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9 tips for working with reviews on App Store and Google Play

Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
is@asodesk.com
Asodesk Content Manager. She writes newsletters and articles in blog. Make all complex topics in ASO easy and interesting.
All articles by author
Published: 17.12.2020
16 min read

If you don’t reply to user reviews, you can get low ratings, high uninstall rates, and poor install conversion rates. To avoid this, you need to monitor reviews and reply to them on a daily basis. But such work requires a lot of time and resources, which are often not available. In this article, we’ll give you 9 tips on how to track new reviews and reply to them faster and more efficiently. 

What do analysis and replies to reviews affect

Well-managed replies to reviews will increase the app’s rating, contribute to product development and influence user loyalty.

App rating and install conversion

Playtika, a digital entertainment company, notes that, thanks to responses to reviews, the rating of the Slotomania app increased by 0.7 points, and the install conversion rate by 15%. As a result, the number of app installs increased by 2000 per day.

According to research by Apptentive, changing the rating from three to four stars can increase conversions on the App Store by 89%. And from three to five stars by 97%. 

Apptentive also notes that 90% of users rate a new app based on its rating, 79% of consumers check ratings and reviews before downloading, and 55% look at ratings and reviews before committing to an in-app transaction. If users notice that the developer does not reply to negative reviews, their motivation to download the application will decrease. 

That is, thanks to replies to reviews, the app’s rating grows, which in turn contributes to an increase in install conversion. The rating appears both next to the icon in the search results and on the application page and develops social proof. Users will have more confidence in a highly rated app, which means they will be more motivated to download it.

App ranking in Google Play search

Reviews are indexed on Google Play, although now they influence the position of the app in search results less than a few years ago. These screenshots show you how to correctly phrase the replies and include keywords in them. 

For example, in the reply on the right, the developer included the word “games” twice. In the middle reply, they included the names of the cities where the user called a taxi.

You can use reviews as an additional optimization tool and add keywords into replies when appropriate. At the same time, it is important not to lose meaning and convey the necessary information to the user. Read more about app optimization on Google Play in this article.  

Product development

Analyzing reviews regularly helps you find growth points for your app. By reading user reviews, developers understand user needs and desires and receive insights on how to improve the product. 

Andrii Dorozhynskyi, Release Manager, BiniBambini

User reviews are the fastest way to get feedback in terms of the user themself. Metaphorically speaking, it is the unrefined fuel of product improvement

It is important to analyze reviews after updates, since the rating of the application often drops if users have problems due to updates. For example, according to users, Instagram began to “crash” and “freeze” after the update. 

Feedback on the new Instagram update

Product development is influenced not only by the analysis of your own reviews, but also your competitors’ reviews. For example, in reviews for a fitness app, users said that they are missing the option of going back to an “exercise routine”. Learn from the mistakes of your competitors and immediately try to add this kind of function to your application before you get similar reviews.

Fitness app review

Try to regularly monitor the reviews of your users and check the reviews of other apps from related categories. This will help you find ideas for improving your product. This analysis is especially relevant for those developers who are just entering the market and want to introduce more competitive advantages into their product.

Try to regularly monitor the reviews of your users and check the reviews of other apps from related categories. This will help you find ideas for improving your product. This analysis is especially relevant for those developers who are just entering the market and want to introduce more competitive advantages into their product.

Loyalty and user retention rate

If a user was not happy with the service and left a bad review, and you were able to solve their problem, you have a chance to turn his negative review into a positive one. 

The person can continue using the app, which will positively affect the retention rate. However, the impact of replies to reviews on retention rates is difficult to measure because it is difficult to match the user of the app to the user who left the review. 

Pauline Lang, Senior Social Media Customer Support Specialist, OneTwoTrip app

Working with reviews helps build up a relationship of trust with the users, as well as increase their loyalty and attract new users to the app. It also makes it possible to collect additional feedback and helps to quickly resolve the issues of the users.

9 tips for working with reviews

1. Reply quickly

We receive a huge number of notifications on our smartphones every day. If you do not reply to the user immediately, they will most likely forget about the app in a day’s time, and sometimes even within a few hours. 

In order not to miss a single review, you can set up automatic reports. At ASOdesk, we send a report on every new review for all countries. This will help you solve user problems quickly. 

For example, here a person writes that a game item has been removed from his account. If the support team can quickly resolve this issue, there is a good chance the user will stay in the app.

