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How to Deal with Negative Reviews

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Negative reviews are a nearly universal part of the Amazon seller experience. Still, it can be disheartening to a new seller when you receive your first 1-star review. All of the work you put into finding a great product, sourcing a supplier, listing your product on Amazon and making sure that everything works smoothly can seem ruined by one customer’s bad experience.

Negative reviews do not have to mean the end of your business, however. Handle them correctly, and you can mitigate most of the damage. They can become a learning experience for you and a chance to grow your brand.

Here are the best ways to handle negative reviews on Amazon.

First, take a deep breath.

Negative reviews on Amazon are not the end of the world or even your business. Really.

The fact is, customers, do not trust overly positive reviews for a product. If you do not have any negative reviews, customers will think either that your reviews are bought or that you do not have enough experience selling your product. Either way, customers will be wary.

The key is in having enough positive reviews to outweigh the bad ones. It takes, on average, 12 positive reviews to exceed one negative one. As long as you are using a great product, creating a good experience for your customers, and requesting honest reviews from happy customers, you will be getting the right ratio of good to bad reviews.

Also, take a moment to decide, does the criticism have merit? While some negative reviews have nothing to do with you as a seller, i.e., shipping times, there are other times that a negative review can be a lesson learned. Maybe your description could be clearer, or an important note on your product could be put more prominently. A negative review could be a chance for you to improve your product and listing if you look at the negative review objectively. It will also go a long way to help prevent future poor reviews from other customers running into the same problem.

The most important thing is to have perspective, take a deep breath and responding calmly. Responding to a negative review with anger or pettiness will only hurt your future sales. Keep in mind that 92% of consumers check reviews. How you react to a poor review will weigh as heavily as the review itself, so give yourself a moment to respond in a composed manner.

Does it violate guidelines? Ask Amazon to remove it.

It is possible to have a review removed off of Amazon. However, it is challenging. They will not lift a review just because you do not like it, or even if it is unfair.

Typically, Amazon will remove a review if it violates guidelines. Some examples include:

Abusive or threatening reviews,
Reviews made by a third- party with vested interests,
Fake reviews
One word reviews
Obscene content

Make sure that the review you are reporting has some clear violation. Automatically reporting all 1-star reviews may lower your reputation with Amazon and rating as a seller. However, if you think there is some merit to your case, do not hesitate to report a review.

Respond directly to the review 

If the review does not have any apparent violations, then the only person who can change the review are the reviewers themselves. There are a couple of ways to go about potentially convincing the reviewer to update or delete their review.

The first is to directly contact the reviewer to ask them to change their review. This can be somewhat tricky to accomplish if the reviewer left a pseudonym instead of their real name. If it is not immediately apparent who the reviewer is, it can be difficult to track down whom they are without giving stalker-vibes.

Another great option is commenting directly on the review itself. This can give you the chance to put the negative review in a different light. You can provide a better background on why this review is unwarranted, or an opportunity to demonstrate how you have resolved this issue for future customers. It also gives you a chance to show your customer service skills and how you respond constructively to negative experiences with your product.

In your comment, be sure first to apologize even if the review had nothing to do with anything you could control, apologize for the poor experience they had with ordering your product. Future customers will appreciate your humility, and it immediately takes away the tension of the situation if you start with an apology. If the review is warranted, it would also be a great chance to demonstrate to future customers how you rectified the situation so they will not experience the same problem.

Next, encourage the reviewer to contact you directly to make things right. It is best to take the conversation off of the reviews. No one wants to air their mistakes, whether the reviewer failed to read the description or you made some mistake on your end.

If the customer does end up contacting you, this is your chance to rectify the situation. You can offer them reimbursement or replacement product free of charge to help remedy the situation. While this may end up costing you more money than you make off that particular sale, it can be worth it to save your reputation on Amazon.

Ask the reviewer to change the review.

Once you have remedied the situation, ask the reviewer kindly if they would mind updating or deleting their review. Explain to them how their review hurts your sales and encourage them to leave something more positive if they are happy with how the situation was handled. They may not realize just how negatively the review affects your business and future sales.

The key is to make sure their issue is handled first before discussing your reputation. Your customer will not be concerned with how the negative review affects you if you do not show concern for their experience.

Manage your negative reviews

Negative reviews can be frustrating, especially if they are not your fault. However, if you answer them promptly and correctly, you can undo some of the damage. Keep a positive attitude, respond apologetically and helpfully, and then ask the reviewer to revise their review for you. You can find that it is an opportunity to help grow your experience if it is handled successfully!

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