How to Manage Your Amazon Reviews and Increase Sales
Online reviews are a huge part of how people shop today. 93% of consumers in a recent survey said that online reviews impact their purchasing decision. 93% of people agreeing on anything is rare. But in this case, it’s hardly surprising.
People have always wanted some kind of reassurance that they’re spending their money wisely. In pre-internet days, we were dependent on the recommendations of friends and family members when it came to purchasing decisions. But, those sources were limited in how many products they’d tried and could vouch for. Now, 84% of customers say they trust reviews as much as they trust their friends.
For Amazon sellers, reviews are even more important. In addition to influencing whether or not people decide to buy, they also affect your rankings on the site. This, in turn, impacts the likelihood of winning the Buy Box. The quantity and quality of your product reviews are both factored into Amazon’s A9 algorithm that determines your listing placement.
And, customers can easily limit the results they see on Amazon based on average rating. Everyone is looking to buy products with at least four stars. Shopping online, you can’t see or touch the products before you buy them. So, other people’s accounts of their purchases are the closest you get to understanding what the quality is really like.
A few bad reviews can drop your rating so you disappear from results for customers who filter results by best-reviewed. As a vendor, Amazon review management is, therefore, a vital part of the job. With so many products available on the marketplace, your review rating becomes your brand’s reputation.
Amazon Review Management Consists of Two Main Tactics:
- Encouraging new reviews
- Addressing and removing negative reviews
How to Get More (Positive) Reviews from Your Customers
Bad reviews are a problem all their own (see below), but not getting reviews at all will still hurt you. Amazon sellers have two main steps they can take to increase their chances of earning positive reviews from customers to keep their star rating as high and strong as possible.
Implement Best Practices
This may seem obvious, but it’s too important not to mention: you have to provide your Amazon customers with a great experience if you want them to give you a good review. If you’re fulfilling an order yourself, that means getting it to them within the promised time frame and packaged in a way that keeps it in good condition until it reaches their front door.
It also means doing quality control. Sometimes, your customers will receive products that don’t work right — it happens. But, you want it to happen as rarely as possible. Check all your products for flaws so you can weed out the problem stock before it can get to your customers.
Include thorough information in your product listing bullet points and Enhanced Brand Content to dispel any possible misinformation. Do you have an organic product with naturally-occurring color variation? Does it take two weeks for your supplements to start working? Communicate every caveat clearly so customers know what to expect. Otherwise, you can bet you’ll hear about it in those low-star reviews.
Send Follow-Up Emails
People are busy. And if they don’t have anything bad to say, it’s likely they won’t say anything at all. Even if they love the product you sent, most aren’t going to take a minute out of their hectic day to review it without a little nudge. Amazon has some strict rules about how you’re allowed to contact customers directly, but they do allow follow-up emails after every purchase. This is an opportunity every Amazon seller should absolutely take advantage of. Use your emails to:
- Check on your customers’ satisfaction level. You want to make sure they’re happy with the product you sent.
- Proactively offer to solve any problems. If they’re not happy, you want to hear about it now, so you can try to make it right before they leave a bad review.
- Request a review. Politely ask them to take a couple of minutes to review the product and their experience. Emphasize how little time it takes, and include a link to make it super easy.
If you sell a lot of products on Amazon, the idea of sending out hundreds of follow-up emails may sound ridiculous. But many Amazon review management tools allow you to automate this process. So, you can get those emails out soon after the product arrives without having to keep on top of it manually.
You can make writing the email even more efficient and make sure you use best practices by downloading our free template to use in your Amazon review management tool of choice. This can be a great help, whether you use Feedback Genius, FeedbackFive or another tool. A well-crafted and perfectly timed email may be just the thing to bolster your product listings ratings.
How to Handle Negative Amazon Reviews
Getting happy customers to take time review is a challenge, but unsatisfied customers are often all too happy to take a few minutes out of their day to complain. Their reviews can tank your rating average and drive customers away if you don’t do something about it.
Contact Customers to Make it Right
The first and, in most cases, best step to getting rid of negative reviews is turning them into positive experiences for customers with the right response. Speed matters here. Buyers can update feedback on a seller transaction within 60 calendar days from the date they originally left the feedback. You want to get in touch with an upset customer as soon as possible after they leave a review — same day is ideal, and within the hour is better. Many Amazon review tools will alert you each time you receive a review so you can get in touch with your customer fast.
Respond to the customer directly asking what the problem is and how you can make it right. Consider offering a refund or a replacement if the product was defective in some way.
Whatever you do, though, don’t directly ask them to remove or update their negative review until after you’ve solved their problem. Don’t offer to provide a refund or replacement in exchange for an updated review — Amazon wants you to make things right to improve the customer experience, not as a bribe.
After you’ve resolved the issue, you can ask for them to update or remove the review, but even then, be careful not to pressure them. You have to find the right balance here to avoid running afoul of Amazon’s rules.
If you don’t get a response to your email, you can reply publicly on Amazon. Even if the upset customer still doesn’t respond, other buyers will be able to see that you tried to make things right.
Make sure you keep your response professional and helpful and never be insulting or defensive. Your reply is not only for the customer in question, but also shows your great customer service to other Amazon shoppers.
Remove Negative Reviews
Generally, Amazon’s policy is not to remove buyer feedback even if it is unwarranted or the issue has been resolved. But, in some cases, you can remove negative reviews without having to go through the customer. Amazon has guidelines about the feedback customers can leave.
Their rules prohibit:
- Reviews with mentions or links to another brand or product.
- Reviews with language commonly understood to be obscene or profane.
- Any review with seller-specific, personally identifiable information, including email addresses, full names, or telephone numbers.
- Product feedback left as seller feedback (For example, The Acme Super-Widget lacks the sharpness and speed of the Acme Ultra Widget).
- Reviews on products fulfilled by Amazon that complain about factors that are Amazon’s responsibility (such as shipping speed or packaging). In that case, the review will be stricken, and the following message will appear: “This item was fulfilled by Amazon, and we take responsibility for this fulfillment experience.”
- Reviews about an order arriving late or not at all when the seller shipped on time with Buy Shipping services. ). In that case, the review will be stricken, and this message will appear: “The fulfillment issues associated with this order were not due to the seller.”
If you get a negative review that falls into one of these categories, you can submit a feedback removal request to Amazon. While logged into your account, go to the Contact Us page under the “Help” section of Seller Central and select “Customers and orders.”
When prompted, provide the Order ID. The next page will list the reasons you can provide for appealing a review. Choose the reason that applies to your case, and provide all the requested information. Amazon will review your request and remove the review if they agree that it doesn’t meet the guidelines.
Reviews can make or break any Amazon seller. Treat every order you fill as an opportunity to increase your star average. Make sure you provide high-quality products and top-notch service. And, when you get a negative review in spite of your best efforts, know it happens to the best of us. Do the work to get it removed by resolving the root problem or by going straight to Amazon. Then, you'll be on your way to the 4- and 5-star product ratings your Amazon listings need.
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