savings.
- Don’t ask at launch. Avoid prompting the user to submit a rating when the app launches. At that point, they don’t know enough about your app and are likely to punish you in their ratings for asking too soon. We recommend you wait until your user has logged in a few sessions before making a request.
Managing Feedback for iOS Apps
App Store Connect provides tools for your team to review user feedback and provide a developer response. You’ll need to grant your team members appropriate access to the tools that let them manage user feedback.
Navigate to the Roles section and select Customer Support for team members who will be managing App Store reviews. Click on the Users and Access tab. Select Add (plus button) to grant the appropriate team members access to reviews. Choose either All Apps or click on individual apps in the Apps section to extend individualized levels of access to each team member.
Now that you’ve given certain users access to reviews, these team members can respond to customer feedback. From the dashboard on App Store Connect, click My Apps and navigate to the app in question. Select Ratings and Reviews in the left sidebar; you’ll see the app’s average rating and a list of submitted reviews. You may submit one developer response for each review.
Ratings & Reviews
Apple gives you the option to reset your ratings each time you submit a new version of your app. If the latest version of your app addresses a significant issue that was leading to negative reviews, then you’ll probably want to reset your rating when the update is submitted. Users of the new version will presumably have a better experience and will submit more favorable ratings.
Managing Feedback for Android Apps
Use Google Play Console to start managing user feedback. Give appropriate team members Reply to reviews access in the User feedback section on the Account permissions tab. Select Users and permissions in the left sidebar. Click on the Invite new users button to give users with Reply to reviews access the ability to manage Google Play reviews.
Now that you’ve given certain users access to reviews, these team members can respond to customer feedback. From the Google Play Console dashboard, select All Apps and click on the appropriate app in the list to the right. In the left sidebar, select Reviews in the Quality: Ratings and reviews section; you’ll see the app’s average rating and a list of submitted reviews. You have the option to submit a developer response for each review shown.
Ratings & Reviews
Google does not offer the ability to reset ratings for Android apps. Instead, their rating algorithm gives more weight to current ratings than older ones. As you continue to release new and improved versions of your app, the average rating should naturally increase.
Final Thoughts on User Feedback
Taking in user feedback will continuously improve your app and brand reputation. Building proactive measures to gather customers’ responses can help build trust and loyalty from your customer base.
If a customer has a negative experience, be sure they have an open channel to you as a developer—not just through the app review process but also via email, social media, and other support channels.
Customer feedback will give your app the credibility it needs to gain a competitive edge. By taking advantage of these review mediums, you can better meet the needs of your users and provide them with meaningful solutions.