Negative Amazon reviews are bothersome because they can lower your overall rating, harm your brand’s reputation, and turn off potential buyers. They are, nonetheless, unavoidable, because each customer will have different expectations. So, how do you handle negative feedback?
To assist relieve the misery, Amazon previously permitted sellers to provide a personalized answer to any and all reviews. The response of a brand appears as a comment in a public thread on the product listing page’s first review. This allowed brands to provide additional support to customers while also demonstrating to potential customers that the company was aware of the comments, was working to improve, and was concerned about each customer’s experience.
Unfortunately, customers didn’t always respond to seller comments intended to improve the customer experience, implying that the feature wasn’t always generating improved customer service or addressing negative reviews.
In a bittersweet move, Amazon decided to phase down the option to comment directly on reviews in December 2020. Bitter because the removal of the function left businesses troubled and helpless when it came to dealing with poor reviews and the issues that caused them. Sweet since it cleared the way for Amazon’s recent Customer Reviews tool update to include a Contact Customer function.
You read that correctly: Amazon has now released a new function that allows sellers to respond directly to unfavorable reviews in order to obtain additional information from the buyer, offer a replacement, or provide a full refund.
What is the latest version of the Customer Reviews tool?
When brand owners saw the update to the Customer Reviews tool within the Brand Dashboard, providing them the opportunity to finally contact out to customers in reaction to a critical review, they may have been astonished — this is a significant update!
“The Customer Reviews function has been upgraded!” it says. Customers who wrote negative reviews (star rating 1-3) can now receive direct messages.”
You’ll be sent to the announcement page if you click the “Learn more” link.
We listened to your feedback!
We’ve been tracking feedback from brands related to the Customer Reviews experience. We heard that you love having a way to see all your reviews in one place and that it is nice to be able to filter by star rating and time period. You also shared your frustrations over not being able to directly engage with your customers who left critical reviews.
We’re now offering a brand-only benefit that allows you to reach out to buyers who purchased your branded product directly from you, who left critical (1-3 star reviews) via templated emails that allow you to communicate with buyers via buyer-seller messaging.
We believe this will build brand trust and help establish stronger relationships between you and your customers.
Yes, you read that correctly. You can now contact a client who has posted a poor review on one of your branded products directly.
What defines a negative review?
The Contact Customer tool is available for any review that received a 1, 2, or 3 star rating. If a review is eligible, it will appear in the right hand corner of the review in seller central’s Customer Reviews area.
A notification will appear in the right hand corner if a review gets 4 or 5 stars, informing sellers that the review is not suitable for the feature.
Is the Contact Customer feature restricted in any way?
You must be an Amazon-registered brand to use this service. Adding to the analytics, advertising, A+ Content, and other features of Brand Registry. (If Brand Registry is the only thing keeping you from using the service, contact us right away to see how we can help.)
Additionally, brands will only be able to reply to negative reviews that occurred within the last six months, so reviewing reviews and acting quickly is essential.
Is it possible to delete negative Amazon reviews?
The basic answer is no for sellers, however there is a solution. As a business owner, you should do everything possible to rectify any unfavorable customer experiences, particularly when it comes to public product reviews.
Negative reviews can dissuade people from buying your products and lower your Amazon conversion rate.
Rather of dismissing a poor review of your product, you now have the option of contacting the customer who posted it and asking them to remove it or alter it to a positive one. You can turn an unhappy buyer into a pleased customer by being proactive and offering excellent customer service.
While reviews aren’t the only factor to consider, they do have an impact on purchasing decisions. When purchasing online, 75 percent of Americans say they look for the best-reviewed and highest-rated products.
Customers are not guaranteed to remove or amend their reviews, although that is the ultimate goal. Why not give it a shot if Amazon now permits you to contact customers to resolve product issues? There’s nothing to lose.
Let’s take a look at some of the probable outcomes of contacting customers:
They make a constructive improvement to their negative review.
This is the best-case situation for you. Increasing the quantity of good reviews on your listings is, of course, one of your key goals as a seller. It’s a win-win situation if you provide a remedy for the dissatisfied customer, such as a refund or item replacement, and they alter their review to a good one.
They take down the bad review.
This is your best option if all you want to do is erase a nasty Amazon review. While this isn’t as wonderful as the customer converting the negative review to a positive one, it’s still a win. The fewer negative ratings you have on Amazon, the better.
By contacting the customer, you are worsening their situation.
This isn’t a likely possibility, but it’s not impossible. Let’s face it, not everyone enjoys receiving emails from businesses, especially those that have recently generated a bad experience. Simply ignore their message in this scenario and move on.
They are uninterested.
