Recently, Apple launched beta version for iOS 10.3. This release highlights the importance of users’ reviews. In short terms, Apple provides a feature for developers to send in – app messages asking users for rates and reviews. Moreover, programmers will be able to answer those reviews inside the App Store.
Although iOS developers will be faciliated with more app feedback and allowance to respond reviews, this major change will also bring some challenges for developers. Let’s discover together how iOS 10.3 will change developers life with positive and negative sides;
With the release of iOS 10.3, Apple took a big step toward both improving user experience and more meaningful app reviews in App Store. Thanks to Apple’s new API, developers can ask users to rate or review your app without sending them to the App Store. Namely, Apple facilitates users to rate apps more often, which leads to probably a feedback cloud.
Another piece of Apple’s new release is that you can discover customers’ opinions in a natural manner. But, behind these two options there are some challenges for developers which need to be clarified for better results.
Knowing users’ feedback is not enough. You need to apply all that information in your development and marketing efforts for a better experience overall. This is the real point of reviews, to keep maintain your app at the highest standards.
Now that you are able to discover all the issues faced by users when dealing with your app, you must fix them. Further saying, it is great that Apple and Google consider customers the center of mobile actions. Having users interests as priorities it is no doubt that apps will be more and more advanced.
An important specification is that Apple restricted the number of prompts to three per year for each user. This means that you need to discover the best method for asking user for feedback since you don’t have a lot of opportunities. Reaching users in the most suitable way will be the hardest step for implementing this feature.
Another disadvantage is that users can turn off this prompts from Settings on their devices, but if you play your cards well, you can convince them to allow your message if and only if you figure out the right timing for asking them to review your app.
The other novelty promised in iOS 10.3 is that developers will be able to answer to reviews in App Store. It is a great tactic for engaging users by thanking them for new ideas or for their positive feedback. On the other hand it is very frustrating to see a bad feedback and not being able to give arguments for that problem. Now, developers will no longer have this inconvenience.
In the light of the ideas covered before, let’s see the solutions for developers when it comes to the latest launch of Apple.
If you already had a service who handled the prompts for asking users to rate your app, you need to reconsider your strategy. For this and for the case you are decided to implement the new feature from Apple, you have to ask yourself a few questions.
Why interfere in users actions? You must find a method that won’t bother users during important tasks. It is essential to apply the feature between activities, when users make a little break. Imagine you are using a financial app and when you are about to transfer some money a question asking you a review appears on the screen? Of course, you will give it only 1 star. Coming back to your app, the key is to allow users to focus on what is important in your app and after that you can prompt the message.
When is the right time to ask for feedback? As we said before, the favorable moment is when user is pleased with your app. If you own a game, maybe the right period is when users advance from a level to another. Or with retail app, the convenient moment is after he purchased a pair of boots and he paid only half of the price in the store. The general point is to consider the time when he reached the goal that made him install your app in the first place.
Who should you ask? You can’t ask somebody that just opened the app for the first time. A user with high lifetime value which knows your app and keeps coming back is the one who will give you a proper response. Creating a momentum for asking feedback will influence his answer.
How to ask? It goes without saying that you need to be polite. Create a short question since users’ time is precious and emphasize the fact that you need their feedback to improve the app. If they know that answering to your prompt offers them the advantage of a better app they will be glad to share their opinion.
Apple’s new feature is a confirmation that reviews have a huge influence on app store ranking. Using the SKStoreReviewController will become a practice for every developer. When implementing this class you have requestReview(), a method which will show you when you should ask customers for feedback. This API provided by Apple is the solution for getting in touch with users and creating a bridge between brand and customers.
Now it is time to give your response for those feedbacks, but not any kind of responses. Let’s see some tips for a better management of this situation.
Because Google allows developers answering to reviews on Google Play since 2012, you can consider its app store a source of inspiration for the answers you need to give back to your users. Reading the responses offered by Android developers will give you an idea on how to handle your users concerns. An article published by SensorTower is a good start to figure out how you can address back to all types of reviewers, from superfans to haters. Even if the article was created for Google Play, the profiles are the same.
There is a period between 6 months and a year to create a strategy for handling this feature in the best way. It is a sure fact that a great number of reviews will hit the app store in the near future and you must be ready to answer them in one way or another.
The new feature is an opportunity you can’t ignore. You need to be one step ahead your competition and for that you must look for the advantages of bonding with users in an easier way. Apple offers a smoother solution for app owners who really want to concentrate their efforts towards what is really important for their customers.
The point of this feature from Apple is to start a discussion between developer and customers for an enhanced user experience. It provides a more personalized touch. In the end will be a win – win situation, since developers will discover how to improve their apps and users will have refined apps for making their lives more interesting.
Before implementing the new option you need to take a look again to your app store page and to analyze more all the reviews you received from users until this point. Hopefully you already accomplished their expectations. If not, then this is the moment when you must solve all the issues, so you can have a clear position from where you will start your strategy. Furthermore, we invite you to read again our previous article, How To Get More Positive Reviews which will help you attract favorable opinions.
All developers where waiting for this chance to respond to the reviews in App Store. Of course, the main feature which allows them to ask for feedback inside the app is equally important for a better understanding of users’ opinions. Keep your focus on users’ needs and start communicate with them for the sake of your app.