Customer reviews of your iPhone and iPad apps are major factors in the success and discoverability of your app. Since 2013 Apple has been using customer ratings as a major factor in the Top app list algorithm in addition to number of downloads. Having an overall positive app rating is one of the Top 3 ways for your app to rank higher in Apple’s charts that are so important to success.
Customer reviews and ratings are also key factors that you can use to develop the feature roadmap for your app. If your customers are asking for a PDF export in the reviews you should seriously consider adding this to your app.
Reviews of your competitors’ apps also expose their weaknesses and strengths and provide you key information in how to position your app in the market and factor in your competitive analysis.
How do you keep informed of what customers are saying about your app? You can check the App Store daily or use 3rd party services like App Annie or you can use a little known RSS feed service that Apple offers.
Here an example URL that you can use in your favorite RSS reader - https://itunes.apple.com/us/rss/customerreviews/id=472562248/xml
This link will retrieve reviews from the US App Store for the app with ID 472562248 and return the data in XML format. You can replace the US value with country code that you are looking for, replace the app ID with your own app ID, and interchange the xml value with json if you’d prefer the data in a JSON format.
Now you can use your favorite RSS reader to get notified almost immediately when a new review is posted. Here’s a helpful IFTTT recipe to send your RSS feed right to your Evernote notebook - our personal preference.
If you get a positive review make sure to reinforce that capability and if you get a negative review do whatever you can to resolve it since reviews are so important to your app’s success.
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