Trustpilot says, 89 percent of consumers in the world look up a product’s online reviews before deciding on whether to purchase it or not. This implies that customers have great faith in what their co-consumers write online.
It’s clear that reviews are critical to an Amazon store’s success, but what if, lately, you’ve been receiving negative reviews? How would you handle them? Should you even respond? If yes, what would your reply be?
In this article, we’ll be giving out some of the best and proven tips on handling and responding to negative reviews on Amazon.
- Simply fix the problem
- Respond quickly
- Keep it short and simple
- Respond with genuine concern/soften your tone
- Take responsibility if you’re at fault
- Take your discussion offline
- Ask for a second chance
- Get another pair of eyes
Before anything else, let’s explore the available portal where you could reply to comments or where you could directly reach out to your customers who did the review.
Directly contact the customer or respond to their review
Amazon is now allowing sellers to respond to customers who leave 1-3 stars reviews of their products. However, the tool is only limited to sellers enrolled in the Amazon Brand Registry.
Sellers with the Amazon Brand Registry will see that their “Customer Reviews” in their Seller Central Account have been updated.
On the side of the review, you can click the “contact buyer” button to either offer a “courtesy refund” or “customer review.”
How to respond to negative reviews?
There are several ways to respond to a negative review. What and how you deliver your message heavily depends on the type of review given. Here are some of the attitudes and actions you can embody in responding to not-so-pleasant reviews.
1. Simply fix the problem
Most of the negative reviews you’ll get are grounded on the simple reason that your store simply hasn’t satisfied a customer’s expectation.
If the problem stems from a misleading product image or description, check your product listing and update the necessary changes. Then rectify by refunding or arranging a satisfactory plan of action with which you and your customer have come to terms with.
Sometimes, the fault of the misunderstanding can stem from the consumer. For instance, a customer damages a product by submerging it in deep water, although you specifically stated in your product description that it is not for underwater use. In this case, it’s just a matter of thoroughly explaining the situation.
2. Respond quickly
If a customer bothers to leave a nasty review on your product listing, it’s a “very” disappointed customer. Therefore, you should not waste time. Responding in a timely matter is crucial.
Your timeframe for responding should not go beyond 48 hours from the time the review is posted.
Of course, a quick response would not matter if you haven’t addressed their issue/s properly. Take time to read their review and plan a course of action.
Be timely but don’t be rash. Taking your sweet time to read, be able to breathe, and calm down afterward helps a lot in the next sentences you’re going to compose.
3. Keep it short and simple
Less is more. Three to four sentences that directly fix the issue are better than an irrelevant, generic essay.
Impression is everything. Writing a long-winded response legitimizes the complaint even if it isn’t a big deal in the first place.
Don’t overthink things. Curate your solutions according to the problem and get to the bottom of the problem.
4. Respond with genuine concern/soften your tone
In responding to feedback, one must be genuinely concerned and emphatic to their customers.
Soften your tone but still embody a professional tone.
- Address the reviewer: Nobody likes a template-like response like “Dear sir,” “Dear guest,” or “Dear customer.” If you can identify the reviewer’s name, address them in their name.
- Thank them: Thanking customers, even the not-so-polite ones show your professionalism. It shows that your store values constructive criticisms and the willingness to improve.
You can show your concern in a lot of ways, such as validating their problems, analyzing their review thoroughly, and most importantly, doing something about it.
Don’t forget to thank your customers for taking their time to leave a review. If the comments are not very detailed, you may politely ask them about it to better serve them.
Some sellers might suggest to their customers to take down the negative review. This suggestion should never feel “coerced” or forced.
Also, it helps to note that you don’t have to take those reviews personally. Most, if not all, of those reviewers, don’t know who you are. Therefore, it’s futile to take them personally.
5. Take responsibility if you’re at fault
Stop giving excuses or getting all defensive, especially if you are the one at fault. Even if you’re not to blame for the poor experience, it’s best to take the moral high ground and practice a customer-centric approach.
6. Take your discussion offline
There are discussions best done online or offline. You may continue the exchange online if it’s to set a business example and the issue isn’t overly sensitive for public viewing.
If the discussion seems best done offline, subtlely suggest moving the discussion offline.
7. Ask for a second chance
This move actually humbles you business-wise and is an opportunity to show how your store is willing to improve more.
8. Get another pair of eyes
Add confidence to your response by letting an impartial third-party (individual) read through them.
You might not be noticing your tone. Some feedback could get “too defensive,” “too sappy,” or unconsciously impolite.
Colleagues in the industry are the best pair of eyes to employ.
You probably know by now that online impressions are everything, and are “very” fluid. One day you’re worshipped and the next day you’re slapped with a nasty review. Negative reviews not just tarnish your businesse’s image, but can also lead to account suspensions.
While this may make you feel like “impressions” are out of your control (which is often the case), you can still do something about it – by responding to negative reviews well.