Microsoft is rolling out the ability for developers to respond directly to reviews in the Windows Phone Store. Replying to reviews is a feature that we reported on before the Windows Phone 8.1 announcement and was later confirmed by Microsoft. Select developers have had the ability since April thanks to a phased rollout, but a wider rollout is taking place now.
Microsoft began the rollout plan in mid-April with a small pilot group of developers. Additional developers began to be invited in May, and each month developers were added to the group. This is a group most developers want to be in since you're able to respond directly to customer complaints and feedback. A useful tool to reach the majority of Windows Phone consumers who don't read enthusiast's sites.
We've heard from a handful of developers that they've recently been added in the past few days and are now seeing the feature. Leading us to believe that Microsoft is opening up the ability to most, if not all, developers.
Developers can respond directly to customer reviews by going to their Dashboard. Consumers will receive an email from Microsoft when a developer has replied to their review. That email will contain a support email address for the developer if supplied by the developer. Consumers can then directly contact developers with the support email.
As of right now, developers can only respond to reviews left by Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8 devices with their country and region set to the United States. They can also respond to ANY review left by a Windows Phone 8.1 device.
Curious if your developer account has the feature? You can easily check by going to the Reviews section in the Dev Center Dashboard and seeing the Respond option. It'll appear automatically when your account gains this feature.
Here's the process in step form to respond to a review:
- Sign into Dev Center and go to the Dashboard
- Go to the Apps section and select an app
- Select Reviews and find a review you'd like to respond to
- Click Respond, write your message, then click Send
Very neat and a great way for developers to improve their customer service with Windows Phone users. As of right now, we're not seeing developer replies to reviews when viewing the Windows Phone Store as a consumer, but that's a feature we'd like to see. It'd be great to sort review by those that have received a reply from the developer.
Are you a developer? Let us know if you can respond to reviews in the Windows Phone Store!
Thanks for the tip Sarah!