Under the Radar

Under the Radar 75: Responding to Reviews


00:00:00   welcome to under the radar a show about

00:00:01   independent iOS app development I'm

00:00:03   Marco Arment and I'm David Smith under

00:00:06   the radar it's never longer than 30

00:00:07   minutes so let's get started so we

00:00:10   finally have the ability to respond to

00:00:12   reviews in the App Store yeah waiting

00:00:15   for this for a while we probably thought

00:00:17   it would never come it was announced

00:00:18   what about two months ago or something

00:00:20   like that now we finally have it the way

00:00:22   the implement of this system is actually

00:00:24   pretty good you know it's pretty much

00:00:25   what you would hope it would be in that

00:00:28   when you respond to a review Apple

00:00:31   notifies the user with an email and says

00:00:33   hey the developer responded with this

00:00:35   would you know click here if you'd like

00:00:36   to update your review and the person you

00:00:39   know so it's actually like it's a it's a

00:00:41   pretty nice system all the reviews are

00:00:43   in iTunes Connect you can you can you

00:00:44   know you can browse all the all the

00:00:46   regions and everything so I think they

00:00:49   did a pretty good job with it and now

00:00:51   it's I think the interesting part to

00:00:53   discuss today is now that we have this

00:00:56   system as developers what are the best

00:00:59   ways we can actually use it you know

00:01:00   what should we do what shouldn't we do

00:01:02   what are the risks what's what's worth

00:01:04   doing and I think there's there's a good

00:01:08   approximately 30 minute discussion to be

00:01:09   had there or do you think I think so

00:01:11   yeah

00:01:12   and it's I think I would think I would

00:01:15   absolutely agree with that I'm very glad

00:01:16   they've done this and I think the way

00:01:18   they did it works well that's you know

00:01:22   it's early days still but it seems like

00:01:24   it wasn't one of these things where you

00:01:26   know we finally got what we were asking

00:01:27   for but they did it in a way that was

00:01:28   awkward or cumbersome or annoying for

00:01:30   the most part like the interface and

00:01:32   iTunes Connect so if you just as a in

00:01:35   case your you kind of find this and you

00:01:37   haven't if you go to a particular app

00:01:39   you go to the activity tab and then you

00:01:41   go to ratings interviews which is an

00:01:43   area that has actually always been there

00:01:44   or spin it for a very long time but now

00:01:47   suddenly there's a reply button at the

00:01:49   side of each review as well as a whole

00:01:52   lot of really good filters that you can

00:01:54   apply to it so you can see all your

00:01:55   reviews you can see reviews that you've

00:01:57   responded to reviews that you haven't

00:01:59   responded to reviews that were changed

00:02:01   as a result or after you responded to

00:02:04   them which is also really helpful thing

00:02:06   so you can get a sense of if it's

00:02:07   actually working as well as filtering

00:02:09   you know by different versions of the

00:02:11   app or different you know

00:02:12   how critical they are like if you want

00:02:14   to see all your one-star reviews your

00:02:15   five-star reviews it's really good solid

00:02:18   like it like you would hope interface

00:02:20   and I mean the only slight Neagle I have

00:02:22   about it which is only really applies to

00:02:24   me because I have so many apps is that I

00:02:26   have to go through each app individually

00:02:28   to check on the new reviews rather than

00:02:31   there being a consolidated interface for

00:02:33   it but that's just because I'm strange

00:02:34   and have dozens of apps but otherwise

00:02:37   it's it's a you know overall

00:02:39   mechanically is really nice and they

00:02:41   show up pretty well in the in the App

00:02:42   Store I always kind of wonder how many

00:02:45   people actually read the reviews in the

00:02:47   App Store versus just looking at the

00:02:49   star rating but you know it shows up

00:02:50   that it truncates the review you

00:02:53   responded to like it always does at

00:02:55   about three lines and then below it it

00:02:57   just says like develop a response and

