Save your App Store rankings! Address negative reviews before they happen.

5 Tips for App Review Management

“Uh, did I just lose that Snap?!… $*&#”

We’ve all been there… Stuck loading screens, endless spinners, and incomprehensible error messages.

Whether you’re the developer or the end user (or both). You know how frustrating it can be when bugs creep into our beautiful technology.

The great part of our brand new and ever evolving shiny iPhones and awesome apps is just that… they’re always changing, adding, and removing. As a developer, it can be like trying to hit a moving target zipping along faster than AirDrop.

Product teams jump at the opportunity to implement new features… but new features are a double-edged sword: no one has done it before. Therefore, when we’re searching online for best practices, there aren’t any.

We promise that we have a thorough release cycle with testing, manual QA, and give it our best shot, but in the end what I’m trying to say is…

Bug, errors, and crashes are inevitable.

Rather than try to develop the impossibly perfect software, develop an app that can fail gracefully. In a world of frustrating mobile experiences, if yours is the lone app that handles errors as beautifully as it adds filters, then users will notice that special touch… and in that fragile moment, you’ll gain even more respect from users than if the app had not crashed in the first place.

Sounds great, how’s it done?… Here’s a few tricks of the trade

1. Be on top of bugs

Monitor your app for crashes and bugs so you can catch problems before they happen.

Crashlytics is one of the best here. They provide a good stack trace, device info, and other tools to see how your crashes are trending and will send you alerts if a crash you fixed previously has appeared again. This is especially important to monitor during the first few hours of a new launch or app update.

If you see an issue, maybe you need to send a quick push notification to alert affected users. Maybe you need to roll back a recent update. Or maybe you can adjust the backend to mitigate the bug.

2. Watch your analytics

You are using analytics… right? Google Mobile Analytics, Firebase, Fabric event tracking, Mixpanel, Amplitude (we can go on…), or your favorite flavor of reporting should be one of the first Cocoapods you install.

If bugs arise, these insights will help you narrow down who was affected by an issue and also provide useful data on user behaviors in the app.

Look to see if users getting stuck somewhere… are most dropping off at a certain point in your on-boarding or checkout flow? Is a feature that’s never being used?

Analytics provide magical insights to help you understand what is going on in your software. This helps you stay a step ahead of problems.

3. Use ReviewBot. alerts your team of issues.

ReviewBot integrates with your team’s chat service. Slack, Email, Microsoft Teams, Trello, or Zendesk are all compatible. This handy tool will alert your development team in the channels they’re already using. That will decrease the likelihood of a bug passing through undetected. Then your team can easily tag others and jump on a fix.

4. Give users an outlet to vent.

Again, we’ve all been there and we know how frustrating it is when your mobile experience is interrupted by an error. Apologize to the user and prompt them to submit feedback via email. Or else they’ll go straight to the App Store and give you, and everyone else with an Internet connection, a piece of their mind (not. good.)!

Evernote does this… but even better would be “tell us what happened…”

Evernote prompts the user to send a report when it crashes.

5. Respond to negative reviews (Finally!)

Let others know when an issue has been fixed. Again, even if they are angry and trash talking your app, it’s important to apologize for the inconvenience. Fight the urge to CAPS-LOCK-YELL-BACK. It’ll gain you more users, and better overall reviews, in the end.

Thanks for reading… let us know in the comments how these tips work for you!

About ReviewBot
ReviewBot is a service that monitors online reviews and notifies you in Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zendesk, and Trello.