Slack report on the new review

The sooner the developer replies to a negative review, the better their chances are that the problem can be solved and the user will return to the application. As soon as you reply to a user review, they will receive a push notification on their smartphone.

2. Analyze reviews after every update

After updates, users often have problems. This can lead to mass uninstalls and lower app ratings. 

In ASOdesk, you can view reviews for any period and with any rating using the Reviews & Replies Board. 

For example, we analyzed reviews from the last 7 days and selected 1 to 3 star ratings for the Spotify app. We learned from the reviews that many users had problems with the app after the latest update. 

Review about the Spotify app in the last 7 days

Monitor reviews after the update several times a day in order to notice and promptly solve any problems in the application. 

3. Reply to both negative and positive reviews

Some developers choose to reply only to negative reviews. But it is much more difficult to change the opinion of a user who gave a rating of 1-2 stars than one who gave an average or high rating. 

Sometimes users give a high rating, but write important comments. For example, a user of the Spotify app gave 5 stars, but reported problems after the update.

User review about Spotify app

If you do not notice the requests of users in time, they can deliberately lower the rating in order to attract the developer’s attention. Remember that the user spent time on leaving a comment. They will be pleased to receive feedback from the developer. This will also increase the credibility of the application.

And vice versa, if the developer leaves a good reply, the user can increase the rating. For example, first a user gave 1 star to the Aviasales app. But when the customer service team told him how to find the one way trip option, the user raised his rating to 5 stars.

Review about the Aviasales app

Pauline Lang, Senior Social Media Customer Support Specialist:

Any review needs a reply. The user spent time writing to us and we want them to know that we value their time and opinion. 

Now we are more focused on an individualized approach to everyone. This affects the rating and helps change first impressions or negative experiences in a positive way.

Andrii Dorozhynskyi, Release Manager at BiniBambini

When we receive feedback, first of all, we define its priority. It is important to help the users if they have problems. However, positive feedback goes a long way. Attention to a satisfied customer builds brand loyalty. 

First and foremost, the user must feel a personal touch. The person and their problem are more important than formalities. Show the user that there was no unnecessary information in their letter or review. After all, they share with you what they consider to be important. Let it become important for you too.

Remember that the user spent time leaving a comment. They will be pleased to receive feedback from the developer. This will increase the credibility of the application. And a good response to a negative review can change the user’s opinion.

4. Build loyalty by replying to positive reviews

While replying to positive reviews does not take a lot of time and effort, it is preferable not to reply in a short sentence. Based on these examples of applications, you can see how you should reply to positive reviews:

1. Thank users for their opinions and ideas. Emphasize that the user’s suggestions are valuable and important to you and that you will make the changes in the app according to those suggestions. For example, the support team of the Noodles and Company app says in their reply that the user’s suggestion is a great idea and that they might implement it in the next update. 

Noodles and Company support’s reply to the user’s review

The thredUP support team writes that they appreciate receiving feedback, since the user’s opinion plays an important role in the development of the application. 

thredUP’s reply to the user’s review

2. Emphasize that the application will be even better with the new update. Even short reviews can be replied to in more detail. For example, you can say that the new update will have even more useful features. These replies are especially appropriate if a new update is going to be released very soon. 

Reply to the Aviasales app review

3. Show the user an individual approach. The standard reply “thank you for your opinion” doesn’t evoke any emotions. It will be better if the user sees that you have read the entire review and sent them a personalized reply. 

Even a template reply can be personalized. For example, adding a username like the Noodles and Company app support does.

Reply of the Noodles and Company support

The OneTwoTrip support team says in their reply that they are happy to work for both the user and the user’s sister who plays the game.

Reply of the OneTwoTrip support

By replying to positive reviews smartly, you will further increase user loyalty. Therefore, do not be frugal with gratitude, offer discounts and talk about the benefits of the product in your replies.

5. Be honest when replying to negative reviews

Negative reviews require special attention. One wrong word in the answer and the user will never return to the application. We will share with you some tips that will help smooth out any negative impressions of the product. 

Maryam, Customer Support Team Lead in Social Media, Dodo Pizza

First of all, we remember that we are responding on behalf of the entire company. This helps us stay motivated, because any indifferent reply can undermine the credibility of Dodo Pizza. 

Reviews on the App Store and Google Play are a small proportion of textual communications from our users. 