00:02:58   you know your response shows up right

00:03:01   below there and this probably actually

00:03:04   were a little pro tip that I thought of

00:03:06   when I started doing my reviews response

00:03:08   that it makes I think once I thought it

00:03:11   was like oh of course that's where I

00:03:13   should start

00:03:13   because right now you probably have an

00:03:16   app with you know if your fin app of any

00:03:18   volume you have you know maybe a

00:03:19   hundreds of reviews to look at it's like

00:03:21   which one should I start looking at for

00:03:23   responses and I'd the first thing I did

00:03:25   is just opened the App Store go over to

00:03:28   the reviews tab and see which are the

00:03:29   first ones to show up in that list

00:03:31   exactly because that is by far the most

00:03:35   likely reviews that anyone is ever going

00:03:36   to read you know it's very unlikely that

00:03:39   people are going to be paging through

00:03:41   all the way to the bottom of that list

00:03:43   like maybe but that remembers especially

00:03:45   that number one review below your star

00:03:48   rating make sure that there's a good

00:03:51   response to that because often that

00:03:52   Ravech can often also be slightly

00:03:55   critical because I think the sorting of

00:03:58   that list is not chronological I think

00:04:00   it's it's most helpful yeah but it's

00:04:03   kind of vague like I don't I don't think

00:04:04   that's purely based on like the number

00:04:06   of like up votes and down votes and like

00:04:07   the-- was this helpful thing I don't

00:04:09   think it's only that I think there's

00:04:10   other factors it's hard to tell but if

00:04:13   you leave the sorting in iTunes Connect

00:04:15   at the default that it loads up with

00:04:17   it's that sorting so and you can always

00:04:19   you know go on your phone and look at

00:04:20   the app sort of to just verify that

00:04:22   that's still the way it's sorted but

00:04:24   yeah that because like I feel like you

00:04:26   have to

00:04:26   decide as you know as a way to spend

00:04:30   your time and as a way to to take the

00:04:32   risks which we'll talk about of this

00:04:33   system you have to decide like are you

00:04:35   mostly doing it to address that

00:04:38   particular reviewer and to talk to them

00:04:41   directly or are you mostly doing it to

00:04:44   show other people who are reading the

00:04:46   reviews you know your point of view on

00:04:49   it or to correct falsehoods or to appear

00:04:52   to be caring about your customers or

00:04:54   things like that so if you're mostly

00:04:55   responding to reviews like to the public

00:04:58   basically in that in that latter way

00:05:00   rather than to the individual reviewers

00:05:02   then it makes sense to really only spend

00:05:05   your time addressing a few of the top

00:05:08   ones in each region because again as you

00:05:10   said like they're they're probably most

00:05:12   people are not going to be paging

00:05:14   through you know 200 reviews of an app

00:05:16   like that's you know if you're lucky

00:05:17   enough to have that many it it's it's

00:05:20   gonna be the top handful at most and

00:05:23   after that it's severely diminishing

00:05:25   returns so it doesn't make sense to

00:05:28   spend a ton of time responding to every

00:05:31   single review from you know the last

00:05:33   four years or whatever because most

00:05:36   people are never gonna see that yeah and

00:05:38   I think - it's my the perspective that I

00:05:40   take with these things is that these are

00:05:43   marketing statements first and foremost

00:05:45   they can be helpful to the person that

00:05:49   I'm responding to but because this is a

00:05:52   public facing this is text that is

00:05:56   public facing that is on least on the

00:05:58   app store page for my app which is like

00:06:01   where I put all of my other marketing

00:06:02   copy like it is important that I that

00:06:04   these are written in such a way that

00:06:06   they are you know useful and helpful to

00:06:10   anybody who's trying to think about if

00:06:12   they want to download my app and so

00:06:14   which essentially becomes marketing and

00:06:16   you can still you know write them to the

