5 Ways Game Developers Benefit from Bad Reviews

App ratings and reviews possess a tremendous significance in the app stores today. They play a significant role in App Store Optimization (ASO) and they are considered one of the relatively new factors in the app stores’ ranking mechanism. With over 3 million apps in both iOS and Google Play app stores, reviews can help users decide which app they should install! And of course, you would like that to be your app.

Negative_reviews_benefitsGoogle Play Store reviews

Stimulating and well thought out reviews are always a delight for app developers and marketers to see and to read. But we cannot and should not totally knock bad reviews. They are an inevitable part of the normal process and even Big Named games suffer from their wrath.

Negative reviews can hurt your app store performance and could even lead to more and more users being discouraged about downloading your game. So, it is critical that you understand the reasons behind them in order to take action accordingly.

But negative reviews are not always as bad as you might think. In fact, they channel user sentiments and feedback which can generally encourage more engagement by your users. Dealing with these can be tough but there are certain ways to mitigate their impact and turn them into an advantage for your app. It surely requires a lot of determination and effort but with a right perspective, developers can benefit from bad reviews.

Here are some things to consider in getting the best out of negative reviews.

1. Iron out bugs

Some bugs appear as a result of a certain scenario or action that you might have missed during testing. And actual users are the best testers to spot these kind of glitches. Once they run into these bugs, most users will be inclined to leave a negative review on the app store. Take this as an opportunity to iron out those bugs and to make an even better app. Make sure to list your improvements in the release notes and thank the users for their feedback. Remember that releasing a new version means a new chance for your game to get better positive reviews.

2. Improve game features

Aside from bugs, some users do leave innovative ideas and feature requests in their reviews. Use them to enhance your game and to make it stand out from the competition. By modifying your game based on what the actual user wants, you are building a robust, user-targeted app that will pave the way to your success. Use the “What’s New” section when submitting an updated version and be sure to include a detailed description of the upgrades you’ve made rather than just calling them “bug fixes”. This will give your users a better reason to download your update.

3. Outrun the competition

One way to stay ahead of the competition is to gather intelligence not just from your own app’s reviews but also from your competitors. You can start adding new features to your game by incorporating inspirations from your competitor’s user requests. Then, try to implement the new features and release them as soon as possible or if not, make a far better version than what they already have – to stay ahead. Mining bad reviews from other games will also let you prioritize features on your next update according to what the users are really asking for.

4. Improve the user experience

Design and user experience (UX) ideas can also be extracted from negative reviews. Some users are diligent enough to share their ideas on how you can improve your game’s UX. Grab this opportunity to fine tune your game. Look into improving the navigation or putting in strategic buttons like power-ups and coin shops. If you pay attention to these tiny details, you will not only enjoy an increase in your user retention numbers but it could also lessen negative reviews in the future.

5. Build up better user retention

How well you respond to negative reviews can create an impact on your user engagement strategy. These people usually talk because they have an interest in your game and that is enough of a reason for you to take them seriously. They could be your future potential loyal customers. Turn those frustrations into satisfaction by responding to their requests as soon as possible. Establishing two-way communication is another crucial thing to do to strengthen user retention and discourage bad reviews. Android developers have an edge over iOS developers in this because Google Play allows direct response to reviews. This provides an opportunity to clear up confusion quickly and to even come up with solutions to the issue with the involvement of the users themselves.

Bad reviews benefitsiOS App Store ratings and reviews

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We have seen the impact of bad reviews in a game’s reputation in the app stores. Aside from finding ways to get the most out of these reviews, you must remember, nothing is more important than building a solid game with targeted features that is not littered with bugs.

Negative reviews are not always bad as I have mentioned, but if you can find a way to keep them at bay in the first place – that would be the best! One way to do it is to create a strong and dedicated customer support system. The time tested and reliable support email can still serve its purpose if you respond quickly. Or use today’s customer engagement trends, like social media to respond to complaints. Make sure that you have active accounts in Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and interact more often. If you have a website, a live chat support will go a long way in terms of keeping your dissatisfied users from going directly to the app store and the whole point of this is to eventually avoid getting any negative reviews. Don’t let negativity get you down – but rather let it inspire you!

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