Negative amazon reviews: how to address customer feedback

Amazon reviews can be a nightmare for sellers, service providers, and aggregators. If you are any of these Amazon users, negative reviews can cause serious damage to your brands if you don’t tackle them quickly and effectively. 

But what exactly are negative reviews? How do you respond to them? What strategies can you employ to preempt the occurrence of negative reviews, or avoid receiving them at best? And if you happen to get a lot of negative reviews prominently displayed on your listings, how do you go about removing them?  

In this blog post, we will explore all these questions related to managing negative Amazon reviews so that your brand remains protected in the marketplace.

What Are Negative Amazon Reviews?

Negative Amazon reviews are downright bad feedback of customers about a product they bought from Amazon sellers. They are representations of their bad experience on the product, largely because of false expectations or misleading product information. 

In essence not all negative reviews are “bad” especially if they represent an honest opinion that you can leverage to improve the quality of your products. Still, their presence on your listings is detrimental to your sales conversation. 

You see, about 82% of adult Amazon shoppers check reviews before buying a product, and negative reviews are often the first things they see. If they observe a pattern of negative reviews on that product, this can easily turn them off.

The different types of customer reviews that can be seen on Amazon include those with low scores and no description, grievances related to customer service or delivery, remarks regarding substandard items or packaging, and claims of misleading promotion.

In some cases, customers may even leave profanity-laden rants which can damage your brand’s reputation if left unchecked. These are what Amazon refers to as non-compliant reviews.

Negative reviews are really painful and concerning because the ripple effect of that on your business is staggering:

  • It quickly erodes customer trust in your product.
  • Negative feedback from disgruntled customers drags down the overall rating of a listing.
  • Amazon’s algorithm pushes poorly-rated products down the search results and gives preference to higher-rated products of your competitors.
  • Your Order Defect Rate (ODR) will likely fall below 1%, risking losing your seller privileges and opportunity to win the Buy Box. 
  • Your listings may become suspended and, eventually, your account deactivated.

So the presence of a negative review should serve as your prompt to take action quickly following the prescribed methods in the next section.

How To Respond To Negative Reviews

Being reactive to negative reviews is your best defense against them. Don’t try to elude them by thinking your other customer’s positive reviews are enough to balance them out. This mindset is counterproductive. You need to assert your position to defend your brand and respond to negative reviews head-on. 

Use Tools That Alert You Of Negative Reviews

I would suggest this to be your first step in staying on top of negative reviews. If you have a lot of listings to manage, it’s highly likely that you may overlook some negative reviews that have been there for a long time. 

What’s good about these tools is the integration of a communication system within the app that lets you contact your customer directly to deal with a negative review, or Amazon to file a case for its removal. The tools serve as an all-in-one place to manage and filter reviews, get insights, and connect you directly with customers.

If you’re subscribed to Amazon’s professional selling plan, you automatically gain access to their customer reviews tool; otherwise, you can make use of third-party tools. The only downside to using third-party apps is that the best ones come with a hefty price tag.

Acknowledge The Reviewer’s Experience

At this point of your connection with the customer, it’s not important whether their complaint is valid or not. You just want to acknowledge the complaint by apologizing for their bad experience. This action alone goes a long way, letting your customer’s guard down. Redeem their trust by making them feel heard and showing your willingness to resolve the issue. Regardless of the outcome, your customer will feel better and more confident knowing that you take customer service seriously.

Offer a Solution

After you’ve had initial communication with your customer about the complaint, immediately offer a solution. Ideally, you would first ask what they want as the resolution to the problem; your goal is to satisfy them in hopes that they would edit or remove their review. 

Oftentimes, they won’t suggest any resolution and would settle on the product they bought. In any case, offer a resolution that will not impact your business in a huge way financially, like offering right away a full refund on a high-ticket product.

Match your resolution based on the current situation, for instance:

  • If they say they can settle with the product they have, offer a (huge) discount code that they can use on their next purchase.
  • If the product is defective and totally unusable, offer a replacement with free shipping cost.
  • If you were unable to pacify the customer, offer a full refund with no questions asked. 

Don’t think much about the cost involved in satisfying your customer. Remember that it is more expensive to gain a new customer than to retain an old one. A delighted customer can quickly turn into a loyal customer in no time.

Don’t Ask To Edit Or Delete A Review

Even if you’ve dealt with the complaint successfully, never ask your customers, nor offer an incentive, to edit or delete their review. These are prohibited in the Amazon marketplace because they are forms of review manipulation. Do your best to deliver good service and your customer will most likely return the favor by editing or deleting their reviews themselves.

Key Takeaway: Ignoring negative reviews is one of the worst things you can do for your Amazon business. Disregarding the need to deal with them can quickly snowball into a huge problem, risking losing your business. Stay proactive by keeping in touch with your customers to tackle negative reviews and reverse their potential effects.

