Dealing With Negative Product Reviews- How To Make The Review Game Strong On Amazon

After having spent a vast amount of your time, money and energy sourcing your products, shipping them to Amazon, setting up giveaways, running PPC –and god knows what else- here comes the day, when you wake up to find this posted in your beautiful listing…

bad review

Or even worst something like this:

Shock, pain, depression, disappointment and frustration strikes. We feel you, fellow Amazon sellers. All of us have been there.

Before taking any inconsiderate action or taking no action at all, take some deep breaths and keep on reading.

While there is no direct way to delete that review, there are some steps you can take in order to deal with that negative review who threatens your ranking, conversion rates and sales.

STEP #1 – Check Whether It is Possible To Have That Review Deleted By Amazon

When you get a negative review, you ALWAYS have to examine each and every word written. Wondering why?

Well, first of all, if a customer takes the time to share a negative review, this just means that something is going with your product. Kick anger away, and try to understand what exactly caused this bad review. This will save you from future unpleasant circumstances.

It’s not just that, though.

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Amazon provides an explicit guide on what could possibly violate its guidelines and TOS, resulting to the removal of that review.

If you feel that the reviewer has violated any of those guidelines, as Amazon states:

For some types of content, including Customer Reviews and Customer Answers, you can report possible violations of these Guidelines by clicking the “Report abuse” link near the content and entering the reason you believe it violates these Guidelines.

If no “Report abuse” link is available, you may email [email protected], specifying the location of the content and the reason you believe it violates these Guidelines.

Even if this attempt is fruitless, at least you tried!

Step #2 – Try To Personally Contact The Unsatisfied Customer

While Amazon has closed every door that leads to your customers, there is a small window that may take you to your destination.

How? Check whether this customer has also left any comment on the “Seller’s Feedback” part.
In case you are not sure how to do that, go to:
Amazon Seller Central Account > Performance > Feedback

Here you can review all those comments that your customers left about the overall experience they had with you as a seller.

The golden nugget here, is that Amazon provides an email, allowing you to contact the customer directly.

While there are no great chances to match the reviewer with those customers who shared their feedback in this page, it is still worth a shot!If you get to find your customer’s email, don’t miss a second. Contact them right away and do your ultimate best to make this right for them!

Step #3 – Respond Directly To The Review ALWAYS. NO MATTER WHAT. NO EXCUSES.

Always have in mind what Jeff Bezos thinks about customer satisfaction:

“If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell six friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000.”

As you can’t turn back the clock and prevent that negative review, you can still mitigate its negative consequences by doing a very simple thing: REPLY ON THAT REVIEW.

Potential customers check the negative reviews of any listing MORE than the positive reviews. Upon that moment when they hit the “1-star review” bar, and start reading all the negative things said about your product, you have the chance to re-establish your brand’s values and credibility.

As a responsible and professional seller, you HAVE TO respond to every one of those reviews, with an honest, personal and credible response. Let them know that you are incredibly sorry for the inconvenience they have encountered and that you would love to make this right for them, by offering a replacement product or their money back. (ATTENTION: Read further about this later on)

Ask them to contact you and ensure them that you will take care of any of the issues they faced.

Even if they never get in touch, the potential customer that will browse through your listing, will appreciate your great customer service and won’t feel threatened by the negative reviews.

However, having dozens of unanswered reviews staying there and destroying your listings appeal, could only result to hundreds of lost customers and of course, profits.

Just take a look at the following real life example:

Would you be discouraged to order from that seller because of this 1-star review? With that amazing response and customer service they provide, heck NO! I would personally order their products right away, and I am sure you would do the same.

What about now?

Bad review, no comment, no response, no effort to satisfy the customer.

Hmm, no thanks.

Your Response & Customer Service Must Be So Stellar, That Your Customers Will Be Left Jaw-Dropped By Your Professionalism!

When you reply to one review, not only do you address the comments of an unhappy customer, but you also show the priorities and values of your company.

Remember, first impression matters.

Imagine the following situation: A customer lands in your listing page and his/her instant thoughts when taking a look around are:

  • Unanswered Negative Reviews = Lazy, irresponsible, untrustworthy company with poor quality products
  • Answered Negative Reviews With Mediocre Responses = Looks unprofessional, not sure if I want to spend my money on their dissatisfactory products
  • Answered Negative Reviews With Amazing Responses = Finally, a professional, credible, trustworthy company who cares about the customer’s needs and is willing to go the extra mile for them. Well, some customers claim that their products were not great, but taking into account that they were refunded or replaced, no big harm done

Choosing in which one of those categories you belong, will determine your company’s future success.

5 MUST FOLLOW RULES FOR ANSWERING REVIEWS LIKE A PRO!

1. COUNTERACT THE NEGATIVE COMMENTS WITH A GREAT RESPONSE – AND DO IT FAST!

When a negative review knocks on your door, you have to be ready to answer it and you have to know how to do it. The sooner, the better!

