How to fight negative reviews on Amazon – an A to Z Guide
If you want to see this …
‘Very nice material and good quality stretch. Same as in the pic. Brand name shows in every single thing’ — A happy customer
Then you may also see this …
‘Do not go for this, no quality waste of money. I ordered to save my time. But that was my mistake.’ — An unhappy customer
It’s all about Social Proof nowadays. Also, it is practiced by many online businesses as an effective marketing strategy to validate their products, services, and company. While doing your business through Amazon — generating a good, decent customer-attracting social proof isn’t as easy as other marketing techniques, say, paid ad campaigns.
Although using tools like AMZFinder helps you as a seller by sending automated emails to your customers requesting for the feedback (if they haven’t made any). It also manages the reviews to improve your store’s credibility and customer rating on Amazon.
However, you can try controlling or giving a healthy fight to negative feedback/reviews on Amazon. So that your social proof stands effectual, to fetch you more sales.
Well, here are some statistics from consumer review surveys:
- More than 86% of online buyers read reviews. Which include 95% of people aged 18-34.
- 68% of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad scores, while 30% suspect censorship or faked reviews when they don’t see any negative opinions on the page.
A recent survey by Revoo suggests, that the presence of bad reviews actually raises conversions by 67%. They even observed that people who read bad reviews convert better, as they’re already interested in the product hence paying close attention to negative feedback as well.
- Kent Lewis Founder and the President of Anvil Media, quoted in his article that… 72% of online buyers say that positive reviews make them trust a business more. A customer that has a bad experience with a product or service usually tells 5 people. If the brand rectifies the issue and satisfies the customer, they will tell 10 friends. That statistic is amplified via social media.
“The best way to mitigate negative reviews on Amazon is to address customer feedback, by improving the product. Customers are telling you how to build a better product, so listen and evolve!”
From the above statistics, it crystal clear whether it’s good or bad, review/feedbacks are an essential part of the online business (here Amazon). However, the online ecommerce players know – lesser the negative feedback, higher the sales numbers. You’ll also find many ecommerce or Amazon selling experts sharing their opinion and experience in this article.
So let’s start and see what are the ways to fight negative feedback on Amazon:
Jared Scott is a Senior Amazon Strategist at Effective Spend. He addresses some of the ways to prevent negative reviews for their clients:
Request Amazon to Remove the Review 🙂
The first thing you can do is look at the language in the bad review and see if there’s anything in the review that is against Amazon’s policies.
For example, there are some clear things that customers are not allowed to leave in a product review, like complaints about packaging, late shipments customer support -if the seller is associated with Amazon FBA. Amazon itself will remove any negative reviews related to packaging or shipment.
If you feel that you can make a case that the review violates the policy, then you can report the review and email Amazon directly at email@example.com and cite the exact language from their policy that the review is violating.
Of course, this method only works in a few cases, but the key here is to act on it as quickly as possible. Amazon lets customers “upvote” reviews that they find helpful. If a lot of customers have already upvoted a bad review, it’s less likely that Amazon will remove it.
Contact Customer Directly, If Possible
Whenever possible, contact the customer directly. This is only possible if you match up the customer’s name on their review to the name on their order. Unfortunately, this is rare but worth a try! If you’re able to match their name and contact them directly, then it’s recommended offering a refund or replacement product back to the customer.
Amazon’s policy is that you can’t request or bribe the customer to take down their review, but if you correct the situation and give the customer a positive experience, they may decide to update or remove their review.
Leave a Public Reply
Almost 100% of the time, you should post a reply comment on a bad review. Here, you can apologize for the issue, give an explanation if the issue was caused by a misunderstanding and encourage the customer to contact you directly and provide your contact information.
The purpose here is not only to try to rectify the situation with the angry customer. This is also a strategy to help PREVENT additional negative reviews. There may be other customers that had the same issue and are considering leaving their own negative review.
Oftentimes, customers will go to Amazon and read through other people’s reviews looking to solve their issue or validate their issue before leaving their own negative review. If they find your reply helpful in solving their issue, they are far less likely to leave their own negative review.
Update Product Details Based on Feedback In Reviews
This is absolutely critical for preventing additional negative reviews on Amazon. Leverage any negative reviews as feedback to improve the product title, description, bullet points, measurements, set up instructions, etc. So that your customers have the right expectations about the product (not like you’re giving them a part of the MOON !).
When a product meets or exceeds a customer’s expectations, they are much more likely to give you a high star rating, which will help dilute the bad reviews and get your star rating back up.
Dilute with Some or Many Good Reviews
Finally – as alluded to in the last note – you can try to dilute any bad reviews by bringing in more 5 star reviews.
However, if you receive a negative review on Amazon that cannot be removed, you can launch a focused email campaign to encourage happy customers to leave a review/rating. The tool we use for this most often is Feedback Genius, which can help you send review requests to customers that are the most likely to leave a positive review.