00:06:18   person you just not like this has to be

00:06:20   some kind of stilted a PR speak type of

00:06:23   response but it's in the back of your

00:06:26   mind when you're writing these reviews

00:06:27   it's you know how would I write this I'm

00:06:30   less writing this to this one person and

00:06:33   then I am to the hopefully hundreds or

00:06:36   thousands of people who might read this

00:06:37   when they're browsing the city of the

00:06:39   app

00:06:40   because the strange thing with reviews

00:06:41   is they're very like point in time you

00:06:44   know someone the Kino came you know it's

00:06:47   a say that you have the classic kind of

00:06:49   like the one star it's like I hated this

00:06:52   app it was always useless I deleted it

00:06:55   right away and they leave that as a

00:06:56   review well that user is unlikely to

00:06:59   come back they've deleted the app like

00:07:01   you're kind of done with them you can

00:07:04   still usefully write a response to that

00:07:06   where you might show interest in terms

00:07:08   of saying I'm so sorry you had a bad

00:07:10   experience if you have any problem if

00:07:12   you have specific concerns or complaints

00:07:13   you know by all means email me here's my

00:07:16   support address or something like that

00:07:18   which is a marketing message that I'm

00:07:21   engaged I'm interested I care about my

00:07:23   users even if this one person had a bad

00:07:25   experience which can be useful or

00:07:27   someone who you know I wish it did X it

00:07:30   doesn't one star and you can respond to

00:07:32   the person say hey actually it does or

00:07:34   that's great that's a great suggestion

00:07:35   we'll see if we can work that into a

00:07:37   future update maybe but whatever that is

00:07:39   you're writing these with the

00:07:41   expectation of you know someone is

00:07:43   opening the App Store they're going to

00:07:45   reviews they're reading these reviews

00:07:46   especially if they're reading a negative

00:07:48   review it's having a slight counterpoint

00:07:51   that's right below it something that

00:07:52   they can at least see a response to so

00:07:55   it doesn't just stand there on its own

00:07:57   as as a negative message in deciding

00:08:01   which ones to respond to I've seen a lot

00:08:04   of developers talk about you know on

00:08:06   Twitter or on different podcasts I've

00:08:08   seen a lot of people mention like the

00:08:09   idea of well I don't want to like set

00:08:11   the wrong expectations of my customers

00:08:13   or like train people to expect certain

00:08:15   things will always get responses or

00:08:17   won't always get responses or whatever

00:08:19   else or you know one thing you think

00:08:20   about is like if you respond to every

00:08:23   review that might create an incentive

00:08:25   for people to one-star review you to

00:08:27   just get it get your attention

00:08:28   and because they know you're listening I

00:08:30   think this these are all wonderful

00:08:32   concepts but I think in reality this is

00:08:35   out of our control because the reality

00:08:37   is whatever standards that people will

00:08:40   expect whatever whether people will will

00:08:43   expect reviews or will expect responses

00:08:45   to their reviews or not whether they

00:08:47   will you know think that that reviewing

00:08:50   your app or especially one star on your

00:08:52   app will get your attention

00:08:54   that will be decided globally like among

00:08:57   the entire app store and just the people

00:09:00   using it like their thoughts and you

00:09:02   know the kind of norms and culture that

00:09:04   comes around that whatever you do with

00:09:07   your individual app is not going to

00:09:08   affect that at all like it like whatever

00:09:10   people will come to expect with whether

00:09:13   they get responses or not and whether

00:09:14   it's worth one starring and yelling at

00:09:16   people or not that that's out of our

00:09:18   hands that's being decided it's already

00:09:20   been decided like it's that that battle

00:09:23   is over people already we're using

00:09:25   reviews you know angry one-star reviews

00:09:27   to try to get our attention they already

00:09:29   do the thing right they hold the star