Strategies For Preventing Negative Reviews

The adage “prevention is better than cure” stands true even in the Amazon marketplace; negative reviews can have a huge impact on the success of your business on the platform. So to prevent them, focus on improving product quality and packaging, providing excellent customer service, and monitoring your listings regularly using automated feedback tools.

Improve Product Quality and Packaging

Improving product quality is key to preventing negative reviews. You should guarantee examining your products rigorously for flaws before shipping them out.

Additionally, you should package the products properly so that they arrive in good condition. This will help reduce the number of unfavorable reviews from your customers who receive damaged or defective goods.

Provide Excellent Customer Service

Providing excellent customer service is also important if you want to receive positive reviews. You should act promptly and politely when addressing customer inquiries concerning their orders, preventing negative customer experience leading to poor reviews.

Monitor Your Listings

For more efficient monitoring, use automated feedback tools such as Customer Reviews tool or Amazon Seller Central’s Feedback Manager tool which allows you to track ratings and comments left by shoppers. 

By keeping tabs on your listings, you can identify and address any potential issues before they become too severe for buyers to leave unfavorable feedback. Monitor not only the number of sales you make but also customer satisfaction with their purchases. Read through comments (you could learn a lot from them!) and respond promptly, if needed, to keep your disgruntled customers at bay. By staying reactive you maintain high levels of customer satisfaction, leading to receiving positive reviews.

Removing Negative Reviews

It’s concerning when negative reviews show up more on your listings knowing how much it will affect your conversions. From a buyer’s perspective, a negative review only means one thing . . . “Don’t buy this product!” 

As the seller, this is reason enough to want to remove a negative review . . . ASAP!

However, there isn’t a way for you to directly do that, but you can employ the following so negative reviews disappear from your listings permanently.

Contact Your Customer

The first step is to directly contact your customer. If you have their email address or other contact information, reach out politely and ask for the reason behind their review, informing that the review may be incorrect or misleading. 

Be guided by these tips when communicating with your customer:

  • Use a friendly tone in your messages.
  • Be straightforward so you resolve the issue much quickly.
  • Don’t make any hard imposition or offer any incentive to lure them into editing or deleting their review.

File a Case For Non-compliant Reviews

If you are certain that the review in question violates Amazon’s community guidelines, then don’t waste time reaching out to your customer anymore. Instead, report the non-compliant reviews immediately to Amazon and file cases for their removal. 

Gather as much data as you can so Amazon can act quickly on those cases. Persevere and make a follow-though until the reviews are finally removed.

If this sounds like dirty work to you, you’re correct because it is! This process really takes time and there’s no guarantee that Amazon will grant your request for review removal. Your best option is to utilize professional services that specialize in removing negative reviews on your listings with high success rates, yet 100% compliant with Amazon’s ToS.

Partnering with a negative review solutions provider is a smart strategy to protect your brand on Amazon. With that tedious work out of your way, you can now proceed to getting in touch with your customers to respond to their valid complaints.

Consider Taking Legal Action As Last Resort

Finally, if all else fails then taking legal action against customers that left negative reviews may be necessary if they have violated libel laws with their comments about your product or service. But before seeking to take legal action, you should familiarize yourself with any applicable laws concerning defamation to determine whether you have a strong case.

FAQs In Relation To Negative Amazon Reviews

Why Are Some Amazon Reviews Negative?

Negative Amazon reviews may stem from a variety of reasons, such as poor customer service, substandard merchandise, incorrect product info or images, slow delivery times, and late arrivals. 

Other potential causes include misleading advertising practices or deceptive pricing strategies. In some cases, customers may leave negative reviews simply because they are unhappy with their purchase or buying experience.

Regardless of the reason, negative reviews can have a significant impact on sellers’ reputations and bottom lines.

Does Amazon Allow Negative Reviews?

Amazon allows customers to express their bad product or service experience through a negative review as long as it adheres to the community guidelines. Amazon has a policy in place to ensure that only accurate, impartial feedback is shared on their platform. 

Reviews must adhere to particular conditions, For product reviews, they must contain content that is product-specific to be useful to other buyers when making a purchase decision. For seller feedback, it must contain information about the overall service of the seller.

Any review that fails to meet these standards will be removed by Amazon moderators.

Does Negative Feedback Affect Sales On Amazon?

Yes, negative feedback does affect sales on Amazon. Negative ratings and critiques can significantly reduce the exposure of a product in search results, making it less likely for shoppers to see and buy. 

Furthermore, even if potential buyers do find the product, they may be deterred from buying due to the bad reviews. Therefore, managing customer feedback is an important part of optimizing your Amazon business strategy and increasing sales on the marketplace.

Final Thoughts

Utilize the tools, methods, and strategies I’ve prescribed in this post — understanding negative reviews, proper ways to respond, and the right approach for prevention — to mitigate the impact of negative reviews on your brand.

With these measures in place, you are always prepared to deal with negative Amazon reviews in a way that will benefit both your business and your customers.

Looking for experts to manage the most complex aspects of selling on Amazon?

Contact TraceFuse today

to protect, defend & grow your brand on the Amazon marketplace.

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