The section of reviews on application stores makes an interesting read for a curious mobile visitor. We are always interested in what’s bad about the product we want to purchase: be it a mobile device, a mobile app, headphones or whatever. These drawbacks may influence our final decision, whether to make this purchase or not.
The main reasons for negative reviews are quite obvious: it’s when people get less than they expected: either the app has a bad user interface, it provides a worse experience than the user expected; or it’s overcomplicated and difficult to navigate. Or maybe the app has bugs and crashes on some particular device model (courtesy of Android) or crashes while performing a particular feature. Whatever is the case, the result may be shown to all the world on the page of your app on the store.
Negative reviews are ones that contain criticism of the app. They may rate your app with 4 (or even 5) stars, so to say, in advance, with expectations of that one little change for better; what’s more, they provide information on what’s wrong with it. Not that this info is always valuable; but there’s good reason to track and right these wrongs. The other side is suggestions: when users find your app great, but they express wishes that would make it better for them.
Let’s take a look at regular shoppers: according to stats by Econsultancy (dating back to 2013), for only 4% of consumers one negative review is enough to abandon the idea of purchasing the reviewed product. However, for 24% of them it’s 2 reviews, and for 39% it is 3 reviews. Is it all that bad for software owners who get negative reviews? Not quite. Critic feedback helps make a product better from the very beginning – the development/testing stage.
Reviewers Actually Care
Here your app is on the app store, getting ratings and reviews. The praising ones will encourage you to keep going and treat things as they are; meanwhile the criticizing reviews, although initially disturbing, should encourage you to make the product better. And here’s the truth: your app will receive negative reviews. Every major app has had it share of criticism, and will receive it overtime. We all continue getting updates with the same word ‘bugfixing’ in the ‘What’s New’ section. Now the questions are, why they appear, and how to treat them for your benefit and for the good reputation of your mobile product.
Constructive criticism in a feedback shows a healthy sign: the user actually cares about the app, and found the time and will to write the opinion. It’s better than losing silent users who come and go, and you don’t find out what’s wrong. Feedback enables you to react with app updates and fixes.
Respond To Criticism And Get Benefits
Just like software owners must think like future users while designing and developing a product, they must think the same when they conduct post-release support and maintenance, they must know the users’ point of view, consider it, and therefore build a kind of collaboration. Pay special attention to recurring reasons for criticism, which can help you substantially improve your app. How can you respond? There are several ways:
1. The obvious way to respond to bugs is actually fixing them with an update. Don’t forget to mention the fixed issues in ‘What’s New’ and perhaps in the description, to assure the readers that the problem is no longer a problem, and express thanks for the attention paid.
2. Preventing bad reviews is also possible. Some of them concern such mishaps as weak Wi-Fi signal, or the background work, which may cause such a negative response as ”the app drains battery in a while”. Just make sure to alert potential users of possible troubles in the description. Add the ways of troubleshooting. Because these are not bugs – this is the way your app works.
3. Unlike other app stores, Google Play has recently allowed developers to reply to reviews directly in the store.
4. To conclude, a review that doesn’t hold an ounce of meaning, can be simply ignored. Especially if there’s lots of positive reviews around.