Here’s What Companies Can Learn From Bad Reviews

In an ideal scenario, you’d get 5-star reviews all the time, and life would be great. But as we all know, even the most spotless apps get a bad review from time to time. After all, it’s impossible to please everyone. And when a less-than-desirable review finally comes your way, many developers tend to react emotionally.

This is what many companies get wrong. You see, when you get a negative review, it’s not the end of the world, nor is it a personal attack against your character. Rather, it’s a golden opportunity to study it and identify your market’s needs. In turn, this allows you to polish your app even more and reap the rewards later on when people shower you with praise.

Indeed, there are many lessons to be learned from negative reviews. But first of all, you’re going to need to change your mindset about them.

The Art Of Learning From Your Critics

Yes, not every criticism you receive will be justified, nor is the customer always right. But in their hearts and their minds, something irks them. And even if they’re downright nasty in expressing their frustration, they are speaking their truth (as in the way they perceive it).

At this point, it’s your job to judge whether the criticism is only a mirror of their frustration, they are merely projecting onto the app, or there is some merit to their words. If you can’t see the correlation, chances are this has nothing to do with you, and they are only looking for an outlet to vent their frustration. There is a clear distinction here; in the former scenario, they are likely to be biased, while in the latter, their criticism addresses something you can improve upon.

How To Respond

Before you can move to upgrade your app, it’s time to respond. This is because:

A) You tell your side of the story.

B) It shows the users that you are willing to listen and care about finding a solution to their pain points.

Whether the review was written politely or not, your response should display empathy, even if you feel the blood boiling in your veins. At the same time, the message should be personalized (rather than generic) and designed to address their concerns. If you do this right, chances are the critic will realize there is a human face behind it and change their tone. Perhaps they may even be willing to revoke the review and give you a better, more deserving one.

Why You Should Display Your Human Side

No one wants to be dealing with a faceless corporate entity. Remember that people prefer human interactions in which they can be heard and understood. In other words, they want to be dealing with someone who cares, someone who is willing to display a fair amount of effort with the intent of doing things right.

Titles and fancy words may get you the authority, but they – just by themselves – don’t show humility. When you say that you’re going to address concern X, you should make a conscious effort to move in that direction. Otherwise, you will keep on getting the same kind of negative response as time goes on. In the end, actions speak louder than words, and app development is no different in this regard.

Researching Your Competitor’s Reviews

Now that you know the power of analyzing bad reviews, why not take it up a notch and check out what people criticize your competitor’s apps for? This way, you get to gather all the information you need for improving your apps without getting any flak. However, do keep in mind this is bound to take some time on your end. The good news is that you can outsource it.

If you’re going to go through the trouble yourself, don’t forget the benefits of using a VPN for PC when browsing the app marketplace, for example, in order to change your IP address. The reason being is that, on some occasions, the algorithm will check your IP to determine your location based on which to show the search results. Most algorithms are programmed to assign more relevance to reviews coming from your local area and push them to the top.

Either way, researching your competitor’s reviews will also give you a good idea of what direction to take development-wise. In other words, your app may have some deficiencies you haven’t even thought of yet, and none of the competitor’s apps have addressed them either. By going through these reviews, analyzing them, and implementing what you’ve learned, you could propel yourself way above your competition.


No matter what you do, you will encounter a negative review at some point in your entrepreneurial career. But with the correct mindset and a suitable response strategy, you can use them to strengthen your apps and make them better than ever before.