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Apple made it likelier you'll get an App Store review reply

They can assign staff to a new "Customer Service" category on iTunes Connect.
Steve Dent, @stevetdent
July 18, 2017
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Most App Store users don't leave negative ratings to be jerks -- rather, they may have just had trouble figuring out an app or felt it was missing a key feature. If the developers spot the issue and can deal with it, they can turn a bad user score into a good one and educate other customers at the same time. To help, Apple has made it easier for developers by adding a new role in the iTunes Connect portal called "Customer Service."

Up until March 2017 with iOS 10.3 and MacOS 10.12.4, Apple developers couldn't reply at all to user reviews, even though Google Play devs had the ability starting in 2012. That put Apple sellers at a significant disadvantage, as it couldn't follow up with complaints or, conversely, thank users for good reviews -- two key parts of customer service.

The ability to respond to reviews was a welcome change, but Apple's early implementation meant that developers had to assign customer service agents admin, legal or marketing status. That could give lower-level employees access to sensitive parts of the App Store, which is not ideal for security purposes.

Now, devs can get their best customer service people on the App Store, both on iOS and MacOS. It's a bigger deal than it sounds -- Google found that replying to reviews helps boost scores by 0.7 stars on average, a 14 percent improvement.

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