How and Why to Reply to Reviews on iOS & Android
Reviews & ratings play a major role in conversion and can have a strong impact on your app’s daily installs. According to a study conducted by Apptentive, 79% of consumers check ratings and reviews before downloading an app. So, what can you do to take control of your reviews? And how can you do this on AppTweak?
This blog will cover the importance of replying to reviews and highlight tips and tricks to help you improve your average score. We will also help you reply to different types of app reviews, drawing on real examples from leading apps. Luckily, you can also now directly reply to your app reviews on AppTweak: You no longer need to go back to your console and check every single review to make sure you replied to them all!
On the App Store, reviews and ratings appear both in the search results underneath the subtitle and on the app page in the information panel and underneath the long description.
On the Google Play Store, reviews and ratings appear both in the search results underneath the title and on the app page in the information panel and underneath the long description.
The Importance of Replying to Reviews
The most important thing to keep in mind is that reviews and ratings are a great source of feedback. Frequently going through your app’s reviews can give you a better understanding of your customers’ experiences using your product, providing a closer look at their wants and needs.
Reviews can also help you identify your strongest features or areas for improvement. To broaden your analysis even further, you can take a look at your competitors’ reviews for a comparative vision. We would recommend that you leverage every key insight you can find and share them with your product team for future tool improvements.
So, why should you reply to your reviews? First, replying to reviews is important to maintain a strong relationship with your users: It is a known fact that giving your consumers extra time and attention won’t go to waste and will be appreciated. However, replying to reviews might have even more benefits. There is always the possibility that the right reply will convince any unhappy users to change their rating and have an indirect impact on your average score. Here are some tips and tricks when replying to reviews:
Strategies & Best Practices When Replying to Reviews
If your resources (time, effort, employees) are limited, it is recommended that you first prioritize replying to reviews with the lowest star ratings before engaging with positive reviews. On AppTweak, this process is made even easier by being able to filter your reviews by average star rating. Also, keep in mind that the faster you reply to reviews, the better!
Nobody likes automatic responses; people enjoy being heard. As such, try to give users a personalized reply by mentioning their store nickname, for example. This is also a great opportunity to use your brand’s tone of voice to showcase your culture and values.
When it comes to negative reviews, you can start by acknowledging the users’ issues and letting them know that you are working on fixing them. Once the app has been updated to resolve the issue, go back to your old reply and announce the fix. This might even encourage the user to change their mind and give you a better rating.
Strategies & Best Practices to Minimize Negative Reviews
App Review Prompts
A great strategy to minimize negative reviews is to employ in-app prompts that ask users for their feedback at an optimal time. To do so, you should identify moments in your user experience where users are most likely to be satisfied with the app. For example, this could be after overcoming a challenge or successfully passing a game level.
Be careful; it is important to not interrupt the user and ask for feedback too soon or at the wrong time, such as during their onboarding. Additionally, make sure to not repeat the prompt in a manner that irritates users.
Highlight Your Most Positive Reviews
You should definitely try to ensure your best reviews have the most visibility on the app stores. To do this, you need to understand the procedure behind featured reviews on both the App Store and the Google Play Store:
- On the App Store, featured reviews are the first six reviews in the ‘Most Helpful’ section. These are the reviews with the most upvotes from other users or from your own team. As a result, have your employees upvote two or three positive reviews to boost these to the top of the store!
- On the Google Play store, featured reviews may appear as “most relevant” or “most recent” depending on users. “Most recent” featured reviews simply show the last three reviews published, whereas “most relevant” reviews are picked by Google’s algorithm. Google has not disclosed what criteria matter for that algorithm but based on our observations, they are probably picked among reviews published in the last 3 months, in the same locale as the user (remember that while Play Store ratings are global until November 2021, reviews are localized), and based on the length and number of keywords associated with a specific topic included in the review.
Include Contact Details
Another strategy to help minimize your negative reviews is to inform users that they can directly reach you by email or other methods. By adding contact details (e.g., email address) to your long description, not only do you show you are receptive to feedback, you also provide your customers with a way to raise issues directly with your team instead of publicly on the store.
Replying to different types of app reviews: Examples
Using AppTweak’s Reviews & Ratings section, we found some apps that have good examples of how to reply to negative or positive reviews and engage with users. We grouped these replies based on the type of user or situation that any app could face.
The aggressive user
When receiving aggressive reviews, even though you might not share the user’s opinion, it is important to show compassion by adopting a pleasant tone of voice. Sharing your app’s contact details to provide further support shows you are open to discussion and actively trying to improve your customers’ journey.
Here are some examples of how Bumble has dealt with such replies:
Having frustrated users like the one below is actually good for Bumble! Even though they probably already lost this particular customer, replying to his review is an opportunity to recall their mission and engage curious store listing visitors.
The big supporter
Even though replying to bad reviews remains the priority, answering fans will show how much you care about them while at the same time putting your app under the spotlight. In this example, Bumble goes one step further by engaging a user with its community.
In AppTweak’s Reviews & Ratings section, you can filter reviews by keyword as we did here when searching for positive reviews including the keyword “love”.