00:09:30   hostage and can leave it if you're lucky

00:09:32   if they only hold one star hostage like

00:09:34   you know that's that's out of our hands

00:09:37   and so whether whether or not you

00:09:39   respond to your reviews or how many of

00:09:42   your reviews you respond to has nothing

00:09:45   to do with what your customers expect

00:09:46   from you and you are not setting their

00:09:49   expectations or setting their incentives

00:09:50   the entire app store is so you you

00:09:53   should probably just go along with what

00:09:55   people will expect to happen regardless

00:09:58   of what that is yeah and I think too

00:10:00   it's also important to keep in mind how

00:10:04   small a proportion of your user base you

00:10:08   were talking about here yeah like it is

00:10:11   easy I think we can this is a part of

00:10:13   why when I say like I think this is

00:10:15   first and foremost a marketing thing and

00:10:17   why I was really hopeful that one day we

00:10:19   would be able to respond to reviews is a

00:10:21   very small percentage of your users can

00:10:24   have a disproportionate impact on your

00:10:28   appearance in the app store you know in

00:10:31   terms of I I have actually looked at

00:10:34   what the numbers are but I imagine it's

00:10:35   you know at least hundreds if not

00:10:38   thousands to one for people who actually

00:10:41   leave a review in the App Store and

00:10:42   amongst those the vast majority leave

00:10:46   just star ratings rather than words

00:10:49   so you're ending up with you know a

00:10:51   fraction of a percentage probably of

00:10:53   your users that are leaving these

00:10:55   leaving these written reviews that get

00:10:57   responses and you know the vast majority

00:11:00   of my support like my actual customer

00:11:02   support is going to come through the

00:11:05   support links and things within the apps

00:11:07   itself

00:11:07   they're not going to be coming through

00:11:09   the app store and it's like my goal is

00:11:10   in a weird way with the fees it's like

00:11:14   they're it's like it's it's damage

00:11:15   control in some ways because if someone

00:11:17   writes a glowing review five stars this

00:11:19   is awesome like there's nothing really

00:11:20   for me to do and like at throwing in it

00:11:22   like thinks that's awesome like that

00:11:25   feels a little weird and like empty if

00:11:28   there's a five-star review that has a

00:11:29   question in it answering the question

00:11:31   maybe make sense you know but mostly

00:11:33   what this is it's a tool for me to clear

00:11:35   up misunderstandings or clear up issues

00:11:39   where you know somebody is just saying

00:11:43   something that's untrue or you know like

00:11:45   they're missing the point or they didn't

00:11:46   find the feature like it's a way for me

00:11:48   to communicate not to that person I mean

00:11:50   I want to tell that person but like

00:11:52   that's one person out of you know out of

00:11:54   thousands that I can hopefully help

00:11:56   which is you know nice but it's not

00:11:58   nearly as impactful as the you know

00:12:01   hopefully hundreds or thousands of

00:12:02   people who will come to your app store

00:12:04   page and you can communicate to them

00:12:05   whatever that message is and so don't

00:12:08   get too stuck either on like the you

00:12:12   know it's like training this individual

00:12:14   person like it's such a small proportion

00:12:16   of your actual users that it probably

00:12:19   matters less there you know and if

00:12:20   anything it's like if you want to train

00:12:22   your users to get in contact with you

00:12:24   and they have problems or wherever that

00:12:25   is it's like be responsive to your email

00:12:27   I suppose like and make that a place

00:12:30   that people can feel like they can vent

00:12:31   their you know their unease or problems

00:12:35   they have in the app but like yeah don't

00:12:37   wouldn't get too wrapped around the axle

00:12:38   about like oh it's like it's you know

00:12:40   trying to be clever about this it's like

00:12:42   no just look at your reviews and see

00:12:44   which ones you can add value to in

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00:14:49   this show and everything i host on the

