With the recent launch of iOS 10.3 and macOS 10.12.4, Apple has taken a major stride forward on how developers can interact with users. Much to the delight of iOS app developers and iOS app development companies, Apple will now allow developers to respond to customer reviews. While this feature has been available to Android developers on Google Play, Apple’s move will now help solve the perennial problem faced by developers and users. After all the primitive mode of simply leaving messages was not helping app users as well. There was no channel of communication as developers could not respond to user’s criticism in a way that other App Store customers.
If an app crashed or encountered bug, users might have to leave complaint in absence of email address in the App Store description or lack of support information. These complaints helped developers to identify new bugs or handle technical glitches. However, there was no way to ask users follow up questions that would help them address the situation.
One-way communication means customers can respond only. With this new update, Apple has finally listened to developers and help stay engaged with customers to improve the app functionality and overall user experience.
Here is how the update works for iOS Developers
The launch of this new feature allows developers to respond to reviews. It explains that timely, clear and concise answers are best, and they should reflect the tone of the brand – even if multiple people write the responses.
Responding to Reviews on the App Store
Developers can address user feedback directly on the App Store by responding to reviews. No matter when the reviews were written, you respond to all reviews of your app. User will be notified when developer responds to the review. Further, user will also have the option to update review based on the response/help provided by the developer.
Edit Response Any Time
Developer can edit their response. However, one response per review is only displayed on a developer’s App Store product page. It is important to time responses very carefully to gain maximum benefit. App makers sync email alerts on iTunes Connect to receive notification when the user edits a review a developer previously replied to.
Developers can also use Filtering options in iTunes Connect to identify reviews with lower star ratings, reviews from users’ particular geography, reviews that users have updated since the last response from a developer and more.
A Caveat: Developer responses should be related to topics and shouldn’t be used to advertise or offer promo codes for other apps, services or In-App Purchases.
Here are the best practices for developers to respond to app store reviews
Maintain Consistency – Developer needs to communicate with users maintaining consistency with brand. It is important that your target audience can understand your language. Keep your tone consistent if more than one person responds to customer reviews of your app.
Avoid Spamming – Always follow Apple Guidelines. Don’t use the feature to communicate with users as another avenue to spam users, post promo codes or advertise any other products.
Prioritize – Developers should prioritize reviews based on significance and nature of review.
Need to go through Review Process – Before the response of a developer posted on the app store, it goes through a certain review process.
Filters: Find reviews from users in different countries to decipher reviews for versions just rolled out to new markets.
Live Interaction – With SKStoreReviewController API, developers can ask users to review or rate an app while they are using it, actively, without any interaction with the App Store.
iOS developers can respond to app store reviews. This feature allows developers to provide robust support to their users by offering timely and precise replies to their reviews. This feature helps iOS developers to keep their target audience engaged and incorporate their suggestion in their feature apps. Most importantly, this makes communication at App Store now a two-way communication.