Re-engaging the frustrated user
When dealing with complaints regarding technical aspects of your app, you should show users compassion and support.
In this example, Lily’s Garden has a very friendly and natural tone of voice when giving a comprehensive reply. The more detailed and transparent your feedback is, the more users will trust your app and feel valued.
Too Good To Go’s reply to a customer complaint is another good example of dealing with bad reviews. Instead of simply sharing the contact details of the customer support service, they directly attempt to solve the customer’s issue. Seeing that your app provides relevant and personalized feedback will definitely reassure your store listing visitors and drive conversion.
Make your star rating great again
The example below illustrates how valuing users’ reviews and showing them support can actually drive users to change their ratings.
It’s interesting to see that Brave has a quite straightforward and familiar way of communicating with its users. Instead of including long forms of address, Brave has a very natural and authentic way of communicating. You can feel they are not simply copy-pasting answers that have already been prepared.
Another example here sees Flo reaching directly out to the customer to point out their “2 stars”. It may be a good strategy to outline the rating the user gave in your reply so that, once the user reads your reply, they may consider changing it if the problem has been solved.
3 steps to reply to your app reviews on iOS or Android
1. Read your reviews
We agree - going through your app reviews can be very time-consuming; however, you have to do this to get to know your users. Especially if you want to prepare some templated replies, you will need to read reviews to identify common complaints/behaviors.
2. Prepare ‘template sentences’ for each situation
Even though applying template replies can save time, you’d rather have authentic and personal replies than neutral and repetitive ones.
We recommend preparing ‘template sentences’ and associating them with a tag so that you can directly copy-paste some sentences based on the context. For example, you could use an Excel Sheet to prepare a table with sentences adapted to each situation.
When applying template replies, make sure to read the whole review before pasting your answer. In the example below, Bumble has probably pasted the wrong answer. The user who wrote the review will most likely never install Bumble again.
3. Update your reply once a problem has been fixed
You can filter reviews with a keyword commonly shared among users complaining about a bug. That way, you will be able to update users once the issue has been fixed and try to re-engage them.
How to Reply to Your Reviews on AppTweak
AppTweak now allows you to save time and effort by directly replying to your app reviews in the tool. This highly requested feature helps you to improve your users’ perceptions of your app, quickly reply to negative reviews, and engage with your community. Once you have integrated your Android or iOS app, the reply system is very simple on AppTweak:
- First, go to AppTweak’s Reviews & Ratings tab. You will be able to reply to reviews from the sections ‘Reviews’ and ‘Phone View’.
- For each review that has not yet been answered, you will see the button ‘Give an answer to this review’. Clicking this will allow you to provide a reply.
- You can then click ‘Submit’ once you’re done.
Edit or Delete a Reply
If you decide that you are not entirely satisfied with a reply you have already published - or if new factors arise that require you to change your answer - you can simply edit a past reply on AppTweak.
To do so, you can click the ‘edit’ icon next to your reply and hit ‘Submit’ once you are done editing. You can also delete a reply by clicking the ‘bin’ icon.
Keep in mind that some reviews may no longer exist in the store but might still be shown on AppTweak so you don’t miss any feedback left for your app. As a result, you won’t be able to reply to these reviews.
Unlike on the App Store, you cannot delete a reply for Android apps once it has been published. While you will always be able to edit it, you won’t be able to completely erase it from the store.
Viewing Your Reply on the Store
Once you reply to a review on AppTweak, it can take up to 24 hours for you to see it live in the store; for Android apps, this only takes a few minutes. You might see this ‘Pending’ status appear but once the reply has been marked as ‘Published’, your response is live on the store.
Google Play rating score update (2021)
To heighten transparency and accuracy on the store, Google Play has announced a revamp of its average ratings. Until now, Google Play has implemented global average ratings for all markets on the Play Store; this has been a source of pain for both app developers and users.
Google has announced that “from November 2021, users on phones will start to see ratings specific to their registered country” and, from early 2022, “users on other form-factors such as tablets, Chromebooks, and wearables will start to see ratings specific to the device that they’re on”.
So, from November 2021, a user registered in Brazil will only see ratings from users in the same country.
Google has ensured that ten weeks before the updates they will reach out to developers whenever they expect a change of more than 0.2 stars on any device type in a key market.
Replying to reviews on the App Store and Play Store is a great way to acknowledge valuable feedback from your consumers, maintain a strong relationship with your users, and convince any unhappy users to change a negative rating.
To optimize your review strategy on the stores, try to:
- Prioritize your resources to reply to the most negative reviews first
- Personalize your replies and use your brand’s tone of voice to showcase your culture and values
- Recognize users’ issues and let them know that you are working on fixing them
- Make strategic use of in-app review prompts
- Highlight your most positive reviews if possible
- Include your contact details in your long description, providing users with a direct line to give you feedback
Our Reply to Reviews feature allows you to reply to reviews directly on AppTweak! Doing so will help you improve users’ perceptions of your app, quickly reply to negative reviews, and engage with your community.
Don’t waste time going back to your console; start replying to your reviews directly on AppTweak.