The Art of Managing User Feedback: App Store Edition

3 months ago
The Art of Managing User Feedback: App Store Edition Image

You worked hard to design and build an app based on understanding 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. 

Proactive management of app store reviews can significantly impact your app’s reputation. 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.

This article provides instructions for requesting ratings and reviews in your app and providing responses 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 enable you to stay in touch with your customers’ ongoing desires. There are two components here in managing user feedback:

  1. Rating & Review Prompts are how you ask users for app feedback.
  2. Developer Responses are the replies your customer support team provides to user reviews, whether prompted or not.

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. Show your users that you care about them, their feedback, and the quality of your product.

Developer Responses

Responding to reviews is the same as interacting with users through media such as email, social media, and other discussion forums. When navigating app store reviews, take care that you are thoughtful in your approach.

  1. Represent your brand. Grant access only to team members who know your company’s voice and standards for interaction.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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. 
  4. Encourage direct outreach. If a customer has a negative experience, ensure 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.
  5. Follow up with updates. Once an issue highlighted in a review has been solved, update your response to reflect this. Detailing the fix demonstrates your dedication to resolution and improvement, encouraging a positive view among your user base.

Tips To Guide Your Responses

Feedback isn’t just about collecting reviews; it’s about engaging with those reviews meaningfully. When responding to app store reviews, remember to be:

  • Timely: Ideally, within one business day, but certainly within a week.
  • Honest: Own up to mistakes.
  • Empathetic & Apologetic: Express understanding and remorse for any user inconveniences.
  • Grateful: Appreciate all forms of user feedback.
  • Personalized: Tailor your responses to individual user issues.
  • Helpful: Suggest immediate solutions or workarounds.
  • Informative: Update users on your efforts to address their concerns.
  • Inquisitive: Offer direct communication channels for further assistance.

App Store Heroes: Best Practices in Action

The Etsy Experience

App Store Reviews Example Etsy

Etsy’s tone is proactive, honest, and engaging, stating, “Your feedback is how we decide on future improvements.” One developer response indicates feedback has already been shared with the product team. Multiple support channels include how to contact support directly and a support help page. The App Store description features a customer support link and asks for reviews.  

StorySwag Multichannel Support

Responding to App Store Reviews Story Swag

Here’s what we noted about StorySwag:

  • Multiple ways to interact and learn about the app include an Instagram channel with tutorials and a direct email address in the App Store description.
  • The developer’s response is informative, personalized, empathetic, and apologetic.
  • The developer took the time to respond to even more positive ratings. (We did notice a few typos, but like this developer, we are all human!)

Managing User Feedback on the App Stores 

If you’re new to managing user reviews, you may wonder how to access ratings and reviews for your particular app. Follow the steps below to ensure you’re set up for success if your app is in the App Store, Google Play, or both.

iOS Apps on App Store Connect

Create the Customer Support Team

  • In App Store Connect, 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.

Respond To 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.

Note that Apple gives you the option to reset your ratings each time you submit a new version of your app. Is the latest version of your app fixing a significant issue? If so, consider resetting your rating when you submit the update. This can help as users of the new version are likely to have a better experience and leave more favorable reviews.

Android Apps on Google Play Console

Invite Your Team Members

  • In Google Play Console, 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. 

Submit Developer Responses

  • 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.

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.

Concluding Thoughts: User Feedback as a Roadmap for Success

App Store and Google Play user reviews are invaluable for connecting with customer needs and desires. The impact of positive reviews extends beyond mere ratings — it influences your app’s visibility and persuades others to try it. 

Following the outlined best practices for responding to and encouraging feedback will enhance your app’s reputation. Furthermore, this approach will foster trust and loyalty among your users.

Remember, the feedback cycle is ongoing; always be proactive, responsive, and appreciative of your user community.

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