MarTech Interview with Anatoly Sharifulin, CEO at AppFollow

Anatoly Sharifulin, CEO at AppFollow shares a few best practices that can help B2B teams boost their online review management process:

 

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Welcome to this 2022 MarTech Series chat, Anatoly, tell us more about yourself and the AppFollow platform, what inspired this?

Thanks for having me, Paroma!

I am the CEO of AppFollow, and have focused my career on mobile app development and promotion, ASO and competitive app analysis since 2009. In 2014, I founded AppFollow with the goal of helping businesses build better products. While that sounds like an overarching goal, we help businesses accomplish that by helping app developers become more productive, and enabling mobile app marketers to better gather and respond to user feedback as they look to improve their apps.

Today, AppFollow offers our customers a robust review insights platform, helping derive business insights from user feedback throughout the entirety of the app lifecycle. By understanding what users are saying, and using those insights to compare their mobile app performance and experience to their competitors, we are empowering mobile app product teams to achieve several key outcomes. Namely, we want to help businesses respond to feedback in a timely manner, build products that their users love and want to keep using, and optimize performance in the app store so businesses can attract new customers.

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In today’s market, how can brands optimize the ways in which they automate user reviews and feedback across multiple channels.

Incorporating technology that helps pull in disparate data, both qualitative and quantitative, will help drive automation across the feedback process for businesses of all sizes. By bringing these data points together, and doing so in a more real-time, constant manner, businesses will be better equipped to handle user feedback, interpret how to use it, and apply those insights to create better experiences for existing and potential customers.

What are some of the most common mistakes you see B2B teams make when trying to automate reviews and feedback through multiple channels?

One common mistake that mobile app business teams often make is prioritizing quantity of mobile reviews over quality of mobile review. Of course, it’s no surprise that app reviews are crucial for brands and organizations; these ratings can be a vital tool in driving revenue, retention, and conversion rates for businesses reliant on mobile apps as a moneymaker.

It’s important to not just look at how many reviews are being sent; instead, mobile app teams should take the time to digest and gain a deeper understanding of what user feedback means, how it can lead to improvement, and how that feedback can create a better user experience and product moving forward.

Additionally, another common mistake we see is that teams often only look at 1-2 KPIs when they are evaluating the efficiency of automation. Most of the time, those KPIs are customer satisfaction (CSAT) and net promoter score (NPS) to evaluate long-term customer loyalty and happiness. However, when working with user reviews, it’s crucial to look at app ratings and what we call the “reply effect”, which is how app ratings change after a review or rating is replied to.

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How have you seen brands in the market use automated reviews/feedback to drive better growth and customer value?

Brands across a number of industries, including banking, e-commerce, mobile gaming, and more, have leveraged automatic reviews and feedback to achieve growth and improve customer experience. For all industries, however, companies are often identifying similar pain points at the foundation of their reviews and user feedback processes.

Most notably, many businesses struggle with the volume of feedback that they receive, leaving a lot of users in the dark and leaving mobile app teams inundated with feedback that they are not able to leverage or use in further app development. Automated feedback and reviews can help scale up the way in which businesses respond to feedback from customers, and better identify avenues for improvement and areas where customers have identified a need that needs to be addressed.

By improving their apps through a more robust reviews process, it in turn becomes easier for businesses to create better app experiences, increase value to consumers, and drive revenue through higher download rates.

As users crave more authentic experiences and actual customer viewpoints become more important to understand, how do you feel the future of this space will start shaping up?

What the industry will start to see moving forward is more curated, personalized experiences based on consumer needs. The term that we’ve coined for this is unlocking the “Voice of the Consumer;” in other words, truly listening to what your customers have to say about functionality and experience when interacting with your mobile app will lead to two key outcomes. Not only will it help develop those aforementioned personalized and customizable experiences – more of a “choose your own adventure” path for consumers – it will in turn effectively meet consumer needs and expectations.

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Some last thoughts, takeaways, before we wrap up!

If I could leave the readers with one last sentiment, it’s crucial to work on your brand’s reputation as a whole, because user loyalty is what influences retention and user acquisition. If a brand invests in listening and responding to user feedback, while building a better product based on it, user loyalty will grow alongside those important business metrics such as customer lifetime value (LTV) and recurring revenue (ARR).

AppFollow is an App Review Management platform that helps users manage and respond to reviews.

Anatoly Sharifulin, CEO at AppFollow

 

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