Hopefully, you will be able to respond to that unhappy customer just within a couple of hours. The quicker you manage to respond, the better the results will be.

The only way to give an answer to that review is to sign up in Amazon.com (not amazon seller central account), and leave a comment on the review.

Amazon defines the above as official comment:

“Customers can post comments on any customer review on Amazon to ask and answer questions or to share their own views about products. A person officially associated with a product, such as the manufacturer, has the additional ability to add a highlighted comment that is always displayed immediately next to the review. Official comments from creators of the product can add to the review by answering customer queries or clarifying information about the product. Comments are highlighted only if we can verify that it comes from an authenticated creator of the product or from an official Amazon representative. Once authenticated, posters are given badges that show their relationship with the product.”

Make sure to set up your Amazon profile using your company name and your logo as your image, so customers know that you are the representative of the company, when commenting on reviews.

It’s a short and easy process that will make your comments look professional right away. Here is how to do it:
Amazon> Profile > Edit Your Profile > Update Your Public Name

In this page, you can also complete your contact details, social media accounts and more, so that unhappy customers can easily contact you, using the network that best works for them!

2. MAKE IT PERSONAL

If you know the customer’s name, use it! If not, you can address them as “Dear Customer” (or even use their username if provided).At the end of your message, sign it with an imaginary customer service name, even if you don’t have such an employee.

Some examples would be:Kind Regards/ Sincerely/ Best Wishes
Amanda
Customer Service Specialist/ Customer Service Manager/ Customer Satisfaction Specialist
(Company Name)


SIDE NOTE: If your customers contact you, don’t forget to ask them what their first name is. Using the first name while addressing their comments, will dramatically increase the power of your words.

Dale Carnegie stated: “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

Well, is not it

3. NEVER ARGUE WITH A CUSTOMER

As Carnegie explained in his masterpiece, How To Win Friends And Influence People: “The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.”

An angry customer may blame you for a hundred factors you cannot control, like late shipping on Amazon’s part, poor quality materials used by your manufacturer, products that arrived in destroyed packages and so much more.

No matter what your customer’s argues about, NEVER answer back and allow the argument to grow. Never.

Remember, even if you managed to win the argument and humiliate your customer, what is left for future customers to see, is your arrogant, stubborn behavior. You may temporary feel relieved that you got to cut that rude customer down to size, but then what? Is that the image you want to establish for your brand?

Don’t get drifted away by your emotions and doom your company’s public image. It does not worth it!

What your customers need to see in order to trust you, is a friendly, communicative and responsible company owner who makes sure that none of his/her customers are let down by their products or service.

4.MAKE THE CUSTOMER FEEL IMPORTANT

Instead of replying with an automated response that just asks your customers to contact you and blah blah blah, take the time to UNDERSTAND the issues they have encountered and address them one by one.

If they complain about late delivery, kindly explain that this is not handled by you, but by Amazon and that in any case you are still extremely sorry for the inconvenience caused.

If they complain about your products’ poor performance, ask them how long they have been using it, thank them for their feedback and ensure them that they will be given another product or a full refund (if they follow your instructions about refunds via FBA).

Make sure to ease their pain and find the best solution. Don’t cause extra pain by demanding the return of the product. Too much hassle; does not worth it.

Keep in mind that thousands of customers are watching over you!

If you don’t feel that your nagging customers’ worth your time, remember that – as Jeffrey Gitomer said- the customer is the one that brings food to your table; not your boss, not your employees

5. PROVIDE DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS

Make it clear in your response that you cannot directly contact the customer, and kindly ask them to reach out to you using the link provided. While you cannot provide your company’s email address, you can provide the seller profile URL, which includes a “contact” button. To get it, just click on your seller name, under any product listing you have created.

When you make it easy for them, and provide the exact link, chances are that your customer will follow. Don’t expect your customers to spend their time trying to find a way to contact you. They won’t. They are too busy for that and they will keep on screaming at you in the listing page, where everyone can see.

In the same framework, when you have discussed with them and have resolved the issue, asked them kindly, if they are willing to edit their review by using this link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews

The easier this process gets, the better the results will be.

HOW TO MASTER THE REVIEW GAME – MORE THINGS TO REMEMBER!

=> PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE: Dealing with negative reviews is definitely a time consuming and upsetting experience. The good thing is that you can take some measures to prevent those before it is too late. How?

Well, among other ideas, you may consider adding an insert card in your product package or add some contact details in the packaging, informing your customers that they should contact you in a specific email address for any issue or question that may come up.

An even more advanced and effective solution would be to build your email list and contact your customers personally, asking them if there is anything you can do for them, before they actually need any help!

In both cases, what matters is that you have taken the discussion away from Amazon’s platform, where the most probable reaction would be to leave a negative review, encouraging customers to contact you first to resolve any –important or not- issue.

=> FORGET THE FORBIDDEN WORD “POLICY”: As an FBA Amazon seller you should know by now that Amazon is responsible for handling all the refunds and returns, at least for the 30 days after the purchase was made. That’s their policy. You also know another 100 policies and rules you have to obey.

