Having great feedback on Amazon is crucial to success for all sellers registered on their marketplace. It impacts the volume of sales, ODR rate and their eligibility for the Buy Box. Maintaining a good level of positive feedback isn’t always straightforward though.
There are a number of tools and reports available within Amazon to help you to understand the feedback score you’ve been given and to manage any negative ones.
Here are our top tips on how to handle negative feedback on Amazon if it happens:
1. Is It Legitimate?
It is possible that some buyers might make mistakes, or a competitor might try and damage your reputation by leaving a false review. Don’t automatically assume that all negative feedback is genuine.
Take some time to decide whether the review is authentic and accurate. Does the comment contain any abusive language? Is it talking about a product or order that you haven’t seen, or a different version of one of your products? Analyse the feedback to make sure that it is legitimate before taking any action steps.
2. Support Unhappy Customers
Not all negative reviews will meet Amazon’s criteria to be removed automatically, which leaves the seller with two main options. They can either do nothing, or they can do everything they can to leave the customer happy.
The second option is the preferable choice and sellers should try to work with any unhappy buyers to try and understand their dissatisfaction to see if they can solve the problem collaboratively.
3. Solve Any Problems
From the date of leaving feedback, a buyer has up to sixty calendar days to take the negative feedback down.
In this time, if the seller can work with the buyer to solve the problem, then there is a chance that the buyer may decide to remove the negative feedback.
4. Report Abuses to Amazon
There are some specific criteria that Amazon must consider whether to remove negative feedback, such as if it contains abusive language, discloses too much information about a seller or is actually a product review.
If this is the case, the seller can apply for removal using the Feedback Manager in the Seller Central dashboard. As we stated above, the buyer only has 60 days in which to remove feedback, but Amazon has 90 days if the review violates their policy.
Contacting them should be a last resort though and you should try and resolve with the buyer first.
5. Ask Customers Nicely to Reconsider
If the seller has resolved the problem and the buyer has not removed the negative feedback, it is possible for the seller to follow up and ask them politely to request removal. The guidance issued by Amazon is that they should: “Contact buyers with no more than one polite request to remove the feedback after resolving their problem.”
The feedback links are available for buyers from their order list, but the format isn’t always consistent, so it is sensible to send them to link to remove feedback to make life easier for them.
This is an area to tread carefully with. It is permitted to refund all or part of the shipping fees as a gesture of goodwill, but be wary of offering any form of incentive for removing negative feedback.
6. Responding Publicly
If your buyer does not respond or is not co-operating with you, you should consider posting a public response to their review. This acts as proof for your other customers that you do communicate well and reach out to buyers and that you’re still open to suggestions to resolve it.
Be careful not to place blame or do any finger-pointing in your response. Demonstrate that you are reaching out with the best intentions and instead talk about what you have done or would want to do for the buyer if they got in touch. Use that response to give your perspective on the issue discussed in the review.
Finish by asking your customer to contact you via the messaging service so that you can help them with their problem.
7. Learn from It
Negative feedback can hurt when we receive it, but it does also provide us with an excellent opportunity for learning in your business. Are there certain products that cause more negative feedback?
Do you need to allocate an increased amount of inventory to the FBA to avoid any delays with delivery? Are you receiving more negative feedback from certain marketplaces?
Whatever the reason for the negative feedback, it offers you a chance to review and improve your business by making important adjustments. For example, you may find that you need to update product descriptions based on what a reviewer has said, which will improve the service for future customers.
Try collating your negative reviews and spend some time analyzing them for patterns. Discover what your customers’ pain points are and use that information to improve your business.