We are used to the fact that in most cases we know exactly who we are talking to: we can look at the order history, and ask clarifying questions in order to help the client. But this is different in the app stores, so you need to give a detailed answer, anticipate the questions, understand what exactly the client needs and help them.

1. Thank the user for their honesty, apologize and give an explanation. Remember that negative reviews are far more beneficial than positive reviews for product development. They help the app get better. Therefore, try not to take the criticism badly, rather thank users for their recommendations. 

Maryam, Customer Support Team Lead in Social Media, Dodo Pizza

Before replying to the user, read the review properly, understand the client and analyze their reasons. If you misunderstand them, it will only cause more negativity. Highlight the main points of the message and try to understand what exactly caused the negative review. The client can have one or even several reasons. Construct your reply according to the main points of their message. 

Before writing an answer, take at least 10 seconds and think what emotions you want to include in your reply.  If you feel angry at the client, get those feelings under control and reply to the client in a calm, understanding way.

If you are currently unable to improve certain features of the app, explain why the app works the way it does. When the user has more information about the technical operation of the app, they will be more understanding of the errors in the app. 

For example, the Skyscanner support team thanks the user for their honest feedback and says that they have passed on the message to the technical team. The company also talks about the work algorithm and explains why the ticket price has changed. 

Skyscanner support’s reply

2. Help the user solve the problem. Do not ask the user to write an email. Instead, give specific tips that will help the user to use the app better. For example, the developers of MileIQ explained how to solve the problem with the classification of different types of trips.

MileIQ support’s reply 

The more detailed your instructions for solving the problem are, the better. For example, Skyskanner explained specific steps of how to change the currency in the app. 

3. Show that you are already working on fixing the bug. With this answer, you show the user that their opinion is really important to you and that you want to make the application as convenient and easy to use as possible. 

For example, the developers of the Noodles and Company app emphasize that they are already working on fixing the problem and will notify the user as soon as the problem is solved.

Noodles and Company app support’s reply

4. Explain why the user should write to support. Often the support service cannot help the user in the app store. Sending an email to the support takes the user a lot of extra time. In this case, it is important to explain why you cannot solve the problem right away. Then the user will understand that the request to send an email is a real need in order to solve his problem.

For example, the Aviasales app says that they do not have enough technical information about the user’s problem. To let the support understand the problem, user needs to send data about his profile via email. 

Aviasales app support’s reply

Maryam, Customer Support Team Lead in Social Media, Dodo Pizza

At Dodo Pizza, we follow this algorithm when replying to negative reviews:

1. First of all, understand the emotions of the client.
Agree with the client’s emotions and don’t argue with them. This will help them feel that the support team is on their side. Tell the client about your approach and your standards. Thus, you admit the mistake and agree with the client.

2. Solve the problem or give a deadline.
The easiest and quickest way to work with the negative review is to solve the client’s problem. The faster the better. If the problem cannot be solved immediately, you need to give the client a deadline. 

3. Suggest an alternative.
You should strive to help even when we cannot fully satisfy the client’s request. You always need to think about any, even the most ridiculous alternatives you can offer your client while solving their problem.

4. Prevent further negativity.
Even after the problem is solved, it is necessary to tell the client what you do to eliminate such problems in the future.

6. Report spam attacks 

If you previously received a steady number of negative reviews, but suddenly the number increased by a lot, it is most likely that competitors arranged a spam attack on you. Please contact the App Store or Google Play support to delete negative reviews.

In our Instagram, Artyom Tkachuk described in detail how he managed to achieve the deletion of negative reviews from the application page on Google Play. An app that used to get a few reviews a day suddenly started getting 30-80 reviews with one star. In the picture you can see how many 1-star reviews there were before contacting the support and how many there were after. 

Reviews during a spam attack

After several calls to support, all fake reviews were deleted.

Reviews after a spam attack

To save time and report all fake reviews at once, you can use ASOdesk services. We have created tools for replying to reviews, which are currently in beta testing. You can monitor, reply to and report reviews in the Reviews & Replies Board tab.

Select the reviews you want to report, and they will be moved to the right panel. Press the Report a Concern button. For quick selection, you can filter reviews by date and rating. 

Report a Concern function in ASOdesk

Report a competitor’s spam attack as quickly as possible. With every negative review, your app’s rating will drop, so it’s important to ensure that negative reviews are deleted quickly. 

