How to Respond to App Store Reviews [Best Practices]

It’s no secret that high ratings and positive reviews lead to more downloads. However, do you know that responding to user feedback on your App Store can help you create a better user experience and improve your app’s rating?

By promptly responding to all the reviews your app receives, you’ll be showing both your current and potential future users that you care about their experience with your product.

You can respond to all reviews of your app, regardless of when they were written, in App Store Connect. When you respond, the reviewer is notified and has the option to update their review. You can edit your response at any time, and only the latest version of your response will be shown.

In this post, we list some specific tips on how to response to App Store reviews. Useful replies can build trust and even turn a 1-star review into a 5-star review!

1.     Address the User

The first important tip is that review replies should be concise and clearly address customer feedback. Usually, you can thank users for their feedback and address users by their name. Your users want to feel that their opinions are listened to.

An Example of HBO’s reply:

HBO Reviews Reply

2.     Be on Time

Replying days or weeks after the App Store review was left is not on. No one wants to be ignored. If a review goes unanswered, it signals disinterest and a lack of caring. So, respond to your users promptly – ideally, within a few hours but no more than a day.

Here is an example of SHEIN who committed to replying users in 24 hours.

SHEIN Reviews Reply

3.     Personalizing Your Responses Rather Than Using Generic Responses

Don’t use canned responses. This might sound controversial because there are so reviews need to be replied. Sometimes, we will use the same template to response users quicker.

However, your reviewers are people, too. To make sure that they feel the personal connection, write each response from scratch. They will always know.

A bad example of BIGO LIVE – they even reply the same for different ratings and issues.

BIGO LIVE Reviews Reply

4.     Concentrate on The Positive Things

When writing user feedback replies, you should always approach it with a positive vibe. You can, for example, use the feedback to see where you can improve your app in current or future feature updates.

Never attack users even though if the feedback is rude. If there is an inappropriate user review, you can “report a concern” so Apple can assess and remove it.

5.     Don’t Argue. Ever.

OK, so maybe you don’t have anything wrong but an angry guy gives you a 1-start review for his wrong understating. You may feel angry and unconsciously reply to argue with guy. Don’t! If you’re feeling the anger rise, don’t reply and instead leave it alone for a bit. Come back to it later after you’ve cooled down and then reply.

Remember, the goal of replying is building trust. Replying in anger and argue with reviewers don’t achieve that.

6.     Prioritizing Featured/Helpful Reviews

The reviews that got featured show up on the app page on the App Store. These reviews are the most important for install-to-conversion rates, as most users only get an impression of the app based on the first reviews in the app store they will see.

You should priorate to response to these reviews. If the first features reviews on the App Store is a 1-star with no response or apologies, it can only have a negative effect on the number of installs.

Also, the App Store publishes 6 reviews and every country has its own language and specific reviews, so it’s important to divide the countries and locations and work with them separately.

Facebook is so arrogant that they never reply a review.

Facebook Reviews Reply

7.     Prioritizing Reviews with Lowest Star Ratings and Those Mentioning Technical Issues

Crashes, errors, and other critical issues are often first reported in reviews. Acknowledging problems builds trust, especially if you then take action.

Say “sorry” for any bad experience and say “thank you” in response to feature requests to let users know that you value their efforts to help improve your app.

8.     Tell Users What Action You’ve Taken (Or Plan to Take)

The old saying is true: actions speak louder than words. Being a good listener is a good first step but in general users really want their feedback to be actioned in some way.

You can give your users a brief action plan of what’s to come next and let them know you’re taking action on fixing the bug. If a feature is requested, let the user know when (and if) it’ll be available. If it won’t be, explain why. Try to be realistic and don’t overpromise.

Since all users are able to view your response, this will also help answer any and all similar questions.

9.     Respond to Criticisms in 4-star and 5-star Reviews

Pay just as much attention to happy reviewers as you do to cranky ones – those nice people that gave you a good star rating deserve some love!

Dropbox Reviews Reply

10.  Bad Experiences Deserve an Apology but Don’t Apologize Unnecessarily

Even if you don’t think a complaint is valid, it is for the user. An honest apology makes the reviewer feel heard and acknowledged.

However, only apologize in cases where a true apology is necessary. If a user angry without specific reason, don’t apologize for that. If your app cannot run smoothly as suggested, however, you should apologize for the confusion (and fix it).

11.  Do Not Spam or Publicize Personal Information

As all the texts on your app page, every response must follow Apple’s Terms and Conditions. So, avoid any profanity in replies and copies. You should also never add promotional or spam content in review replies. Even though the user addresses a particular issue, you must not post personal information of users.

12.  Report Negative and Spammy Reviews

If you suspect your reviews were flooded by spammers or competitors, don’t hesitate to report a concern in App Store. App stores’ admins listen to their publishers and delete spam from their reviews.

Summary

User feedback is crucial. With regards to App Store Optimization, it is an essential factor in a user’s decision-making process when searching for an app.

Hope that some of these points are helpful when you response to App Store reviews. Have something more to add? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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