00:14:51   internet so I think it probably makes

00:14:54   sense now to dive into just a little bit

00:14:56   of the kind of what are the good 1 good

00:14:58   reviews to respond to and we sure you

00:15:01   know ones that we should just let be and

00:15:04   like the first ones that come to mind on

00:15:05   the let it go side of things is being

00:15:09   very careful to get sucked into like I

00:15:14   don't know like snarkiness or people who

00:15:17   are just like there's sometimes you just

00:15:18   people just like writing reviews that

00:15:20   are mean or angry or aren't really on

00:15:24   topic and in general it's like as with

00:15:28   most things on the internet like arguing

00:15:29   with people on the internet is never

00:15:32   really a good idea and so whenever I see

00:15:34   these kind of

00:15:35   it's probably best to be like you know

00:15:36   there's not much that I could gain from

00:15:39   diving into this like maybe if it was

00:15:42   the number one like if it showed up at

00:15:43   the test the top review in the App Store

00:15:45   it might be something that would be

00:15:47   worthwhile trying to kind of you know at

00:15:49   least show an engagement there but you

00:15:52   know trying to go back and forth with

00:15:54   somebody who clearly is just kind of mad

00:15:57   and was using this review as a way to

00:15:59   vent that is unlikely to be productive

00:16:04   whereas probably good reviews to talk

00:16:06   about are ones where there's a clear

00:16:09   misunderstanding your question and like

00:16:11   as I've been kind of browsing a little

00:16:12   bit in these these are the areas that I

00:16:15   think are the best opportunities for us

00:16:17   that you know it's it when you look at a

00:16:19   review and someone is saying you know

00:16:22   it's like I mean in some ways it's like

00:16:24   the old hostage star situation where

00:16:26   someone's like oh man so forced our app

00:16:28   it'd be five-star if it did X and if it

00:16:30   actually does do X like if it's just

00:16:32   like oh sorry that was so sorry the UI

00:16:34   mid you know didn't help you find the

00:16:36   feature if you go to the third tab or

00:16:39   you go into settings you can in turn

00:16:40   that on that's a great example of a

00:16:43   place that you can you know as from a

00:16:45   marketing perspective that's useful

00:16:46   because if someone was gonna say oh I

00:16:48   was I like this app but according to

00:16:50   this review it doesn't actually you know

00:16:52   do this kind of feature and at O the

00:16:54   developer says it does great like that's

00:16:57   or even probably more over it would be

00:16:59   you know because these do I think

00:17:01   they're written reviews stick around

00:17:03   beyond multiple versions I think I don't

00:17:07   know it's and that could obviously

00:17:10   change over time but right now I'm

00:17:11   pretty sure I think they don't actually

00:17:13   unless they're edited maybe but I'm not

00:17:14   positive on that yeah but it's also

00:17:16   worth clearing up to if you if someone

00:17:18   had a problem that was then fixed in a

00:17:20   subsequent release in general just

00:17:22   saying that is probably a helpful thing

00:17:25   yeah because you know in it is a funny

00:17:29   thing because you you just want to find

00:17:30   these places where you can have these

00:17:32   positive engagements I don't think I

00:17:35   mean I don't know what you think about

00:17:36   this but like there's a lot of you know

00:17:39   I remember people were asking initially

00:17:40   or talking about it of should we respond

00:17:42   to every review you know should each

00:17:45   review have a response below it any geez

00:17:47   that's a simple answer no

00:17:49   that's really a lot of times those

00:17:51   responses are just end up being like

00:17:52   thank you or good point like that kind

00:17:56   of response I don't think is actually

00:17:58   productive that I think it just kind of

00:18:00   it's distracting probably I mean maybe

00:18:03   I'm wrong maybe people love you know

00:18:05   we'd love to see all these little like

00:18:06   you know someone says something nice

00:18:08   about you and you say thank you

00:18:09   like I guess that's polite that's the

00:18:11   polite thing to do is to say thank you

00:18:13   and someone says something nice about

00:18:14   you but it seems counterproductive in a

00:18:18   lot of ways I mean the main benefit in a

00:18:20   weird way like and this is just the way

00:18:22   my mind works I suppose is by doing that

00:18:24   you aren't increasing the amount of

00:18:27   space on the screen that the positive

00:18:30   review took up so it emphasizes it

00:18:34   slightly like if someone has a five-star

00:18:37   review that's but like I just I one of

00:18:40   the one of the issues is that you that

00:18:41   we have here is that again what I said

00:18:44   earlier like whatever most apps do or

