What to do with negative reviews?

what-to-do-with-negative-reviews

You can’t please everyone all the time. Sometimes mistakes are made and a customer may leave a negative review for your product or service – it happens! Naturally it can be disappointing, but they present opportunities for you as well. So what can you do with negative reviews?

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Resist the delete button

Don’t ignore it

Even if you don’t agree with the comments or rating that has been left, ignoring it can make things worse. Responding to negative reviews shows the customer, and any other potential new customers, that you’ve taken the time, effort and care to deal with any issues.

Unfortunately on Amazon, sellers aren’t able to type a personalised response. Amazon felt sellers were trying to coerce negative reviewers into changing their reviews which went against Amazon’s review policy.

automated-email-template-contact-customer-feature-for-bad-reviews-on-amazon
An example of the automated template on Amazon

Back in April, they decided to introduce a new Contact Customer feature on the Customer Review tool in Seller Central. Any reviews that are 3 stars or less are flagged as negative reviews. Sellers can then click on Contact Buyer and choose from a series of email templates to either offer a full refund or request more information. It’s a bit of a clunky method of responding that doesn’t quite give the freedom of response that sellers prefer, but using it is better than ignoring the reviews entirely, especially as there’s no way of deleting them. If you use the feature, the customer may potentially change the review of their own accord. You can read more on the feature here.

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Don’t reply immediately – step away before responding so it’s not reactionary

Respond politely

Even if the you disagree with the review or the customer has been a little rude with their comments, it’s always best if you’re polite in return. On Amazon, of course you can only use their generic templates, but if you’re using a crowdfunding site or social media, everyone can see your response. Being polite not only comes across better to other prospective customers, but also goes a long way to improving relations with a disgruntled reviewer. It’s shows care for your product, service and customer, potentially encouraging them to alter their opinion and review. Dealing with issues politely and swiftly is always more encouraging for your business.

Whilst being polite, it’s important to also remember to be your authentic self. Leaving generic responses won’t make the customer feel valued. The personal touch is always best.

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It’s all about mindset.

Turn a negative into a positive

A bit of reverse engineering! Negative reviews can be looked at as an opportunity to make improvements to your products, listing or offering. It’s so important for brands to read every single review, positive or negative, and create actionable tasks to improve listings based directly on customer recommendations. For example, they may highlight something with your product or packaging that you hadn’t realised before. It could flag something with the delivery provider you’re using. Or it could indicate something on your listing that needs updating. Even a comment like, ‘the photos don’t do it justice,’ could be a sign that you should get some new product photos taken.

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Choose to see it in a positive light.

Reviews also present opportunities to discover new keywords. Find the words that stand out in your reviews so you can create optimised search terms for your listing.

Don’t try to collect reviews

While Amazon listings perform extremely well when your review count grows, the goal should not be to become a collector of reviews and ignore the content. Many might think that having lots of 4 and 5 star reviews is enough of an indicator that things are ok, which on paper is somewhat true, but we’ve come to learn through practice that you can improve on conversions and advertising costs if you go through reviews for positive and negative search terms and optimise your products. You may also find patterns in customer comments to help create improvements to a product.

In a nutshell, don’t ignore negative reviews that come your way. Deal with them, take their comments on board and turn them into something positive.

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