You have a huge advantage when you are a small business, in building rapport with your customers. Although we’re not that small a start-up right now, we answer and engage with each and every user that reaches out to us.
No ''plea'' goes unanswered!
I have to reply to about 650 reviews a month, just as many e-mails, and about 200 messages on social media. It takes a huge chunk of my time. Sometimes I can spend 30 minutes answering just one e-mail. At first, it was draining my energy, but I knew for a fact that it would help in the long run. 90% of developers don’t reply to their users' comments on Google Play. We do and that has helped us spread the word faster and get a small ‘’competitive edge’’.
One day we implemented an in-app modal asking user for a review after they had completed some key actions, like saving 5 ideas and making a stash. It worked like a charm! We got a huge increase in the numbers, from 250 in the first month to 650 in March and 90% of them have been positive.
Then it just took off:
More reviews - growth in rankings
Better rankings - more downloads
More downloads - more reviews
And so on.
What was the biggest win? We get a month’s worth of feedback in just one week. Our download to rating ratio is, in most cases, double other competing apps. Don’t get me wrong, we peaked at 4k installs a day and that is very, very nice. But right now, just as important (if not more so) is understanding the users and fitting into the right market. Every time we add a new release in the stores, at least one feature suggested by people in the reviews rolls out with it. We like to think that Deepstash is our user’s project too.
All this gave us the idea of changing the onboarding process, based on what the reviews and e-mails said about Deepstash. And guess what.... we got an instant increase in user retention! More on that next time. :-)
One last thing: we used almost the same words as our users to make the copy for our digital campaigns (Adwords and Facebook). They completely destroyed the older ads. On Google, we got a 20% increase in CTR and on Facebook the CPA dropped from 0.38 to 0.11. How good is that?
Prioritize your brand's relationship with your customers.
It really works!