00:18:47   the most popular apps do is gonna be

00:18:49   what people assume and expect I think

00:18:52   one of the big problems is that most

00:18:53   apps that most people actually use are

00:18:55   made by big companies and the big

00:18:57   companies are either going to not

00:18:59   respond or they're gonna they're gonna

00:19:01   have somebody whose job it is to

00:19:02   basically be a can respond similar to

00:19:04   like if you if you add mention on

00:19:06   Twitter like some big brand like Comcast

00:19:08   or whatever then they're gonna have some

00:19:10   intern whose job it is to try to placate

00:19:13   you with a canned response and we're

00:19:16   gonna have that on the App Store reviews

00:19:17   too and so if people get used to that

00:19:20   anything you say in it just in like a

00:19:23   general response to a positive one

00:19:25   they're going to assume is not genuine

00:19:28   they're going to assume that this is

00:19:29   just like a form letter that you say to

00:19:31   everybody which it actually might be and

00:19:33   I don't think that looks good to people

00:19:35   you know people see right through that

00:19:37   and and again they're going to be coming

00:19:39   to your app with the assumption that

00:19:40   this is a can response like one of the

00:19:43   one of the reviews that I gave I was

00:19:45   trying to placate somebody who once

00:19:47   starred me and that review showed up

00:19:49   pretty high and they were complaining

00:19:52   about you know just some of the some of

00:19:53   the design changes I did in 3.0 and I it

00:19:56   took me a while I I wrote this response

00:19:59   it took probably 15 minutes to write

00:20:01   even though it's like - it's like two

00:20:02   sentences

00:20:03   that's because you know the famous thing

00:20:04   like I forget my letter for being so

00:20:06   long I would have written a shorter one

00:20:07   but at that time like I started writing

00:20:10   a whole bunch of different ways to

00:20:11   address this and it took me a good 15

00:20:13   minutes to come up with like the two

00:20:15   sentences that I actually thought I

00:20:16   should say here and it was very much it

00:20:19   was like kind of a general statement of

00:20:21   like you know I'm sorry this design

00:20:22   isn't working for you I try to please

00:20:24   many people as I can but you know

00:20:25   sometimes that's not possible something

00:20:26   like that and the guy edited his review

00:20:28   and clearly thought that was a canned

00:20:32   form response even though I had never

00:20:34   written it to anybody else before it

00:20:35   took me 15 minutes to compose those two

00:20:36   sentences he just assumed because it

00:20:39   kind of sounded like he can't response

00:20:41   like I'm you know I'm sorry you know I

00:20:43   couldn't couldn't help you here whatever

00:20:44   else and he probably assumes that any

00:20:48   response that is kind of like that on an

00:20:50   after review is just a canned response

00:20:53   and there's no thought behind it even

00:20:54   though in this case there was tons of

00:20:56   thought behind it and so you always you

00:20:59   have to take that risk to like again

00:21:00   like what what are people going to

00:21:01   expect from the entire app store as a

00:21:03   whole is going to impact the the

00:21:05   assumptions they go into when they when

00:21:08   they see your response and I don't think

00:21:10   a a cyclic hey thanks for reviewing us

00:21:14   like I don't think that is productive I

00:21:17   don't think people want that and I think

00:21:19   if you did that people would not receive

00:21:22   it as well as you might think it might

00:21:23   it might seem like overly eager or

00:21:25   creepy or just kind of desperate and I I

00:21:29   don't think that's a good look

00:21:30   yeah and I think that's probably in

00:21:33   general like I think this is an area

00:21:35   where probably less is more right yeah

00:21:37   it's it's it's it's one of these things

00:21:39   that I think we could easily get carried

00:21:41   away with using and it's like it's time

00:21:44   spent that it's it's I think it's a it's

00:21:48   a wonderful tool for us and there are

00:21:50   areas like especially for those like the

00:21:52   top those top reviews having good goodra

00:21:56   answers for those like it makes a lot of

00:21:57   sense but I think this very easily could

00:21:59   become this rabbit hole of if trying to

00:22:02   squeeze too much out of this feature is

00:22:05   almost certainly going to become a

00:22:07   counterproductive it's going to be

00:22:09   something that is taking time away from

00:22:11   the actual thing that will make your app

00:22:14   a five-star app which is making your app

00:22:16   that

00:22:17   you know the switching you know

00:22:20   convincing one person to give you one

00:22:22   more star is nice but you know making

