No matter how great your product or service is, there will come a time when someone leaves a negative review. Don’t panic! Negative reviews aren’t the end of the world. In fact, they can even be good for your business…if you handle them correctly.
In the world of Amazon reviews, there is a difference between the words “feedback” and “review,” though they are taken together as a whole “review.” Feedback will address packaging and customer experience, while a review is about the product itself. It’s important to be able to separate these when you read customer comments, so that you can determine what can be easily changed and what needs your attention.
Read on to see how to make negative reviews work for you, instead of against you.
It may be tempting to ignore that negative feedback or reviews, but don’t do it! Accept negative comments as constructive criticism. It’s an attempt by a dissatisfied customer to get relief. Your customer wasn’t motivated to leave a bad review for no good reason! It’s up to you to get to the bottom of the issue.
It has been shown that buyers are heavily influenced by online reviews. This Zendesk survey showed 88% of customers used online reviews as a deciding factor in purchase, while this BrightLocal survey showed 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. You don’t want unacknowledged negative feedback to sway your potential buyers, like in this review from Amazon:
You also don’t want to delete your negative feedback. Buyers sometimes head back to your page to see if others have had more positive experiences than they did. If they see their negative feedback has been deleted, they are far more likely to tell others to stay away from your business.
Chances are, you don’t have a personalized relationship with every single buyer from your business. In fact, when your buyers find you on Amazon, they’re not your customers at all—they’re Amazon’s. That means when you see a negative review, you probably won’t recognize the customer and/or sale instantly. Diligently research the issue.
Why did the customer feel strongly enough to leave a negative review for the world to see? What went wrong, and how can you make it right? Take some time to really get a feel for the situation. A word of caution, however: Be prompt. Don’t let more than 24 hours elapse without at least initiating communication with the customer to let him or her know you are researching the issue. If the buyer came through Amazon, work hard to get Amazon to reach out to that buyer with reassurances.
Once you know what happened, publicly acknowledge the issue. Be empathetic in your public response, and make your customer feel heard and appreciated. If you can, you should definitely reach out to a buyer privately to finalize all the details of a mutually agreed upon solution; a public response will show other buyers you’re making a good faith effort to make your dissatisfied customer whole.
If your customer’s order was FBA, then you must rely on Amazon to make things right. Don’t stop contacting Amazon until they help you provide a resolution. This goes a long way toward building a great reputation!
Offer Apologies and Solutions
You know what happened, and you’ve crafted a public response. Now it’s time to really connect with the customer to ensure this situation is resolved.
Apologize, and own up to your mistakes. Admitting fault, if appropriate, humanizes you to your customer: You’re not just some faceless company trying to pull a fast one; you’re an actual person who made an honest mistake.
Resist the urge to argue! Your buyer is already in a negative frame of mind, so don’t add to it by arguing. That will only make the situation much worse! Always be respectful. Stay calm, cool, and collected.
Offer an appropriate solution. That might be covering the return shipping, issuing a refund, sending out a replacement, or something else entirely. If you’ve done your part to diligently research the issue, you will be able to select the best remedy.
If you tread carefully and offer your customer an honest and sincere resolution, resolving a negative review can turn an angry customer into a lifelong devotee. Use it as a tool to help grow your business!