Reviews are an incredibly important part Shopify App Store, for both merchants and developers. App reviews help merchants decide if an app is right for their needs by providing feedback from other merchants. For developers, reviews give good insights into what merchants enjoy their apps and what they would like to add or improve. If you have a public app on the Shopify App Store, you can respond to reviews shared by merchants about your experiences using your app.
While using the Reply to Review feature is optional, we know that our developer community takes application support very seriously, and that you’re likely to want to take advantage of this direct way of interacting with users. If you’re ever unsure of what to say or how to handle feedback, keep reading.
In this article, we share key considerations and advice for responding to app reviews. Let’s get started.
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Before we get into that, here are some basic information about how the Reply to Reviews feature works:
- You can respond to all app reviews in the app information, regardless of when they were first submitted
- When you respond to a review, the merchant who left the review will receive an email with your response
- You can edit your answer at any time (note, however, that whenever you update your answer, the merchant will receive an email)
- If Shopify is notified that the response uses language that violates our Affiliate Program Agreement or causes a negative trading experience, the developer will be subject to disciplinary action or removal.
Once these guidelines are in place, let’s see how you can work out the best answers for your app reviews.
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Keep your answers focused and functional
Each time you respond to a review in the App Store, an email will be sent to the merchant who left the review to review your response. To make these announcements useful to the merchant, keep in mind the following best practices:
1. Enter targeted answers
Many of you have sophisticated applications that perform numerous functions. Sometimes, however, an app scan only includes one or a few features of your app. You can sometimes even hope to be praised for features other than what the merchant mentioned!
When this happens, it is important to understand that the merchant only wants to deal with a certain feature at this time. So when editing your answer, be sure to stay on topic.
Exception: If you’ve received a negative review because a merchant believes your app doesn’t have the features it actually has, it’s helpful to mention more features in your app.
2. Don’t use reviews as a promotional channel
There are likely to be several channels in your marketing plans that you use to communicate with merchants, such as social media, email, and content. And while responding to reviews gives you another channel to connect with users, it’s not designed to be used for promotional purposes.
If you want to promote a new feature of your app or other apps provided by your team, the app review response feature is not the place to do so. We want to avoid merchants who don’t get unwanted offers, which can lead to a negative experience with Shopify apps and damage the entire ecosystem. Use your other channels to advertise and find your answers relevant and helpful.
3. Keep evaluations as up-to-date as possible
Like you, Shopify merchants are busy entrepreneurs who do different tasks every day. They’re so busy they probably don’t remember what they had for breakfast, let alone an app review they left six months ago. As a general rule, if you feel the need to respond to a review, you should do so as soon as possible – preferably within the first or two days of receiving the review.
Exception: If an old review mentions that your app is missing a feature you’ve added since then, you can let them know that the feature now exists.
Carry out positive merchant experiences
The best way to ensure that Shopify App Store is still a vibrant marketplace for your app to ensure that merchants have a positive experience there. You can contribute to a positive environment by following these three professional tips:
1. Keep thank you answers short
Getting glowing reviews from merchants can be great, and we don’t blame you if you want to thank them for their kind words. We don’t discourage this kind of interaction with users of your app – in fact, our only recommendation is to keep thank-you answers short and sweetest. Your other merchants who view your app are very interested in looking at peer reviews, so it’s important to give these five-star reviews great properties.
2. Take an empathic approach to negative reviews
At the other end of the frequency, negative reviews can feel depressing, especially when you work hard to give users a positive experience. Merchants can leave one- or two-star reviews for many reasons, but as one of our best app developers says, it’s important to lead empathy.
Responding to a negative review can be a great opportunity to showcase your willingness to solve a problem and help merchants get the right path with your app.
Try to respond with the following version: “I’m sorry you had this experience. I want to help you. ”From there, you can provide solutions, support documents, or even offer a call with the merchant. Such a personal response can go a long way.
3. Organize support discussions
While troubleshooting negative reviews from the Response Department can be helpful for other merchants who are viewing your app data and may have had the same problem, resolving a solution for merchants can sometimes go much further than one response.
In these cases, it may be appropriate for you to share your support information with merchants and ask them to contact you directly.
You may also like: How to get more app downloads from the Shopify App Store.
Respond Faster: Create an Answer Book
Customer support can take a considerable amount of time. Here are three tips for getting organized and preparing so you can manage your responses to reviews.
1. Decide on the reviews you answer
As mentioned, responding to reviews in the App Store is optional. We’ll leave your information to know what’s best for your app and app customers, but it’s important to note that much of what makes a good merchant experience consistent is consistent.
If you haven’t yet set up a system to respond to reviews, we recommend sitting down and looking at your or your team’s bandwidth. You want to decide:
- Your team responds to all reviews, regardless of star rating or content
- You only respond to reviews from three or fewer stars to help figure out how you can provide a better experience for the merchant
- You will only respond to reviews where the merchant misunderstood the feature of your app and requires additional support
The options are endless and you want to find out what makes sense to you. No matter what your team chooses, a clear strategy will help your team know when they should respond to reviews.
2. Create sample responses to general thanks and complaints
Templates and pre-written answers help support work faster. If you see a common theme in one, two, and three star reviews, you may want to create a reusable statement for answers that you can customize or not based on bandwidth.
3. Find out when it is appropriate to review outside the answers
As mentioned above, troubleshooting a complaint in a negative review directly in response may be ideal, but there may certainly be times when more complex support is needed. Provide guidance to your team when a problem is in the reviews being addressed, a link to frequently asked questions or online support documents, or when it is better to address the support channel.
You may also like: 9 professional tips for creating a Stellar customer experience.
Build better relationships with users of your app by responding to reviews
When you respond to reviews from the Shopify App Store, you’re taking advantage of a new opportunity to create a star customer experience to your users. Quick, helpful, and supportive responses are small activities that can have a big impact on long-term success as your SaaS business grows.
Whether it’s resolving a negative review, thanking for positive reviews, or responding to an update to a feature request or error, the ability to respond to reviews allows for a two-way conversation between you and the merchants who have reviewed and left feedback on your app.
Which review response professional tip do you use the most? Let us know in the comments below!