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What is the email sent from responding to user reviews in the Windows Phone store?

Some time ago Microsoft announced that all app publishers to the Windows Phone Store had the ability the respond to users reviews of their apps. Many publishers have taken advantage of this functionality and many have not. Responding to reviews is simple. All you need to do is log into DevCenter, check out the reviews of your app(s) and respond to any that you wish.


You can respond to negative reviews or positive reviews. I like to respond to any user that has rated my app three stars or less. I want to know why a user thinks the app is only a 1-3 star app and ask how they think I can improve the app. If they provided a reason for the 1-3 star rating I’ll try to clarify any confusion there may be.I also like to respond to any user asking for a particular piece of functionality. I will tell the user that what they are asing for is either in progress, will be worked on next, or will be taken into account for future work.

One thing I kept on wondering was: “How is my feedback being delivered to the user?” Some users would reply to me and some users would not. Some users would reply within a couple of days and some would take weeks. To test this out I reviewed one of my apps with my normal Microsoft ID (my publisher Microsoft ID is different from my day to day ID).


When the review came into DevCenter I quickly replied.


I hit send and within a couple of minutes I had a new email from Microsoft!


I was amazed. The email was sent immediately. I was thinking that maybe it would go out the next day (I had replied to the review around 9pm) or maybe within a couple of days. I was surprised when the response came immediately. I was mostly surprised due to lack of responses from users. It took days to get a response from users (if they replied at all).

The email that users receive contains your support email address from DevCenter so there no need to put this into your response. This hasn’t stopped me from always including my support email anyways. I want users to know that I want them to contact me. The email also encourages users to change their response. This is pretty cool if you are responding to a user that rated your app poorly. They can also flag you, the developer, as abusing this form of feedback. We have seen cases were publishers were flagged by a user when they probably should not have been. This could have been confusion on the part of the user or the developer. Make sure that what you respond is not a canned response. Try to put some thought into it.

Check out the power of responding to user reviews.

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