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People Versus Developer: How to Improve User Rating of Applications?

You created an app, uploaded it to the store and you are waiting expectantly how people will react? In a time when users of the App Store and Google Play can choose among hundreds of thousands of applications, your ability to attract their attention and persuade them to download is critical. Apart from an interesting idea, precise execution and popularity of the product or service, there are seemingly little things that make a huge difference, such as user ratings. Let’s see on two real examples, how to improve the rating of an application and subsequently give it some competitive edge.

The key to success are two easy user-centric techniques: communication with unsatisfied customers and support of the happy ones.

1. Communication with unsatisfied ones

A condition for better rating of every application is active communication with users. If you get a rating that does not correspond to your expectations, it is important to reply to the user on the spot. You can divide the reactions into application bugs, remarks and improvements, internet trolls and so on. :) 

In the case of trolls, you have no chance, but by replying, you send a message to the other users that your app has an active support.

In the case of application bugs, it is suitable to communicate the detection of the bug and the progress on its removal. If you fix the bug and you inform the user about it, in many cases, they are willing to modify the rating. This personal customer approach also spikes loyalty.. 

In case of remarks and suggestions for improvement, evaluate their real benefit and in case you decide to incorporate them, it is again very important to communicate their implementation in the stores.

 2. Support of happy ones

Unfortunately, the Pareto rule applies here as well: a small number of unsatisfied customers causes a huge number of negative ratings and significantly influences the rating of the app for the worse.

Since unsatisfied users are usually much more likely to express, we need to do something to get the happy ones to leave a rating. A great approach is to display a rating dialogue at a time when the user has a good feeling about the application - for example after finishing a purchase where there was no issue or in other conversion activity.

But let’s see the real data!

Carolina app rating

Carolina is a smart application that saves time and money to drivers. It is a tool for managing tasks, a manual and a motor journal all at the same time. We released this app for Cebia for the first time in November 2017 and since then we have been continuously making improvements.

From the chart below, you can see that after the release, the application did not get very many reviews in Google Play and those it got were not very favourable. In March 2018, we have decided, upon agreement with the client, to divide and conquer: the client took responsibility for the communication with users, we took responsibility for the setup of the rate dialogue. After the May release, it took a while before users met the conditions to have it displayed, but in July, the ratings started to increase rapidly.

rating of the Carolina application in store

Since then, the app receives a lot more ratings and they are mostly positive: we are really satisfied with the current rating 4.6 in more than 1200 reviews. The complete modification for both platforms has cost about 50 000 CZK and I dare say that its benefit is incomparable to, for example, a several day advertising campaign for support in Google Play.

Tapito app rating

We applied the same strategy in the case of smart aggregator of news Tapito that is used by thousands of users. It enables comfortable reading of articles from the whole Czech internet at one spot and adjusts the content based on the individual user preferences.

Here as well, we have selected the above described approach and we have obtained similar results: from the chart below, you can see that the number of reviews has decreased in the given month, but after the initiation of an evaluation dialogue in April 2017, there has been a significant improvement of user reviews.

rating of the Tapito application in store


From the examples listed, it is clear that by releasing the application, it is not over, it is just the beginning and not even a job well done is a guarantee for success among the users. Using the here mentioned techniques, you can influence the overall rating of the app and help it succeed in the highly competitive environment of online stores.

Marek Přibáň
Marek Přibáň
Project Manager Team LeadMarek is the leader of our project managers. Apart from IT projects, he loves his motorbike. He ensures his team members are fine and all the project delivered in time, for good price and in Ackee quality.

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