It is quite devastating to get bad reviews when you are promoting your apps.

In a world where people have more voice through app store reviews, it would seem like we are held hostage by our users, especially those that may falsely post negative reviews. This can severely impact your app store rating and discoverability in the Google Play Store and Itunes App Store.

Many game developers forget that reviews are not set in stone. There are things you can do to resolve and prevent bad reviews to improve your rating on app stores. Here is a list of things you can do to prevent and deal with bad reviews.

1. Check Daily

One of the best ways to make sure you reduce negative reviews is to constantly watch out for them. Negative reviews can pile on quick, especially after an update, or a newly discovered bug. By constantly being on watch, you can quickly take action on the issues and prevent even more bad app store reviews from popping up.

2. Get in Touch with your players

Getting in touch with your players can be a crucial step in reversing a bad app store review, especially if the bad review is due to a misunderstanding, a confusion, or a problem that can easily be mitigated with an explanation. A year ago, dealing with a bad review was rather tough since it is hard to get in touch with the reviewer. It’s a good thing that a Google Play Store update now allows the developer to actually reply to reviews. You can now easily deal with a couple of bad reviews that may just need a small explanation to fix.

Since this doesn’t work on the iTunes App Store, you can try to get your explanation across by putting a few words in the general description portion of your app. If the review warrants an update, you could address the review by specifically mentioning that the problem has been fixed in the “app changes” portion of the description.

You can also use polljoy’s in app feedback prompts to engage with your users within the game and find out what their frustration is, what bugs they face. Then, you will be able to prevent some bad app store reviews and make your game even better.

3. Release an Update

Updates are a great way to reach out to those who may have given you a bad app store review in hopes of changing their minds. Make sure to release an update however small the changes are. This way, you are offering a way for your clients to reevaluate the app. Facebook does this a lot. They release a lot of new updates simply with “bug fixes and stability improvements”. Simply suggesting that something has been fixed will prompt negative reviewers to try it again. While you’re at it, consider putting in an in-app request for rating so they can remember to change their previous bad rating.

4. Get Better Reviews

While difficult to accept, we must understand that people can be very stubborn. When you can’t change a bad review no matter what you do, just focus on making your game better and work to drive 5 star reviews from your other fans. polljoy can help you find happy customers by using smart rating prompts before you send a popup a message to get their feedback.

Getting a bad review isn’t always bad. Sometimes, it can be a learning experience for the developer. Always look into a negative review so you know if there is something you can do to further improve your app. Who knows? Maybe that one bad app store review will help you improve your app so that you get 10 amazing reviews right after by improving the app based on the review.

As they say, “prevention is better than cure”. In this case, it would be better for you as a developer to maximize your positive reviews and minimize your bad app store reviews. Here are some preventive measures you can take to ensure a better review:

1. Find out what they Want

To drive 5 star reviews, it is best that you always seek to give them what they want. Truth be told, finding that out is a lengthy process indeed. polljoy can help you by creating surveys and even get suggestions from your customers, so you can push out an update that will help them focus on how awesome your app or game is. Make sure to put an in-app request for rating, so you can maximize the  effect of that update.

2. Divert Unsatisfied Customers

According to StudyBlue, “9 out of 10 unhappy customers never say a word, they just never come back” In this case, they simply uninstall and move on. Unfortunately, app developers sometimes invoke an unhappy customer’s wrath upon themselves by accidentally asking an unhappy customer to rate the app.

With polljoy, you can easily filter unhappy customers by presenting a way for them to send feedback without touching your ratings record in the app store. This prevents them from leaving any bad app store reviews while you use the polljoy feedback system to figure out why they dislike the app, and what you can do to make it better for them.

For more tips on how to improve your App Store rating, check this article.

Caroline Lee

Written by Caroline Lee
Community developer at polljoy - the in-game ratings and player feedback SDK. I'm passionate about helping devs make their games even more awesome. Reach me at caroline@polljoy.com