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Building a Product: Customer Support

sensen profile image sensen Updated on ・4 min read

Bad reviews affect your app's ranking and discoverability in the distribution channel. It can be frustrating when your app is receiving such reviews.

One of the lessons I learn from releasing Typing Hero to public over a year ago is how to turn bad review to five stars review. Is that even possible?

It depends!

Bad reviews are usually given by reviewer to express themselves. Of all bad reviews given for Typing Hero, I learned that users are expressing one of the following:

  • Frustration
  • Accusation
  • Principle
  • Power

If users are expressing frustration or accusation, it is still possible to get five stars review from them. If users are expressing the latter, I find it a waste of time to even try, unless you focus your effort on explaining your principle for others to understand.

So, how does one turn bad review to five stars review? Customer Support!

What is Customer Support?

In context of technology product; an app in this case, customer support is termed technical support. Technical support provides help regarding specific problems with a product or service, and maybe delivered over by phone or internet.

Customer support is considered as one of the main data channels for customer satisfaction research and a way to increase customer retention.

Dealing with reviews

I always respond to every review, doesn't matter if it's the perfect five stars review, or the horrific one star review. Some might find responding to each review as too much, but I personally find that it's the only way to show that the team who build the product care about the product and the users. I believe Customer support is a very critical aspect of a product, but often underrated and disconnected from the team developing the product itself.

Bad review examples


Frustration #1

Frustration #2

One user is frustrated because Typing Hero stops working a couple of days later. Another is frustrated because Typing Hero never works!


Accusation #1

Accusation #2

Typing Hero is accused of containing adware and slowing down user's device. How might you respond differently?


Principle #1

Principle #2

Users believe Typing Hero should not request internet permission due to its capability of reading what is typed on the device.

Don't get me wrong, this is a very fair concern. But I stand my ground for all the reasons I wrote in the reply for that review.


Power #1

Power #2

Users asking for translation and new functionality.

As you can see from the examples above, I'm not able to turn those reviews into five stars. That's sad, but at least I showed that I really tried to reach out to them, either to explain, stand my ground, or resolving their issues.

Bad to five stars reviews

The following are some bad reviews that were changed to five stars after making them understand what the issue is, and helping them resolve the issue.

Five Stars #1

Five Stars #2

Five Stars #3

Five Stars #4

Five Stars #5

Five Stars #6

Five Stars #7

Five Stars #8

Five Stars #9

Five Stars #10

Five Stars #11

Lesson Learned

Bad reviews are calls for help from users. They could be a golden ticket to five stars review. The chance of getting five stars review from those who give bad review is higher than from those who don't rate or review at all.

Whatever stage your product is, always prioritize supporting your customer over working on new features. Help yourself by keeping your customer continue using the product you build.

As a company, consider making Customer Support part of the team designing and building the product. If Customer Support team is integrated with those teams, they will have the same in-depth knowledge of the product. Such knowledge will empower them answering questions from frustrated users with on point responses.

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