Replying to User Review on IOS App Store

One of the biggest pain as an indie developer with an IOS app, is not being able to reply to user reviews. If you have a play store app, you don’t face this problem but in IOS world, you are screwed.

My app “GYMINUTES”, is available on IOS App store for FREE. I love to lift weights and track my workout. Not being able to find an app that met my requirements, I created one and uploaded to the App store. Now time-to-time I get a review comment. Some are great while few are bad. However, all bad reviews are usually from users who felt that something was missing from the app. This misunderstanding could have been solved if I had a chance to reply to them and explain the information gap. But there is no way to reply to user review thus I have to suffer from bad-review-comment-syndrome.

PROBLEM:

Not being able to reply to user comment has several issues that only a developer knows..

  1. Poor customer satisfaction: How do provide great customer (user) satisfaction if you can’t reply to customer questions/concerns?
  2. Bad ratings and reviews: Some users don’t read coaching marks, skip walkthroughs and leave a bad rating saying that app is lacking feature when they actually did not explore. How do you reach them.
  3. Less appealing and slower growth:  Lower review rating not only hurts developer feelings but also make app less appealing to new users. This has an indirect affect on app growth and thus revenue.
  4. Angry and annoyed developer: Yep, every developer gets pissed on bad rating/review. No GOOD developer is thick skinned. It hurts. It really does.

I have GOOGLED a solution to this problem. I even went to 2nd page. I believe anytime you visit 2nd page on google, you either are searching using wrong keywords or your problem does not have a concrete solution. Google search gives you following top 3 links as of 4/16/16.

 

StackOverFlow.. from 2013..

Medium.. article from 2014..

TheNextWeb.. This article is from 2012… That a decade in tech world.. #AppleWakeUp

And thats not even the worst part.. As per stackoverflow, the proposal for the same has been DENIED by apple. WTF….

The medium solution only works if a user has been using same AppleID as twitter or other social handle. So basically < 1% chances of that happening.

 

SOLUTION:

How do I plan to deal with this issue?

I will be creating a unique blog post for each review comment and address anything that needs clarification. I will link this blog in my app description, so few users who actually read app description before downloading app can see them.

My intention here is not to put any user on spot. The reason I believe this public forum will help me provide best customer service and will not harm anyone because

  1. All reviews are public anyway and you can see the username of the user leaving the review.
  2. A public reply will help address the same concern that other users may have.

My intention and goal is to provide BEST CUSTOMER SATISFACTION to all my users on APP STORE.

I will continue to put Apple in focus by tagging them to every review that I receive with hashtag #AppleWakeUp

TL;DR

I would recommend every APP developer to create their own blog, to reply to user review comments instead of waiting for Apple to wake up 🙂

If you have others ideas on how to reach users and provide better customer satisfaction, leave your idea in comments below. Happy coding.

-Happy Lifting

@maddy