Taking an App From 3.5 Stars To 4.8

May 31, 2021

Here’s a look at how a member of our team was able to help a company take their app from 3.5 stars to 4.8.

This is How

Improve the Quality

The negative reviews were out of frustration from users trying to use the app. Tightening the architecture, writing better unit tests and fixing bugs all took the app to a whole new level in the eyes of consumers. It takes time, but it’s well worth it for the long term benefits it reaps.

Slowly over time we started to see less reviews like

This app isn’t read for prime time

And more like

Wow! I love this app!

Respond to Reviews

Inorder to better respond to reviews, we needed a way of keeping up with them as soon as they came in. We set up a bot to alert us of new incoming reviews so we could stay on top of them. Every time there was a review that came in, whether positive or negative, they were read and followed up on. In the case of a positive review, we would thank the user and wish them a nice day. Negative reviews would be more interesting.

Whenever a negative review would come in, the appropriate people would be alerted and the bug would be prioritized in the backlog. The effort and severity of the bug would be determined to figure out priority. We would then reply back to the user and let them know that we have identified the issue and are actively working on a fix. This helped us build trust with our users and also allowed us to convert some 1 star reviews into 5 star reviews.

Ask For Reviews

The reviews, in the App Store and Play Store, conflicted with the feedback received from the in-app survey that users would fill after using the chat feature of the app. The in-app survey reported extremely positive scores and customer satisfaction that wasn’t reflected in the reviews. This led to an idea that hadn’t been implemented yet: a review prompt. This review prompt was shown after some positive action was completed in the app where users would be the happiest and most willing to submit reviews. In the case of this specific app, it was triggered after 5 successful transactions were completed and users earned points on those transactions. This method had the largest impact on the overall rating of the app. It took them from ~50 total reviews to over 3800.

Rating Prompt

The Result

Increased Discoverability

The app was in the top 100 charts under the health category giving them a huge visibility boost. People would see these reviews and be curious about the platform and service that was offered. This led to more inbound leads and inquiries than ever before. They were able to sign up more customers just from word of mouth from the excitement of their user base.

Given that there are over 1.96 million apps on the App Store and 2.87 million on the Google Play Store, discoverability becomes much harder to accomplish so being able to get a spot on the top 100 is a huge marketing bonus by just increasing the rating.

Ratings and reviews influence how your app ranks in search and can encourage users to engage with your app from search results, so focus on providing a great app experience that motivates users to leave positive reviews. - Optimizing for App Store Search

We can see from the quote above that the App Store does consider ratings and reviews when ranking your app in the search results. Even though this is not the only criteria, when ranking search results, it helps you promote your app just by keeping your users happy. Getting a higher rating will help get your apps into the top 100 charts and can help users find it organically. Even if they weren’t looking to install an app, they may stumble upon it and try it.

It Made It Easier To Sell

From the increased rating score, it was easier to sell the app to even larger enterprises. The sales team was able to leverage the positive ratings and use it to support their claim of high user satisfaction. It helped separate them from the competition because of how much “social proof” they had to back their claims. They saw their business grow dramatically over the course of a few months.

Some 96% of respondents say they would consider downloading an app with a 4-star average rating in an app store; 50% would consider downloading an app with a 3-star rating; only 15% say they would consider downloading an app with a 2-star average rating. - https://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2015/27665/how-influential-are-mobile-app-star-ratings

Nearly nine out of ten consumers read reviews before making a purchase - Online Review Statistics

Taking a look at these two statistics, it makes sense. We tend to look for proof or referrals before we try something ourselves. There are millions of apps out there that promise the same service or compete in the same industry. Even if they were all free, we couldn’t possibly try them all out. We just don’t have the time. We look for referrals from trusted sources or unbiased opinions from those that have already tried the product. Ratings and reviews help us make those decisions and build trust even before using the product.

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