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APP STORE OPTIMIZATION · HUGH KIMURA · DECEMBER 2014

7 Types Of Google Play App Reviewers And How To Respond To Them

Learn how to create better engagement with your users and handle the 7 major types of app reviewers.

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One of the biggest advantages of the Google Play App Store is that you can respond to user reviews. This gives you the chance to thank your users and respond to criticism.

If you are not replying to reviews, then you are losing out on a great way to create a closer relationship with your users. This post will show you how to get started and how to handle the common types of reviewers. We will also provide an example of a company that does a great job of replying to reviews and give you a tip for showcasing your best reviews.

How To Get Started

If you have never responded to reviews before, Google makes it very easy. Just log into your Developer Console and select the app you want to read the reviews for. Then respond to any reviews that you feel require an answer.

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Responding to reviews is a great opportunity to stay in touch with your users and help them solve issues. As we were looking through Google Play review examples, we found that Skyscanner Ltd does a great job of responding to reviews. Here is an example of a perfect response to a negative review.

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In order to craft a quality response to people who review your app, it is helpful to understand that there are basically seven types of reviewers. Not all reviews require a response either, so we will also get into when no answer is the best answer.

1. The Superfans

Profile: These reviewers absolutely love your app and try to help you in any way that they can. They will recommend improvements, tell you what they love about your app and give you detailed feedback on bugs.

Response: You need to take care of these people because they are evangelists for your app. Be sure to respond and express how grateful you are for their support. You might even consider giving them a bonus for being such a big fan.

2. The Tweeters

Profile: They leave very short reviews, which usually say something like: "love it" or "fun."

Response: The positive reviews are not worth responding to. They are great to have, but don't add much value to the conversation about your app.

However, consider responding to the negative reviews. Following up on a response like: "hated it" could uncover some bugs or objections that you can solve in your next update.

You can do this by providing a link in your response to your contact page. When others see that you follow up with these reviewers, it also shows that you truly care about your users and creating the best app possible.

3. The Space Cases

Profile: There are some reviews that leave you scratching your head. References to celebrities, pets or other unrelated world events are just some of the topics that you can expect to hear about in these reviews. There is usually nothing relevant and sometimes the review barely makes sense.

Response: These reviews are not worth your time. It might be tempting to respond and figure out what they are trying to say, but you are only inviting an even stranger follow up.

However, keep in mind that there is a big difference between a Space Case and people who do not speak English as their first language. Some seemingly nonsensical reviews are simply the result of people putting their comment into Google Translate and copy/pasting.

Think about what you would do if you had to leave a review in a foreign language. These reviewers should not be considered a Space Cases and should be put into one of the other categories and handled appropriately.

4. The Haters

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Profile: No matter what you do, Haters will always be unhappy with something. They usually aren't very nice about it and might even be downright nasty. They will complain about the color of your icon, the fact that you have in-app purchases or even the name of your app.

Response: Your first reaction might be to retaliate, but take a deep breath before you respond. Remember that all of your responses are public. The first thing you should consider is if this person is raising a valid point.

Even if they aren't communicating in a friendly way, they may actually be helping you. So take a minute to consider what they are really saying. If they are calling attention to something that does need to be fixed, then thank them for their input.

If they are just complaining for the sake of complaining, then you should only respond if they are making statements that are not true. You don't want one person's misconception to be mistaken for fact.

On the other hand, if they are complaining about something completely ridiculous, then you shouldn't respond. Everyone will see that they are being silly and not responding will show that you have better things to do.

5. The Browsers

Profile: The Browser downloads several apps every week, just to try out the newest thing. They usually don't spend more than an hour with each app and base their review on that experience.

Response: Although this type of reviewer can be a little annoying, they might provide some valuable information. If someone cannot figure out your app within a few minutes, then it might not be as easy to use as you think. Take a closer look at your user interface and see if you can improve it.

It is certainly worth taking some time out to educate them about the finer points of your app if they did miss something. This is important for two reasons.

First, if your app does have a function that they overlooked and really want, then you may gain a loyal user. Even if something is pretty obvious to you, remember that you are very familiar with your app and they are not.

People may miss a feature for a variety of reasons. Take a minute to send them a quick response and it could yield long-term dividends.

Second, if one person raises a concern, there are probably many more people out there who did not leave a review, but have the same concern. Answering these reviews acts as a pseudo help section that can reduce the number of support inquires that you get.

6. The Spammers

Profile: These are people who try to promote their app, Google+ profile or "SEO services" in their review. There are varying degrees of sophistication, but their intentions are obvious.

Response: It's not worth responding. When you put your mouse over the review, you can flag the review as spam. Just click the button and move on.

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7. The Techies

Profile: These reviewers are developers or at least know a lot about the technical aspects of your app. Like Superfans, you need to pay attention to these reviewers because they can help you out a lot.

Response: When someone leaves a review that points out possible improvements in your app's design or functionality, be sure to thank them and you may even consider including a link to your contact page where they can provide more detailed input.

Linking To Your Best Reviews

After you have gone through your reviews, you should highlight your best ones. Google allows you link to your best reviews in a way that is not pushy. It is actually a great solution.

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When you read a review that you like, click on the link icon and you will be taken to the public Google Play page for your app. This may be a little confusing at first, but when you scroll down a little, the review you chose will be highlighted above the review section.

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You can create a short link to this version of your page and send it out any time you want to tell people about your app. Build several links to your best reviews and use them in emails, blog posts or on social media. Test your conversion rate and find out which one is best.

Conclusion

Responding to reviews on Google Play can be a lot of work, but it can pay off in customer loyalty and better app engagement. Remember to check your reviews often so you can respond in a timely manner. Provide links to resources and tutorials when appropriate.

Finally, whenever possible, add some of your keywords into your review responses. Since web SEO influences Android apps more than iOS apps, it can only help your search visibility. If you're looking at App Annie competitors, be sure to read more about our platforms.

Make sure to sound natural and don't get too carried away with it.

Photo Credit: Screenshots from Google Play / Developer websites


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Hugh Kimura

Written by: Hugh Kimura, Head of Content

Date: December 2014

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