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“How to Improve Ratings on My App” | Tricks for the Apple App Store and Google Play

By Nick Epson on September 11, 2020

One of the most prominent parts of having an app is ensuring the customer experience meets – or ideally, exceeds! – expectations so you may be wondering, “How to improve ratings on my app?” Getting this rating as high as possible is the frontline for showing prospective users what to expect from your app.

It should go without saying, you need to have a polished product that’s mostly free of bugs. Naturally, people will complain when your app doesn’t work. The real question is, “How to improve ratings on my app?” when you have a solid product. So, let’s take a look!

Why ratings matter

Your rating and customer reviews on either store are the most publicly visible way your customers provide feedback and more importantly, these reviews are there for the world to see. Whether someone gives you accolades for a job well done or takes a shit on your app, window shoppers will see this and take note. 

As a developer, especially if you’re part of an agency that has profiles on sites like Clutch, your potential clients can do their homework and find this information too. If your name is on a slew of great products, then that’s extra points for you! But if your name is being dragged through the mud, you run the risk of losing future business.

We know the customer isn’t always right but loud voices tend to be heard and they seem to resonate with greater frequency when what’s said is negative. Fixing your issues is both about making the product as user-friendly as possible as well as the perception that your product performs well.

Tips for ‘how to improve ratings on my app’

Certain methods work and some don’t. Here, we’re going to look at some viable methods and point on some things not to do when you’re wondering ‘how to improve ratings on my app.’

Don’t offer incentives for reviews. First of all, this is against the ToS for both Apple and Google. If you’re caught, this could result in your developer account being blacklisted and your apps delisted. Too, don’t hire some person for peanuts off Upwork or Fiverr to do this – unless you’re hiring a real scoundrel that’s good at this sort of thing, everything from the writing to the timing the reviews are posted can throw red flags and land you in hot water.

However, there is one way you can offer an incentive without getting into trouble and that’s through a kind of contest. You can ask users to submit an honest review and offer some kind of reward for a randomly selected winner in the form of a gift card or possibly a PayPal payment. Just remember to be as transparent and fair as possible.

Respond to customer reviews. Both Google and Apple offer the ability for you to respond to written reviews with custom responses. It’s important to address everything, meaning both the good and the bad, to maximize engagement with your user base. This provides a sense that there is a real human on the other end of the app that’s listening to their audience.

For good reviews, a boilerplate response is usually sufficient. Of course, the more time you spend on generating valid responses, the better it looks to prospective users and current users are just curious to see how others perceive your app. It’s a lot like speaking to a live person when dealing with customer service, especially with a complex issue that can’t be solved by an auto-attendant – you feel a little better knowing that problem is being reviewed by human eyes.

Prompt users to leave a review. You can’t respond to user reviews if there are no reviews to respond to! There are several methods and plugins you can embed into the app that automates this process. The “Rate my App!” example from the link uses a set of conditions like the number of times an app is opened as well as usage time to prompt the user with a link that takes them to the app store where they can leave a review. Using this or a similar tool helps direct users to offer some feedback they might not otherwise go out of their way to do unless they’re highly unsatisfied or extremely elated by your product.

Offer a two-way messaging system. Having some kind of technical support beyond a FAQ page will help you solve problems that you might not otherwise encounter. Apps will be used on a myriad of devices meaning all kinds of little quirks surface that developers can easily miss. This helps you improve your product which should ultimately lead to better reviews.

Like with any formal coaching system, this extends your capability to get more concise feedback that you would simply obtain from a static response on the App Store or Google Play. This is another area where adding a human element puts a face to your company. Here, it’s ideal to start with an AI-based chatbot to field individuals (too, they can sometimes solve issues on their own) then offer a real person as a backup.

Clear or “reset” your app ratings. Sometimes an app makes it to the store with a lot of bugs. As a developer, this can be an embarrassing setback, especially if you start accumulating poor ratings with comments that state how much your app sucks. Fortunately, for iphone app developers, there is a way to fix part of this issue by publishing a new version of your app to the store.

Scrubbing the old app from the store with a shiny new version gets rid of all your ratings but keep the reviews. This can be a double-edged sword so it’s best to only use this tactic when you’ve accumulated bad reviews. You’re allowed to check off a box that indicates you have an entirely new version of your app which also clears out all your ratings. Just be careful!

Contest bad reviews. Finally, when looking at ‘how to improve ratings on my app’ there is the process of eliminating spam or offensive reviews. As with everything on the Internet, spam will populate on your review list – while this can be somewhat helpful when the reviews are good, incoherent quips from spammers aren’t a good look. Too, some people can be completely out of line with their reviews, sometimes violating what platforms allow reviews to say.

For both Google Play and the Apple App Store, there is a formal process developers can initiate to remove bad reviews. After an administrator reviews the review in question, it will be removed if they find it’s in violation.

Blue Label Labs makes software that delights end-users

Like any digital product agency, we do miss things when an app goes to market which is why we put measures in place to ensure that we can quickly rectify any issues that surface. This is one of many reasons why we are endorsed by platforms that recognize our ability to create powerful, lasting products on marketplaces. Get in touch to learn more about how our ongoing development process generates positive responses from your app’s audience.

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