Last week, Apple launched the ability to respond to user reviews in the App Store, giving retailers the opportunity to offer support, engage with customers, ask follow-up questions, say thanks and much more.
With more consumers using their mobile device to shop and get product recommendations, more retailers are wisely creating apps to respond to consumer demands. This new change with Apple now gives retailers a unique opportunity to interact with customers, get real feedback on their app performance and respond accordingly. To help, Apple created a list of best practices and here at GPShopper, we've added our own tips to help retailers and brands take advantage of this new feature.
Communication & Tone of Voice is Key
Whenever you engage with consumers, you want the tone of voice to be representative of your brand so always keep that in mind. When responding to reviews, you should also stay on topic - the review section is not a place to advertise additional products. Tailor responses whenever possible to keep things personal with customers and if you are able to resolve an issue, use the opportunity to ask consumers to update their rating and review.
Responses shouldn't be adhoc, make sure your company assigns the role of responses in the App Store to a specific team, person or department. Many times, this will go under the customer service or communications category, but you may need to tap into technical resources if someone reports a glitch in the app that needs to be addressed asap. Whatever you choose, ensuring ownership will help you to scale down the line if it becomes a popular feature that your customers use and also helps to prevent frustration from consumers that will now expect a reply if they voice a concern or complaint.
Perfect Your Timing
The sooner you can respond to a question or complaint the better. If you wait a few days, they may give up on their original issue and/or get frustrated and move on. You don't want to lose them - connect with reviewers before this happens and while they're still engaged with your brand.
Prioritize, You Can't Be Everything to Everyone
It's impossible to respond to every review - especially if you have limited resources. So you'll need to make an executive effort to respond to the most important ones first. Start with the lowest ratings and technical issues, then move your way up to maximize your efforts. In that same vain, try to leverage your release notes by mentioning old reviews to address concerns that were written earlier and show users you've listened and responded accordingly. This can turn reviews around and keep customers happy, knowing that they've been heard.
Sometimes, things can get nasty and the review section is no place for it. Obviously, any response your company has shouldn't violate these conditions and if you're using your brand voice, it shouldn't be a problem. You should periodically check in though to confirm that employees haven't gone rogue and responses are appropriate. If you do however see that reviewers have violated the Terms & Conditions - don't reply to them and hash things out publically - there's no winning and you'll only end up looking bad. Report the issue under iTunes Connect instead. Customers will not be notified that they were reported by you.
For other tips on mobile app best practices for retailers, contact one of our mobile app experts.