Bad app reviews can be funny–when they’re not about your app. Unfortunately, when they do apply to your app, it’s like a dagger to the heart. Reviewers can be pretty vicious.

But, with some simple analytics hacks, many of these bad app reviews could have been foiled.

Here goes everything: seven cases where a bad app review could have easily been prevented with a little TLC and smart product analytics.

“…it shows for about 2 seconds and then crashes”

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Just two seconds in, and already a crash? This is not going to bode well on your app’s churn rate. Especially if this crash is happening more frequently on one screen over others (particularly if it’s the primary screen/feature of the app), there is a fundamental problem here. A crash can quickly send users into a frenzy–and for major apps, one crash can be catastrophic.

Crash videos to the rescue.

By implementing crash recordings into your analytics strategy you can obtain eye-opening and time-saving information for understanding where, when, and why crashes are happening. Being able to see the crashes happen before your eyes, and syncing them with the crash report, makes any crash issue a cinch to solve before it grows into the catastrophe that no one wants.

“Developer should put all text in BLACK”

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Just “meh”. Quite a low blow, since essentially the user was unimpressed and probably won’t be returning any time soon. The fact that this user made the effort to write a review means that there are probably 100 users just like her/him who aren’t voicing their opinions. And if the light brown text and small font is hard to read, then the app is also going to be difficult to navigate, which will result in user frustration and lower retention rates.

Exhibit A: Touch Heatmaps

Touch heatmaps show the touch concentration levels within the app–from red being high concentration of users tapping, swiping, or pinching, to blue being low concentration of touch points. With this tool, you can monitor the users’ gesture journey and identify any UX dilemmas that arise out of the current UI design. With touch heatmaps you’re able to see where users are struggling. Maybe in the case of a faulty UI element, they’re tapping on a “seemingly real” button and end up repeating steps or circling back and forth because they don’t know where to go/can’t read the typeface.

“I’ve asked it to reset my password 3 times”

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For users who want to personalize their app accounts: the moment they’re not able to do so is when they start ripping out their hair. Especially when it comes to a big time mCommerce app, personal detail updating should be a breeze.

But without user session recordings, you wouldn’t know that this user wasn’t able to enter his pet’s birthdate because of a bug. Or that he asked to reset his password three times without any request being registered.

If a user wants to reset a password, it should not be akin to rocket science. But if anything, user recordings turn this “rocket science” into aerospace for dummies. Utilizing user recordings to monitor the login screen permits you to see your users’ interaction–what steps they’re repeating, where they’re not succeeding to go down a particular path, and why they’re struggling.

“Freezes constantly”

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The Big Freeze! If happening regularly to your users, any freezing or ANRs are going to wreak havoc on your app, with the ultimate of ultimates happening: users might install at astonishing rates.

Enter the magic of user session recordings that track ANRs. By accessing session recordings that specifically track ANRs, you can visualize the freeze and understand where it happened in the user’s journey. Or, maybe a certain gesture is causing a particular screen to freeze more than others.

App not responding? You’ll know this because a user is tapping and tapping and tapping, and nothing is happening, ergo unresponsive gestures.

“The ads are so intrusive…”

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Commercials, ads, and infomercials are sometimes a pain in the a**! Especially since they seem to have a habit of appearing at the exact moment that we don’t want to see them. Ads can come in all shapes and sizes too: offensive ads, abusive ads, technically flawed ads, or low quality ads, the gang’s all here.

And yet, this issue could have been avoided had session recordings been in the picture. You could quickly and easily watch user behavior and how they interact with ads. For example, perhaps a certain interstitial ad appears and immediately afterward the user abandons the session. Or maybe ads are misleading and trapping users in a situation that they don’t want to be in, i.e. they just want to be in the app and not be bothered with anything else! This case study on 365Scores is a prime example of how a company was able to monitor their ads with session recordings.

“I’m unable to login”

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Especially problematic for any financial apps, if your users are unable to login to check their accounts, there’s going to be a firestorm. And if a new user isn’t able to login, you can guarantee higher churn rates.

Tracking navigation paths with user session recordings is your ticket.

For example, by specifying the path that you want to analyze you can drill down to sessions that showed a navigation of Login > Popup > Login Error > Login, and watch recordings of this path as well. This tactic will allow you to assess more users and the effect that this navigation path had on them.

“Lots of bugs”

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Bugs can make quite a home for themselves in your app, causing all sorts of detriment. And in the case of this review, updates can be pretty buggy which don’t result in happy users. For a newspaper app, people are entering the app for a quick news source–often on their morning commute, or to kill time before a meeting. If the app is buggy (and not just once but many times), the user is going to seek other newspaper apps for their on-the-go news.

Who you gonna call? Session recordings.

Jump straight into bug detection mode and squash, squash, squash when you have these visual recordings by your side. With this tool, it’s much easier to identify these bugs and increase retention. Why? Because you can be proactive when a new version is released, utilizing this tool to visualize and resolve bugs before they affect more users.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”

Benjamin Franklin

While you may not be able to avert all negative reviews of your app, you can at least seriously diminish the amount with a qualitative analytics tool. Session recordings give that “Aha!” moment as you see exactly how your users are behaving and the challenges they’re encountering, while Touch Heatmaps provide spot-on insight on gestures (and unresponsive ones too) and any UI issues.

Improve your app and your app’s reviews!