Apple’s Next Update Will Finally Fix App Store Reviews

3 min read

Apple has a new job for you. It will increase the time that you spend on supporting your apps.

But that’s a good thing…

Google gave app developers the ability to respond to user reviews on the Play Store, way back in 2012. For example, The Weather Channel does a great job of responding to user reviews.

App review responses

Apple is finally going to allow iOS developers to do the same…

This is great news because now app publishers will be able to publicly respond to app reviews and possibly resolve issues that users are facing, before people abandon their app forever.

In this short post, we will go into how this can affect your app business and what you need to do to prepare for this new feature.

How to Prepare for the New Version of App Reviews

The first thing that you need to consider is how you will handle responding to app reviews. If you don’t get a lot of reviews, this isn’t a problem for one person.

However, if you get a lot of reviews every month, you will have to figure something out. You can either assign someone on your team to be in charge of responding to reviews, or you can hire someone on Upwork to do it for you.

Here are a few other things to consider…

Potential Implications of Review Responses

Given all this extra work, it may be tempting to keep the status quo and not respond to reviews at all. After all, people weren’t getting responses before and things worked out fine.

So why start now?

Well, think of it this way…

Trust Factor

Since your responses to user reviews will be public, many people who are considering downloading your app will check the user reviews to see if you respond. If you respond to comments, this shows that you care about your users and support your app.

Apps that don’t have publisher responses may appear to be unsupported, even if that is not the case.

So responding to App Store app reviews will become an ASO factor, like ratings or app icons.

Apple Algorithm Indicator

We are not sure how much Apple will take your responses into account, but it could end up being a rankings indicator in the algorithm. Since nobody knows exactly how the algorithm works, the influence of review responses may not be quantifiable.

However, more responses will presumably be a good thing.

Promotional Opportunities

Responding to app reviews will also give you the opportunity to promote new features, your other apps or let people know about new projects that you are working on. Obviously, you shouldn’t be spammy about it.

However, if it just so happens that your promotion is related to a user’s comment, then it makes sense. It remains to be seen how Apple will police this, but keep it in mind.

Get More Information

When users leave a review, it’s a monologue. But now that you have the ability to respond, it becomes more of a conversation.

Conversation between two people

If you are using a user feedback SDK like Apptentive, you are already responding to potential negative reviews. But some of those negative reviews will still slip through and make it to the App Store.

Now you can respond to those comments too. Take advantage of this to discover what will make your users happy.

In-App Reviews = More Reviews

The more taps you have to make a user go through, the less likely they are to do the task you want them to do at the end. This has certainly been one of the difficulties of getting users to leave a review.

Our data tells us that about 1 in every 300 app users will leave a review. A lot of that has to do with the fact that people have to leave an app and go to the App Store to leave a review.

In order to increase the number of reviews, Apple will allow developers to build the ability to review an app, from inside the app. It remains to be seen how well this will work, but it should increase the number of reviews that apps get.

Conclusion

So be ready for this new feature when iOS 10.3 goes live. The details of how this will work are not quite clear yet.

But one thing is clear…this new review response system will give you a better way to interact with your users and facilitate a more direct conversation, while hopefully fostering user loyalty.

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