How to Deal with Negative App Reviews and Feedback

Rajput Mehul
May 3, 2018 · 7 min read

This is the era of social media and Smartphone apps and service-review websites, where the customers get an array of opportunities to share their views, feedback, personal experiences and also rate the product.

However, the business entrepreneurs and app developers are apprehensive about receiving negative ratings or comments in comparison to the positive experiences. But it is extremely vital to provide a space to your end users for sharing their opinion regarding the app and its functionality.

Yes, it’s completely true that good and positive feedback and compliments from the customers are always inspiring and encourages the developers to do even better. But as everyday is not Sunday, similarly you cannot expect to receive all good things about your app. You also have to deal with negative reviews and face criticism. But that’s part and parcel of the game.

On some days you play well and on some you don’t. Let this be explained through a stat. According to one of the surveys, about 77% respondents agreed that they download the app only after reading its review.

Another interesting fact that came underway through this study was that about people will download a highly rated app of an unknown brand eight times more in comparison to a low rated app of a renowned company.

Therefore, as positive reviews are encouraging boosters for the app developers, similarly the negative reviews can be seen as the learning curve. It is an indication that you have to work harder on improving the app quality and functionality without getting disappointed or unsettled.

You have to take the reviews and ratings utter seriously. The problem is that most of the users do not say a single word and leave the app silently. There is nothing much you can do about it. The negative reviews act as your guide telling you the problematic areas that needs a special focus.

1. Acknowledging That There is a Problem

One of the very first steps to tackle with the negative review is plainly agreeing to the fact that there is a problem. You have to be honest and owe your mistake. That is how you can proceed in the best way.

Communicate constructively with the customers and make them believe that you are there to hear and resolve their problems. This will generate a positive feeling in users that you are addressing their issues. Your first job in hand is to calm down the stress-laden customer.

2. Approach With an Apologetic Mindset

It’s a nice thing to owe your fault and you know the next step that follows it; yes, approach your user with a sincere apology. A simple Sorry could prove effective and mend the relation with the reviewer.

Convey the message that you regret for causing such an inconvenience or frustration. However, do not apologize right for the feelings or thoughts of the customer. This shows an unprofessional attitude.

3. Never Get Offended or Take it Personally

It’s quite obvious to get a gut feeling on receiving a negative feedback from anyone be it a mobile app or anything else. May be the customer has written the review or given a comment outrageously and is being rude to you, but you should never express the same feelings towards them.

Do not take it on a personal note that someone has insulted you and get offended over it. Instead you need to deal with the negative comment in a calm and cool method. Don’t show any unnecessary reaction that will spoil the brand image of your mobile app.

Never target any reviewer on a personal note to make the situation from bad to worst. Your task is to find out the root cause of the problem, which led to such a situation.

4. Don’t Indulge in Unnecessary Arguments or Trolls

Well, the app owners and developers should be prepared to encounter it as there are people who try to exaggerate the point unnecessarily with the sole intention damaging your brand image.

Well, the possible way out is to steer clear of such trolls and not respond to unwanted comments, which can further ignite the fire more. So, just ignore them and move without getting carried away.

5. Never Go with a Defensive Approach

The general tendency of human beings is going defensive as soon as we come across a negative comment, but this policy won’t work any way in the rapidly changing app development industry.

Playing defensive will only creates an impression that you have failed to understand their viewpoint and this could land you into more troublesome area. This could hamper the relationship with your app user who would never return back yet again. Therefore, you have to respond to the negative comments very carefully and intelligently.

6. Always Solve Problems on a Personal Note

If the customer has a bad user experience, it would be best to solve the problem on a personal note i.e. address their issue outside the app store. You can interact with your customers through various mediums such as online live chat, or reach them out through email.

The conversations should be private with one to one basis. Make your conversation short and to the point.

7. Taking the Support from the Positive Reviews

It’s not that your app has got only negative reviews; there are some positive ones as well. So, you should try to take the advantage from that by copying and pasting it into the description. Once you highlight the positive comments, the users will get impression that your app is reliable and handy.

8. Prompt Response, Quick Fix and Notifying it

When you get to know about an error or a bug in the app, you should go with a prompt response and thank the user for bringing it into your notice. The next step is quickly fixing the bug or the problem area within the shortest possible time.

This will give you less opportunities of receiving the negative response from the customer. Once you fixed the bug and tested the app, you should notify about the same through push notifications. You can request the user to review your app again with a polite approach.

9. Listen Carefully and Patiently

There are two focal points in an effective communication; the first is the speaker and the second is the listener. Learn to become a good and patient listener.

You should first clearly listen to all the problems of the user without any interruption and try to analyze which part of app is creating the trouble. It helps in finding the issues quickly and fixing it in apt time.

10. Working Out on Suggestions by Customers

Even the negative reviews are constructive. This means that there are customers who are not just bothered about criticizing the app, but also offer valuable suggestions to improve it.

Well, this should be welcomed. For instance, the user might ask you to add some more features and functionalities into app.

11. Launching a Cost Per Engagement (CPE) Campaign

Well, to tell you the truth that the Launching a Cost Per Engagement (CPE) Campaign could prove to be quite effective to boost your reviews. It is a type of campaign in which you pay only for those users who install your app and send a comment for it. Therefore, you pay for those users who are loyal to your app.

12. Providing the Useful Troubleshooting Tips into Description

It is not possible to develop a perfect app with no issue at all. So, if you take the preventive measure before facing the music from users, it would be noteworthy.

You can always provide the useful and major troubleshooting tips, adding them into description so that the customer can first try to resolve the problem on his own. It should include your full contact details and email address.

13. Extracting the Positives from the Negatives

As said even the negatives have the positive side into it. It is how you look into it. Every customer is valuable and you should thank them for taking out time to write a review for your app.

As said before most of the customers do not even care to comment on app and leave unnoticeably. You should always think that it is a tool using which you are further strengthening the relationship with the customer. In fact, see it as a good learning curve or experience.

14. Setting the Records Straight

Although it has been suggested to remain calm and composed, but if someone is unnecessarily getting into your nerves, it’s time to give them a befitting reply. Nobody has the right to damage your brand image if you come across any false allegation against your app, reply it with cool head providing substantial evidence that is visible to the entire community. Once everything is sorted out, inform everyone that it is on the right track.


This is a universal fact that coming across a negative review is like swallowing a bitter capsule, but it also helps in improving the health. So, you have to take the negative reviews for your app just like that.

Don’t get disheartened but instead draw the positives from it. Try to analyze the problem from the root and think what it makes your user unhappy. Solve the problem in quick time and always welcome the suggestions from the customers. This is how you can actually deal with the negative review of your app successfully.

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Mehul Rajput is a CEO and co-founder of Mindinventory which specializes in Android and iOS app development. He does blogging as hobby and has written a myriad of articles related to mobile technologies, startup, entrepreneur and app development.

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