Handling Negative Reviews On Amazon

In having a business, we have to learn how to take criticisms especially if it involves selling products. You will get a lot of reviews some are good, some are bad and worst nasty. Reviews are necessary because it helps us find out what our customer thinks of our products, and in knowing their opinion we can adjust our services and make things better for our future customers. 

If you are an Amazon seller, there is a way how to handle negative reviews on Amazon. It is advisable to use these steps as a way to help yourself respond in a professional way without jeopardizing your business. 

Step 1: Respond Publicly-Promptly And Politely

It’s wise to monitor your Amazon customer reviews regularly so you can deal with any issues as and when they arise. If you find a customer has posted about a negative experience, a prompt response shows that you value your clientele and their opinions, regardless of how undesirable the review maybe.

The Right Tone

When you respond, take care to use appropriate professional language – this can placate customers who may be feeling unhappy about their experience, and can also be an opportunity to resolve the situation. With the right response, an unsatisfied customer might be more willing to give your business a second chance in the future.

A Balanced Account

A quick and courteous response is also beneficial in that it gives prospective customers the chance to see what went wrong from your viewpoint, and witness your high levels of customer service. A rude reply, or no reply at all, sends the wrong signals to would-be customers and could be enough to send them running to the competition.

Making Amends

If you’re at fault, offer your sincere apologies and suggest a form of recompense to make amends. If the negative review has been posted in relation to something beyond your control, such as postal delays, try to put across your point without force, gently explaining the circumstances and citing any offers you’ve made to rectify the situation.

A Satisfactory Conclusion

The customer may or may not be willing to accept your offer of rectification but if they are open to your suggestions you could consider posting an update afterward to inform other customers that the situation was mitigated successfully and the buyer refunded for their inconvenience, or similar. At all times, maintain a calm and professional tone and avoid being pulled into an intense discussion. If the customer responds in a heated way, move on to step two – take the direct approach.

Step 2: Take The Direct Approach

Responding to a negative review publicly can help you mitigate some of the potential damage caused by less-than-satisfactory feedback by giving you the chance to apologize, provide an explanation and make amends with an unhappy customer within the public arena, where other consumers can witness the exchange.

Direct Explanation

However, in some instances where a client is still not satisfied, it becomes necessary to take a more direct approach to solve the problems encountered by the customer in question. Not all Amazon orders are clear cut and it can be helpful to get in touch with your customer to explain how a problem arose and what action you can take to make amends.

Professional and Private

A direct response is often appreciated by consumers and in difficult circumstances, it can be wise to take conversations out of the public arena to maintain professional standards and avoid potential privacy breaches. A heated conversation visible to prospective customers can make for uncomfortable reading, so it’s preferable to keep such discussions private.

Problem Solving

Follow up the review by getting in touch with the customer via email or telephone directly, if you have these details, to see if there is any way you can resolve the problems they encountered. If you weren’t at fault, a full and polite explanation will at least illustrate your commitment to customer service, even if it isn’t quite the response your client is hoping for.

Customer Service Commitment

If you fail to make contact with the buyer after several attempts to get in touch, consider posting an update alongside the review highlighting your proactive approach to resolving the customer’s issue, keeping your tone friendly. Although this won’t guarantee future custom, it will at the very least illustrate your dedication and professionalism to anyone who happens to be reading through the reviews and comments.

Step 3: Negotiate With Customers For A Better Outcome

With any luck, all your hard work to make amends for your consumer’s poor experience will pay off, and they’ll be suitable satisfied with the final outcome if you’ve managed to mitigate the situation. Once the customer is pacified, it might be worth getting in touch with them directly and requesting that they alter their review to reflect the now-satisfactory outcome.

Time Awareness

If the client won’t amend their review, an alternative is to ask them to remove the post if time is an issue – they might not be happy to spend any more time writing about their experience if it’s something they’d rather forget about altogether.

Do Your Research

Figuring out which customer is connected to a specific review can be difficult on Amazon, where customer names are often varied or shortened, so you may need to comment directly on the review and ask the customer to contact you. Using polite language and providing an incentive can be helpful in spurring a consumer into action; suggest, for example, that they contact you at their earliest convenience to see how you can solve the problem.

Tact and Diplomacy

Asking them to remove or modify the review by way of a comment is a direct way of contacting the customer but it can look unprofessional – especially if the consumer still isn’t satisfied and leaves the negative review in place, complete with a pleading request. Spend some time resolving the situation before asking the customer to take down their review or make modifications for the best chance at succeeding in your goal.

