This is not a story about how we built an app for a client — we do that a lot. It’s the story of what happens when a business applies the focus of creating and deploying an app to its post-launch strategy once the app goes live.

But first… statistics!

According to a recent consumer survey conducted by Apptentive:

79% of consumers check ratings/reviews before downloading an app

55% check ratings/reviews before making an in-app transaction

So, it’s obvious that app store ratings and reviews are important. But what’s the best way to manage them? While we certainly have a love for all things digital, if you’ve worked with us, our answer will not surprise you — the solution isn’t technological; it’s human. (It was right there in the headline, after all.)

What we learned by responding to 250+ app store reviews

We spent a year working with a client to build a healthcare-related app that we launched in January 2021. Part of our role in the engagement was to monitor the iOS and Google Play app stores for the first quarter. In that time, we read and responded to more than 250 reviews. Here’s what we learned:

Interact and be helpful

Did you know that, following a positive interaction, people will go back and update their rating? This happened a number of times. One person’s rating changed from two to five stars in 24 hours with just a quick troubleshooting session with one of our staff.

Read and respond to every review

It’s worth it to take the time to read and respond to every review. No one likes the experience of commenting into the void. Show that your customers have been seen, heard, and appreciated for taking the time to leave a comment. It has the added value of sending the message to potential users that they will be taken care of if they download the app and have issues.

Make responding to app store reviews easy

Generally, your responses will end up in one of these categories:

  • Thank you
  • Troubleshooting advice
  • A recommendation to contact customer service

Create some standard language that will serve as the base for each; the person responding can personalize the message from there.

Track app store reviews and watch for patterns

  • Consistent feature requests can be added to the development backlog
  • Consistent issues can be addressed with updates to code or processes

Paying attention to common topics, behavior patterns, and trends can inform how you should prioritize updates. Tracking this data strengthens the case for funding, feature development, and experience updates.

A great app experience is good for business

We advocate for a human-centered approach for many reasons, not least of which is that it’s good for business.

Within the first three months that the app was available, it had ~105K downloads, more than 41K orders, and generated over $3M in revenue.

An app (or any digital strategy, really) can be a tremendous tool for improving the customer experience or organizational effectiveness. But it’s the people on both sides of that tech that bring value to the encounter.

Looking for a partner to drive the technology and strategy of your next app? Talk to us.