7. Use templates

We mentioned above that it is better to reply to each review individually, as these replies sound more credible. However, not all developers have enough time for detailed replies. In addition, sometimes there are too many reviews and the support service physically does not have time to reply to all of them.

In such cases, you can use the standard reply templates. At ASOdesk we have created reply templates in 10 languages: Russian, English, Japanese, Chinese, German, Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese and Korean. You will be able to reply to reviews of foreign users without the help of a translator. 

ASOdesk reply templates

You can also add your own templates to the system. 

Using templates doesn’t mean boring and standard replies. Before sending the reply, make some adjustments to the template to personalize the message.

For example, we created a template for replying to those comments in which the user is not happy with a particular app function. Before sending a reply, you need to change the text slightly and add information from the review instead of the information in brackets. 

Reply to the user in ASOdesk

Use templates to save time, but make minor edits before replying so that the user feels the individualised approach. 

8. Explore featured reviews

Featured reviews are those comments that have received the most likes. They contain opinions that many users agree with. Therefore, be sure to analyze these reviews to get insights for product development. 

Users see these reviews on the app store page. Other comments are available by going to the “All reviews” tab. This is what the featured reviews of the Jetradar app look like in the App Store.

Featured reviews of Jetradar in App Store

In ASOdesk, featured reviews have been moved to a separate tab, which allows you to analyze the reviews of your application in 100 countries.

For example, 3 reviews about the Jetair app simultaneously mentioned the problem with the ticket refunds. 

You need to fix this problem and to make sure that these reviews disappear from the featured reviews. Perhaps, if more useful and necessary functions appear in the app, the featured reviews will mention different things.

Featured reviews in ASOdesk

You can also track featured reviews for a specific period. For example, after analyzing the featured Facebook reviews over the past 30 days, we can see that users are complaining about ads and link issues after the update.

Featured Reviews at Reviews & Replies Board

The featured reviews help with understanding users’ main problems and get insights for improving the product. 

9. Filter and flag important reviews

Tags and filters make your work easier and help you not miss important information. For example, you can flag all reviews where users suggest a particular update. 

ASOdesk allows you to sort reviews using tags. Use standard tags and create your own by dividing them into categories.

Tags in ASOdesk

To tag a review, simply click on the add tag button in the Review & Replies board.

Selecting a tag in the Reviews & Replies Board

In the search, you can select specific tags and see reviews tagged by them.

Search by tag in Reviews & Replies Board

The Require Attention filter shows reviews that require special attention. ASOdesk will automatically identify the most recent reviews with a low rating. 

The ASOdesk system identifies them automatically. 

For example, in the Subway Surf app some users are not satisfied with how long it takes to load the app. 

Require Attention Filter in Reviews & Replies Board in ASOdesk

Filters and tags make reviews easier and more automated. Using them, you can quickly divide reviews into the desired categories.

Conclusions

To build the most effective work with reviews:

1. Think through your replies to positive and negative reviews and create templates. It is better to change the template slightly each time before sending it so that the users can see that you’ve actually read their review. 

2. Analyze reviews daily and reply quickly. The faster you answer, the better the chance there is that the user will keep the app. The ASOdesk new review report will help you not miss a single review. 

3. Analyze the featured reviews, they help you understand users’ major problems.

4. Report spam attacks. If you receive far more negative ratings than usual, send a report to the app stores’ moderators. The faster the reviews are deleted, the less your rating will drop. 

5. Use tags and the Require Attention filter to work with reviews efficiently and quickly. They will save time on analysis and help you not miss a single important review. 

We recently introduced a global update to the ASOdesk platform with professional review tools. In order to try new tools, please apply for beta testing.  You can use the tools for free for 2-3 months. Upon expiration of beta testing, we will provide all participants with a personalized plan that will be much more affordable than the standard rates. 

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Asodesk Content Manager. She writes newsletters and articles in blog. Make all complex topics in ASO easy and interesting.
All articles by author
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16 min read

9 tips for working with reviews on App Store and Google Play

If you don't reply to user reviews, you can get low ratings, high uninstall rates, and poor install conversion rates. To avoid this, you need to monitor reviews and reply to them on a daily basis. But such work requires a lot of time and resources, which are often not available. In this article, we'll give you 9 tips on how to track new reviews and reply to them faster and more efficiently. Read more