How to remove negative feedback

Every Amazon seller around has received an angry review blasting their service, ranting about how their product is overpriced and underwhelming, or how what the customer received was damaged, faulty and not as advertised. Getting negative feedback is a normal and unavoidable part of selling on Amazon.

The question is how do you deal with this feedback? It’s in your own interest as a seller to keep you customers happy because reviews have a huge effect on business. Technology market research company Dimensional Research conducted a survey which found that 90% of customers say their purchasing is affected by positive reviews. If consumers see other people are happy with the product, they are going to be more likely to buy.

Ideally rather than firefighting, you want to get issues sorted at the root cause to avoid negative feedback altogether; whether this is making sure shipments are sent out on time or ensuring your product quality is top notch before shipping. If you can get this stuff right you’re going to have happier customers all round and less negative responses to deal with.

But what if you already have a whole load of negative feedback sitting on your seller page? Here’s a couple of tips to help you get that feedback removed:

Don’t wait

Just like the rest of us, your customers will appreciate a quick response. If they’re unhappy with the service or product, leaving it for a couple more hours or even days before you deal with them is only going to piss them off more. The amount of customer emails I’ve opened that start with ‘thank you for the quick response’ is too many to count. Customer’s appreciate you making the effort to get back to them. Start off the interaction on a good foot by showing the customer their issue matters to you and that you want to get it resolved as quickly as possible.

Be Polite, always

An extremely simple way to win the customer over is to just be polite. As a British person, politeness has been engrained into me since birth, but whoever you are it’s true that a ‘thank you’ or ‘please’ go a long way. Statistics show that 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. Being polite is treating your customers well. This doesn’t mean you cant be firm or straight to the point, just don’t take what they say personally and remember the customer is king.

Whether they’re screaming down the phone at you or writing you an angry email all in capitals (some customers love a bit of caps to prove a point) don’t let it get to you. It doesn’t matter if their response is justified or not, stay polite, channel your inner saint and be patient with the customer, and you will usually win them over in the end. Being polite can defuse situations and calm down the most agitated of customers.

Read up

Another key element to dealing with negative feedback is properly understanding the issue each customer has. This is usually pretty straight forward — the item was late to arrive, it was damaged etc — but it helps to know as much detail about each customers’ issue as you can, so you can quickly and efficiently deal with it.

The customer support business HelpScout posted the statistic that 83% of small and medium-sized businesses responded with inaccurate or incomplete answers when responding to emails.

There’s nothing quite like presenting the wrong information to an already upset customer — I can tell you it isn’t going to go down well. Show the customer you understand their individual situation and you care about getting their problem resolved. The content of you emails matters as much as the response time.

Present a solution

This is an obvious point to make, but to effectively deal with negative feedback you have to resolve it, and to do this you need to give the customer a solution. Sometimes, if you start off on the right foot with great service, you can even get the customer to compromise on what that solution is. Whether this is sending out a replacement, or giving a partial/full refund or exchange, you need to show the customer how you’re going to take what has been a bad experience for them and resolve it effectively to turn it into a brilliant one.

Ask

Once the issue has been dealt with you need to take the next practical step — ask them to remove the feedback. You’ve offered a solution and followed through with it, so customers are usually more than happy to edit or delete feedback.

Sometimes this means sending a follow up email to check the replacement arrived or they received the refund etc. Or it could be that you offer to send them an email detailing the steps to take on their Amazon account to remove the feedback. Make this easy for them. Don’t assume that just because you’ve fixed the problem they will automatically correct their feedback. It’s true that those who do not ask do not always receive.

Value each customer

This is the most effective way you’re going to get customers to remove bad feedback. Show them that you care. It may sound wishy washy, but this is what customers want and this is what works. If the customer feels valued, if they feel like you genuinely want to get the issue sorted for them they are going to be way more likely to cooperate with you. Everything I’ve already mentioned will help you do this but sometimes it means going the extra mile.

Maybe you need to call up each customer who’s left a bad review, speak to them personally, listen to their problem and then get it resolved for them there and then. That’s caring for your customers. That’s great customer service. Not only will you be likely to get the feedback removed but when you sort out a customers complaint for them, 70% of the time they will do business with you again. Win win.

Avoid Suspension

Suspension is the dreaded fate for any Amazon seller. If you don’t deal with it, your negative feedback could potentially result in your selling privileges being removed. Suspension is death for your business.

Negative feedback contributes to your ODR (Order Defect Rate), and in accordance with Amazon policy this can’t be higher than 1%. Amazon are big on customer service and crack down hard on sellers who aren’t performing. It’s a harsh statistic to work to but the reality of selling online is competitive. You have to stay on your game to keep up. If you don’t stay on top of it you will be headed straight into the ugly jaws of suspension — not a place you want to see.

By following the simple tips and principles laid out in this blog you will not only avoid suspension and get negative feedback removed but also improve your customer service overall.