Three tips to combat bad app reviews

by Balint Szeplaki,
Head of Product at Poq

When it comes to reviews, we believe they currently and will continually play a significant role in the success or failure of your retail app. As we state in the The ultimate guide to preventing bad app reviews”, bad reviews have the power to cause an app to drop in rankings, lose customers, acquire a bad reputation, and make acquisition of new downloads more difficult. More importantly, according to Inc, the damage produced by a negative review could only be undone by roughly 40 positive customer experiences, and to attain an average four-star rating, a product will need four five-star reviews to make up for every one-star review. So, in this blog we will be providing you with three top tips on how to combat bad reviews once you have received them and avoid their harsh effects.

1. Quickly reply to negative reviews ⏱️

HundredX, a company building feedback software found that “listening to customer feedback is increasingly critical to the bottom line and is the fuel for customer retention, employee fulfilment and the growth of a company.

Your users want to feel heard and doing so will set you up for success. So, replying to frustrated reviews in a timely manner will not only help you satisfy customers but also protect your future. Moreover, it will also demonstrate to your overall user base that you put your users first and as a bonus you may even receive the removal of negative reviews by the users themselves.

The right image is an example of how to properly respond to a negative review as shown by the Under Armour developer team. The app received a bad review which was promptly responded to with a commitment to fix the issue. 👍 Once the issue was fixed the review stream was updated and the user updated his or her rating to five stars.

It is important to note that negative reviews should be handled as quickly as possible and in less than 24 hours. If it is not handled quickly there is a high chance your unhappy users will have already uninstalled your app. This does not mean that you or your developers will need to incessantly scan your app reviews, ready to catch any 1-star rating in a moment’s notice.

You can set up alerts in the Apple and Google Play developer consoles to alert you by email or Slack (if you use this messaging system within your company). Once the alert is received you can quickly and easily respond and provide your user the attention he or she deserves. Also, don’t forget you should send an update review reply to notify the user once you have fixed a bug or handled his or her issue(s).

To learn more about how to reply to reviews you can check out Apple’s review guide and / or Google Play’s review guide.

2. Set your app up for success 😎

When it comes to combining technology and retail, any number of issues can occur; e.g. warehouse stock issues, API failures, third-party latency, product quality failures. All of these problems can result in irritated users that will willingly make their frustrations known on your app store.

Luckily, you can prevent users publicly shaming you by communicating before or soon after a problem is encountered. For example, you can provide in-app or push notifications that warn users of stocking or technology issues to make him or her aware of the potential for a compromised user experience. Their heightened awareness will reduce or prevent more bad reviews for a detected problem. As with any and all relationships, communication is key.

3. Monitor for non-app related reviews 🔍

Sometimes, users will give bad app reviews that have nothing to do with the app itself and its performance. For example, many users may choose to negatively review delivery time or product problems / discrepancies. These types of reviews are not reacted to the performance of your app and therefore, do not belong in the app store. Fortunately, they can be disputed and removed from both the Apple and Google app stores. For more information, you can once again check out Apple’s review guide and / or Google Play’s review guide. It is important to remove as many of these irrelevant bad reviews from your respective stores to ensure that you reduce the overall number of low star ratings and increase your average rating.

 
Bad app reviews do not have to cost you your success and as shown above, there are steps which can be taken to counteract their damaging effects. Be sure to implement these top techniques whenever you can so you ensure your app is set up for success. However, if you are looking for a how-to on how to avoid bad reviews in the first place, be sure to read The ultimate guide to preventing bad app reviews.

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