This is most likely due to the fact that many Amazon customers have chosen to opt out of receiving emails. In this situation, you’ve gone above and beyond to improve their experience.
What is the ideal way to use the Customer Reviews tool?
As previously stated, this function is only available to vendors whose brands are registered with Brand Registry, which is another compelling reason to do so.
To view your products’ reviews Go to Brands > Customer Reviews in Seller Central.
You’ll be able to check all of the consumer reviews for your branded products here. Any products you sell that aren’t part of the Amazon Brand Registry will be hidden from view.
You should see a button to the right that says “Contact Buyer” if your product has a critical review with three stars or less.
When you select “Contact Buyer,” you will be given two choices:
- Courtesy Refund: You can offer your customer a complete refund or a replacement item as a courtesy refund.
- Customer Review: You can directly contact your customer to ask about their review.
Let’s take a look at each of these possibilities:
Amazon sends you a pre-written message giving the buyer a replacement item or a complete refund on their order.
You cannot change any portion of the message that will be delivered to the customer at this time.
Before the update, much of the wording used in Amazon’s email would have been in violation of the company’s own communication policy — but not now! Though it may occur to you, I do not propose contacting the client outside of your Brand Dashboard’s Customer Reviews tool.
Another item you could notice at the top of the email is: The Order ID is a unique number assigned to each order. Prior to this change, Amazon didn’t tell vendors which order a customer review came from. Again, use caution while dealing with this information. Use it to keep your consumers informed about their experience, but maintain in touch with them through the Customer Reviews platform, not outside of it.
You cannot edit this email, as you cannot edit the courteous refund message. This option allows you to contact customers and handle concerns they may have had with your product, allowing you to avoid a repeat of the situation.
Maybe your product has a quality issue that has to be addressed, or maybe the customer just didn’t like it. In any case, you should be aware of that information.
Which option do you think you should go with?
The Contact Buyer option you select should be selected on a case-by-case basis and based on the customer review. For example, if a consumer complained about how the product broke, the best option would be to offer a refund or replacement product by selecting “Courtesy refund.”
If the client was unsure how the item functioned, you should select “Customer review” so you may gather more information from them and assist them in resolving their problem with your product.
After you send the message, the review will show that you contacted the consumer. Within the buyer-seller messaging system, you will be able to see the message you sent.
What are the advantages of using the Contact Customer function?
The option to contact customers directly could be extremely beneficial to vendors. Responding to an upset customer and resolving their difficulties may result in the customer removing or, better yet, changing their negative review to a positive one.
Since you won’t be able to remove unfavorable reviews, your best choice is to help the customer have a better experience and reconsider their poor comment. Furthermore, because Amazon controls customer contact information, there is no mechanism for sellers to contact dissatisfied customers outside of the feature.
Even if the buyer doesn’t edit or remove their review–and even if they don’t respond to your message–if the buyer sees the email as an attempt to resolve their issue, it can have a favorable impact on how they regard your company in the future, boosting your brand reputation.
Sending a follow-up email or offering a complete refund to a consumer who submitted a negative review would hopefully improve their experience significantly. While it is unlikely that they will change their mind, it will give the message that your company cares about its customers. You can’t have a successful business without pleased consumers!
What disadvantages does the Contact Customer feature have?
While emailing buyers is a more direct approach to solving their concerns, emails in today’s digital world are readily deleted or ignored. Furthermore, because these emails are private, subsequent consumers will be unaware of your efforts to remedy the concerns stated in the unfavorable review.
Prospective buyers could examine how a brand replied to any flaws stated in a negative review and compare the brand’s reaction against the criticism when sellers could reply on reviews previously. The buyer and seller are the only ones who may now reach an agreement.
The worst-case scenario is that the consumer ignores the email and leaves their rating unchanged. On the other hand, the customer can be grateful for the refund, replacement, or outreach, and feel inclined to alter their negative review to a positive one. They might even buy another product from your company since they know there’s someone behind it who cares.
Being a successful Amazon seller requires having a good seller feedback rating. Negative feedback, on the other hand, is far from permanent on Amazon. Check to see if the comment violates Amazon’s stringent feedback guidelines. If it doesn’t, try to make the customer happy by resolving the matter and having them delete it themselves.
When selling on Amazon, the trick is to not get discouraged by negative feedback. Take a deep breath and address any issues with feedback as soon as they develop in order to improve your service and appeal to prospective clients.
A few bad reviews here and there won’t hurt you in the long run if you focus on building your business and providing excellent customer service. Sellers will have no issue succeeding in the Amazon marketplace if they keep these goals in mind.
If you’ve registered your brand, there’s no reason you shouldn’t try out this new service. This is another tool that gives you an advantage over competitors who are not members of the Brand Registry.