00:22:26   your app better with a new version that

00:22:28   is going to address the problems that

00:22:31   people are having like that's a much

00:22:33   more robust and sustainable solution

00:22:35   rather than getting into lots of little

00:22:38   hitches with this and I mean especially

00:22:40   it's one of these things that some

00:22:41   people like people are writing reviews

00:22:43   for very different reasons right like it

00:22:46   is something that we don't control and

00:22:49   especially because it's not this venue

00:22:51   where it's you know this nice threaded

00:22:53   conversation like you can say something

00:22:54   and then they can say something and they

00:22:57   know they're doing it by like updating

00:22:59   their review and so you can get these

00:23:00   very disjoint kind of situations if you

00:23:03   go too far down that road so in general

00:23:05   less is more probably and I think the

00:23:08   question of how far back to go like I

00:23:11   heard was on core intuition because

00:23:14   Dana's gelcoat was saying that he was

00:23:15   responding to reviews from like years

00:23:17   ago that just kind of blows my mind it's

00:23:20   like I think in general keeping this

00:23:22   fairly current is something that makes

00:23:24   sense that you know responding to

00:23:26   reviews as they come in makes some some

00:23:30   amount of sense and in this initial

00:23:31   period

00:23:32   you know maybe responding or at least

00:23:34   rereading in deciding if you want to

00:23:36   respond to all the reviews for the

00:23:38   current version seems about reasonable

00:23:40   but beyond that I probably wouldn't go

00:23:42   too much farther back yeah and kind of

00:23:45   expanding a little bit on the on the

00:23:46   less is more angle again you know keep

00:23:48   in mind as you mentioned that that you

00:23:51   know you're posting this response but

00:23:52   then the the user who wrote the review

00:23:54   is prompted and will likely edit the

00:23:58   review and so you have to make sure that

00:24:00   if somebody you know assuming that

00:24:02   you're not going to be keeping on top of

00:24:04   every single response you write to see

00:24:05   if the person edited it and then see if

00:24:07   you need to edit your response and

00:24:08   everything like that's that's not

00:24:09   productive so keep in mind though that

00:24:12   your your response might not make as

00:24:16   much sense if the users review is

00:24:19   heavily edited after you gave the

00:24:20   response and so write the responses with

00:24:23   that in mind so for instance one of the

00:24:26   responses I wrote and I haven't actually

00:24:27   done that many of them honestly but one

00:24:29   of the responses I wrote

00:24:30   was one of the top reviews was asking

00:24:32   about battery life saying the new

00:24:33   version seemed to use more battery life

00:24:35   and so in my response I didn't really

00:24:39   specifically call out like you know

00:24:41   anything in particular about about the

00:24:44   question that was asked it was I gave a

00:24:47   more kind of general response about

00:24:49   battery usage in the app and I said

00:24:51   basically like you know here's the kinds

00:24:53   of things that make any podcast app use

00:24:56   more battery power and you know and you

00:24:58   know here's like playing fast using the

00:25:00   screen brightness and the speaker and

00:25:01   everything else and I like you know I've

00:25:03   tested overcast III test overcast

00:25:05   against other podcast apps and I try to

00:25:07   make sure it's always comparable or

00:25:08   better but if you've if you figure out

00:25:10   anything else please let me know and I'm

00:25:12   always trying to find out you know any

00:25:14   areas I might have missed something like

00:25:16   that right and so and so I gave an

00:25:19   answer that no matter what the review is

00:25:21   edited to that will still basically make

00:25:23   sense as a standalone written piece

00:25:26   there and I think it's important to do

00:25:28   that because again like whatever you

00:25:30   respond to the the user who wrote the

00:25:33   review can then edit the review to say

00:25:35   anything so if you just say like I agree

00:25:38   the person can respond to the reviews

00:25:40   saying this app sucks and they're the

00:25:43   first review saying this app sucks and

00:25:45   then your responses they're saying I

00:25:46   agree like so you have to always make

00:25:48   sure that you are accounting for the

00:25:50   fact that the thing you're responding to

00:25:52   can change at any time to say anything

00:25:54   and make sure the e review still makes

00:25:56   sense in that context yeah it's just

00:26:00   yeah so I mean you the nice thing is an

00:26:02   iTunes Connect you can sign up to get

00:26:04   notifications when users change reviews

00:26:06   that you responded to so at least you

