One of my recent projects has outstanding success in the market. However, its mobile application had rather average reviews on the App Store and Google Play. The ratings were not more than 2.9 stars.
That is a typical case for a product or service in which the users would not accept any downtime. To give a better example, let’s compare a cell phone service and a news application. It sometimes happens when reading the news, that the latest one would not update. You will probably pay no attention to this and just reload the feed one more time. So apparently, you will not write a negative review. However, in case you are calling somebody or receiving a phone call, you certainly expect it to work instantly because it is important for you at that specific moment. And surely, if it does not work, you will become an unsatisfied customer who would, therefore, write a negative review.
Identify a happy customer
I had quite a challenging task to make the customers write positive reviews and rate the application 4+ stars. To identify happy customers, who will eventually rate an application, I have built the logic utilizing the main feature of the service, i.e., if the user successfully leveraged it, then his/her overall user experience was positive.
Use clear design and always give a choice
I have implemented a simple and very effective user experience. Thus, two main screens have been designed. The first one is to rate an application using the star buttons and collect the data from the screen by our internal API. The second screen only appears if the user rates us 4+ stars.
The user should always be given a choice to postpone writing a review or choose not to give one. This, obviously, does not transform a happy customer into an angry one.
Find the right time to engage with a user
In order to not bother the user while working with the application, our first interaction is after he has successfully used the main feature for five times. That is when the customer is already done using the app and could dedicate time to write a review.
One month after the changes had been introduced, the ratings have increased to 4.2 stars. The thorough comparison of the data from the internal API and ratings from the App Store and Google Play has proved that the users are happy customers and enjoy using the product.