Above Board, Always

Make sure you don’t pressurize the customer, which goes against Amazon’s rules and guidelines, but do ensure your consumers are aware that your small business relies on reviews and that negative posts can be damaging – especially if you were not at fault. Maintaining a polite and friendly tone throughout and make the process as easy as possible for your customer by providing simple guidelines informing them of how to change or remove their review.

Step 4: Take It To The Top

If your previous attempts to mitigate a negative review have failed, another option is to contact Amazon directly to request removal of the review in question. Amazon rarely removes reviews but will assess your case in terms of whether or not the post complies with review guidelines, and will make a decision to keep or discard the review depending on the findings.

Extreme Cases

In cases where reviews are purposefully deceitful or overtly inappropriate, it is possible that Amazon will remove the post as a result of the violations but usually only in extreme circumstances. In most other cases, however, the review will be deemed fit to remain in the public domain, even if the content is unfair or incorrect.

A Simple Process

Applying for a review removal is a straightforward process; in just a few clicks, you can alert Amazon to the negative review and provide a reason as to why you are reporting the post. On your product page, beneath the review, select the ‘report abuse’ function and follow the instructions on the screen. Alternatively, you can send an email to Amazon detailing the situation, linking the review and outlining your reasons for the removal request.

Improved Results

If you do manage to have the review removed, it should have a positive impact on your overall review score; if you have lots of good reviews and no negative posts, for example, a mediocre score should be much improved by the removal of the one negative review. In turn, this will help you boost your brand image and secure future sales.

A Valuable Lesson

In cases where reviews are not removed and the customer won’t be persuaded to modify their review, there’s little more to be done other than to post a polite public response, chalk it up to experience and use the feedback to prevent a similar situation in the future, where Possible.

Step 5: Make Something Constructive Of The Criticism

Negative Amazon reviews can be difficult to read, especially if you weren’t at fault or have made attempts to rectify the situation that hasn’t borne fruit. Being business-minded, however, can help relieve some of the strain – by focusing on what you take from the experience and how you can use it constructively, you can improve your business and ensure your customer service doesn’t fall short in future.

Customer Misconceptions

It’s worth remembering that you’re not alone in receiving negative reviews and often such posts arise from a customer’s expectations not being met. If your products are as described, arrive intact and provide good value, the customer’s negative experience may be based entirely on their own misconceptions, and this is often obvious from the content of the review. In these situations, prudent sellers can leave a polite comment asking the customer to get in touch so the situation can be rectified.

Room for Improvement

For other cases where negative reviews have been left and are justified, it’s important not to take the unpleasant words to heart but instead to recognize that there are areas for improvement within your business and make a concerted effort to reverse these shortcomings. Share reviews with your staff so everyone knows where to focus their attention and together you can work on the areas that require the most attention.

A Silver Lining

Although negative reviews can impact on your business, they can also help to build trust, albeit in a roundabout way. With the advent of paid reviews and other underhand techniques, consumers are becoming increasingly suspicious of products and brands that seem to have only positive reviews. A few less impressive posts among a majority of positive reviews can actually help your business avoid coming across as false and remove any suspicion that those good reviews are perhaps not as true to life as they would appear.

Some Examples of Negative Reviews

Conclusion: Take Action

Statistics show that around 88 percent of consumers are influenced by online reviews, relying on other people’s experiences to guide their own purchasing choices. More than a third of consumers regularly read reviews when researching a purchase and the number of people who never read reviews is falling year-on-year as consumers become savvier shoppers. Taking action now rather than later can be the catalyst for change that prevents future negative experiences and helps your brand mitigate any poor feedback. The main points of action to take away from this eBook are as follows:

Build Trust

It’s never been more important for Amazon sellers to receive feedback from customers, but in some cases, the response falls short of what many businesses hope to achieve. Positive reviews can be beneficial in attaining sales volumes but in many respects it pays off to receive reviews of any kind, good or bad, building trust and debunking any suspicions of manufactured reviews.

Promote Professionalism

A prompt, courteous response is the best line of action when responding to negative reviews, and it’s often helpful to contact consumers directly to mitigate the situation by providing a refund or other perk, like a discount code or coupon. In time, the reviewer may amend their post to reflect the updated situation; if not, it is possible to ask consumers to modify their review, or, in extreme cases, request that Amazon takes down the post.

Identify Improvements

Most importantly, derive something positive from the experience. Negative reviews serve to highlight failing areas of a business model that can only be improved, which can help build a more customer-focused brand over the long term. Use consumer feedback to figure out where your attention should be focused to improve the customer experience and set measurable goals so you can monitor progression and development.

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