00:26:09   can track that down a little bit and

00:26:11   there's also there's a filter in iTunes

00:26:12   Connect but still like it's definitely

00:26:14   good advice to keep that in mind that

00:26:16   you don't control the other end of this

00:26:18   and this is all in the public you know

00:26:19   it's all public facing not just like on

00:26:21   a public website even it's like right on

00:26:23   your App Store page the last thing that

00:26:26   I wanted to sort of touch on briefly I

00:26:28   think is the mental health aspect of

00:26:31   responding to reviews oh boy

00:26:33   because and this is so it's probably

00:26:36   worth saying that I'd went through and

00:26:38   did a little bit of responding to

00:26:39   reviews but after that initial wave of

00:26:41   just like making sure I understand what

00:26:43   how this process works and what it looks

00:26:45   like I've you know just like I do for my

00:26:48   customer support I've you know outsource

00:26:50   the actual day-to-day operation of

00:26:53   responding to reviews to someone else

00:26:55   you know I have someone else who

00:26:56   responds to my first level customer

00:26:58   support and now I have someone who is

00:26:59   you know a very part-time basis but is

00:27:02   taking you know is responding to the

00:27:04   reviews in the App Store and the main

00:27:06   reason why I do that I mean it's nice

00:27:08   from a you know it's from a time

00:27:10   perspective it frees me up a little bit

00:27:11   and so on but the main reason why I do

00:27:15   that is because I find reading reviews

00:27:19   of my own products can be very

00:27:22   detrimental from a like motivation from

00:27:24   a happiness self-worth like all kinds of

00:27:27   very significant things can happen yes

00:27:29   and this is one of these things what's

00:27:31   so reading one really mean like pointed

00:27:35   review about yourself you know Kumasi as

00:27:38   always is the thing that sticks with you

00:27:39   it's not the thing that you know if

00:27:41   someone writes this glowing five star

00:27:43   review about how much they love the app

00:27:44   like that's nice and it I mean I wish it

00:27:47   stuck with me more but it's almost

00:27:49   always as these you know these mean

00:27:51   intentionally vindictive kind of reviews

00:27:53   that people will write and so that's why

00:27:56   you know for me I decided you know I'm

00:27:58   just in the same way that I haven't

00:27:59   really been reading my App Store reviews

00:28:01   very much over the last few years it's

00:28:03   like I this is not a reason for me to

00:28:05   get back into that game that I remember

00:28:07   what that did you know cognitively to me

00:28:09   and so it's like you know what I will

00:28:12   just pay a little bit of money to have

00:28:13   someone else to do that because for them

00:28:15   it's not personal you know for them it's

00:28:16   not that same thing when they're you

00:28:19   know if someone's attacking the product

00:28:21   that I made when it feels like they're

00:28:24   attacking me whereas you know if someone

00:28:26   else is it precisely more you know

00:28:28   separated from that product you know

00:28:31   it's it's more just a job it's a thing

00:28:32   and like it's a it's a Thomas has a more

00:28:35   of a comedy to it perhaps so it's you

00:28:37   know it softens the blow and so just

00:28:39   something to keep in mind that while

00:28:41   this is a useful tool while this is

00:28:42   something that I'm glad we have you know

00:28:45   be careful and I really speak cognizant

00:28:47   of the impact that it is having on you

00:28:49   and be careful about then how you do

00:28:52   that and when you went in the day you do

00:28:53   that or like how you're feeling

00:28:55   emotionally like this is if the

00:28:56   something that you're doing and you're

00:28:58   feeling really sad or down that day

00:28:59   maybe don't go read your app store

00:29:01   reviews like that's unlikely to make you

00:29:04   feel better yeah I would say that's good

00:29:07   advice in general like in general you

00:29:09   don't need to read reps or reviews very

00:29:11   often or very closely I think it's

00:29:14   important to you know do what we said

00:29:16   earlier like you know view them in the

00:29:17   same way that the public views them so

00:29:19   look at your store page occasionally and

00:29:21   see which ones are on top and see what

00:29:24   your average is and I don't think you

00:29:26   need to go much further than that in

00:29:28   both reading them or responding to them

00:29:30   I have found the same thing that reading

00:29:31   my after reviews is almost never a good

00:29:34   thing for my motivation or my mental

00:29:37   state and so I mostly just don't do it

00:29:39   and I'm very happy not doing it and that

00:29:41   will probably continue so anyway thanks

00:29:44   very much for listening and we'll talk

00:29:45   to you next week bye