Yet, what you may not know yet, is that your customers don’t give a damn about it.

They could not care less about those complicated policies. They just care about their needs.

Please, DO NOT MENTION frustrating excuses like “It is Amazon’s policy that all the refunds should be issues within 30 days”. The one moment you mention the word “policy”, and the next moment you have lost a customer for life.

=> NO ONE CARES ABOUT THE 30-DAY REFUND PERIOD

Even in case that the complaint was expressed after the 30 days of Amazon’s timeframe, you still have to ensure that your customer’s issue will be addressed and resolved.

As said before, you can’t use “Amazon’s 30-day policy” to avoid helping a dissatisfied customer.

To take care of any problem that may come up anytime, you can either create a “Fulfillment order” and send a replacement product to the address your customer shared with you, or you can contact Amazon’s support and ask them to take care of that.

Amazon does provide exceptions for refund requests for orders past 30 days, so basically, no, there are no excuses about “delayed” complaints or problems.

You can either text the Amazon support yourself letting them know about your request, or ask your customer to do so using think link: http://www.amazon.com/contact-us

However, it is your duty to monitor this process and follow up with your unhappy customers multiple times in order to ensure that everything has been peacefully resolved, and that no hard feelings are left behind!

If you follow the “Fulfillment By Merchant” channel, then everything is controlled by your very own hands. If the case of an unhappy customer comes up, it’s time for action. Discuss with your customer and ask them what method of compensation works best for them (Refund, replacement product, extra bonuses or anything else you are willing to offer).

In any case, make sure that you will never violate any guideline you are supposed to follow!

Once you have reached a decision and found a solution, only then you can kindly ask if they are willing to edit their review.

=> A NEGATIVE REVIEW DOESN’T MEAN YOU ARE DONE: Some real life examples show that having just a couple of unfavorable reviews among hundreds of good reviews, had a positive effect in the conversion rates of that product. Yes, that’s right.

Customers are fully aware that it’s perfectly normal for a product to have some negative feedback. Not only aren’t they discouraged to purchase that product, but on the contrary they are more willing to do so, as the small number of negative feedback works as proof that all the reviews posted on the listing are authentic and unbiased.

=> EACH NEGATIVE REVIEW HAS SOMETHING TO TEACH YOU: When you come up against a negative review, instead of spending hours of procrastination and endless frustration, reflect on the comments your customer left and learn something out of it.

Face each and every comments as constructive feedback and learn how to use it to your benefit. For example, if many customers complain that they had a hard time finding out how to use your product, you may add an instructive card in your packages; if others claim that your product come out smaller than expected, make sure that your product’s dimensions are clearly mentioned in the product description, or consider changing the size of your products when you place your second inventory order to your manufacturers.

=> COUNTERACT THE NEGATIVE REVIEW, BY GETTING MORE POSITIVE FEEDBACK: You cannot hide a negative review, but you can definitely get some more positive reviews that will appear before it. Don’t let a bad review to be the very first thing that a customer will see when landing in your page. Run some giveaways, or kindly ask a friend or a family member to get your product and leave some positive feedback asap.

Focus your energy and time in increasing your positive reviews and soon you will forget about the negative one.

=> Finally, if you are willing to take the extra mile and leave your customers speechless with your customer service and your extraordinary attitude, there is one final thing to do:


**REPLY TO ALL YOUR REVIEWS. BOTH POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE.
GIVE AN HONEST, THANKFUL AND APPRECIATIVE RESPONSE**


Every customer that takes the time to leave a positive response in your listing, deserves to be thanked. This will not only prove that you provide amazing customer service but it also urges people to leave more reviews.

To put it with other words, would you spend your time wishing “Happy Birthday” to a person that never responds to the wishes posted on his Facebook Timeline? That’s rude, you would think. I don’t want to waste a couple of minutes for a person that does not appreciate my time and wishes.

Yet, when that person responds to each and every message, you, I and everyone else would, by all means, be more willing to send another message, as we would all be expecting to be personally thanked!

We do enjoy it when others make us feel important, don’t we?

In A Nutshell…

Presenting a great number of exceptional reviews is among the most vital factors for ranking high on Amazon. Having a limited number of negative reviews won’t bring the catastrophe nor will it destroy your conversion rates if you handle them the right way.

Zero action brings zero results. Don’t leave your business in the mercy of upset customers.

Take your business in your hands, use your managemental and communicative skills to elevate your amazon success and win customers for a life. If you are not confident about it, you can always trust the experts. (link to our services, if you want to launch that service you have mentioned).

Providing unforgettable and exemplary customer service is the easiest, cheapest and most effective way to stand out of the competition and conquer your way to the top.

Having the appropriate mindset will show you the right way to deal with your customers. For once again, quoting Jeff Bezos:

“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.”

Well, Where Do You Stand As A Host?

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