Now, let’s run through some tips to reduce Amazon negative feedback, beforehand:
Shae runs an educational startup Learndojo and has sold a number of items on Amazon. When selling a product on Amazon he tries to make sure it meets 3 key areas to reduce the chances of negative reviews on Amazon:
#1 Quality standards – make sure the product is of good quality and will last long-term. Anything that is likely to break straight away or has low-quality standards meaning it won’t last will attract negative reviews.
#2 Functionality – Does it do what its meant to do? The product must be as its advertised and not be oversold with promises on things it can’t do. Keeping it real on the product’s ability and functionality will help avoid disappointment too.
#3 Value – Whatever you sell needs to be at the right price point that it is considered good value. So for example; selling a phone case for £25 will convey high expectations. So people will be disappointed if its nothing short of ‘Amazing’. And if it’s actually not – this will then attract negative reviews.
However – selling the same case for £5 will make it seem tremendous value for money especially if it meets the other 2 criteria above and the same buyers are likely to give it positive reviews as the same expectations no longer apply.
According to Shannon Roddy, who is an Amazon specialist …
“Another way to reduce negative Amazon seller feedback and negative product reviews is by proactively providing as much helpful and accurate information on the detail page as possible. One of the best ways to do this for multiple listings is by adding un-boxing, assembly or use videos using a service such as AMZ Product Video.”
Next, it’s vital to connect via email using a tool such as FeedbackFive to provide additional information such as assembly instructions or links to the videos on Amazon showing the customer how to use the product correctly. Offering to fix a customers problem and making it easy to contact you as a seller is vital to long-term success.
Another precautionary idea is – Maybe send a form asking for feedback, beforehand, immediately once the order is delivered. Send a personal email or a letter in the order package or simply call. Provide your personal contact details where an irate customer can share any negative feedback straight to you. This might help you in cutting down chances of customer writing negative reviews on Amazon and later your efforts in trying to fight it.
What if someone raises an A-Z claim?
Amazon FBA seller and the founder of Incomepathfinder.com Roberto Benardout shares that…
Amazon’s A-to-z Guarantee covers two things – the timely delivery of your product/item and the condition of the purchased items (product or packaging has not tampered).
If either is not as per the policy or unsatisfactory, customers can report the problem to Amazon and their team will determine if the customer is eligible for a refund.
If you disagree with a buyer’s A-Z claim, you will have up to 7 days to present your case. Include as much information as possible to defend your case so that Amazon can review the evidence and come to a decision.
Never ignore an A-Z claim, after 7 days, Amazon will consider you the seller at fault and the buyer will be refunded for the amount due and the seller’s ODR ratings will drop.
So if you believe you are at fault, you will need to refund the buyer!
How Amazon reacts to customer feedbacks
Amazon will remove seller feedback in the following circumstances:
- If the customer has left feedback that contains obscene or abusive language.
- If the feedback contains a product review instead of a seller review.
- If the feedback contains personal information such as names, contact details etc.
- If feedback contains a complaint about the price of the product or the delivery costs.
- If the feedback is of a promotional nature.
Amazon will remove product feedback in the following circumstances:
- If it contains inappropriate or offensive content.
- If it’s of a promotional nature.
- If a customer posts multiple negative reviews by using multiple accounts.
- If a competitor posing as a customer tries to post spurious reviews.
- If the review is a seller-specific comment such as about or customer support.
Now, some Do’s & Don’ts upon receiving any negative feedback on Amazon
Nate Masterson, CMO of Maple Holistics shares his thought saying…
No matter the review, the reason you have reviews in the first place is to get direct feedback from the people who matter most – your customers! Even a bad review should be appreciated because it should be a springboard for growth within your company. Good feedback is great, but negative feedback on Amazon is crucial.
Part of the ability to communicate directly with your customer is that they get to see that you’re a real person, not just a product. Leave out all the industry jargon and talk to them like you would a real person. With empathy and solutions!
Have you not heard the age-old adage “the customer is always right”? No matter the situation, it’s never constructive to defend a negative review. The best way forward would be to apologize and ask how you could fix their woes.
Let’s keep things short and sweet when replying to negative reviews on Amazon. The damage has already been done, the least you can do is enhance the visibility of your brand and generate positive SEO’s. That being said, lengthy replies can alienate customers from the actual subject matter. Deal with the issue quickly and swiftly to avoid any further issues. Put in keywords where you can, but only where it makes sense
All’s Well That Ends Well
Success lies in putting the customer first, not the product. Use the feedback in reviews to better your product, says Robb Hecht
The trends coming out of D2C (direct to consumer, platform first brands) – where the instant feedback obtained through reviews and customer service chatbot conversations are seen as valuable market research on target audiences in order to improve the product and marketing outreach moving forward.
The key is to take action and execute on the basis of these real-time insights in a rapid fashion! Branding is sometimes less relevant today than just plain immediacy!
A Listener, who speaks less and writes more. Will choose Pizza over anything. Doing non-technical pieces of stuff, with a degree in a technical field. Has stage fear thus prefers "Stealth-mode" conversation, also the Content Curator at Orderhive. . . . <<--- In the picture, I'm looking at my happy belly ;)
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