They say you’re only as good as your reputation. But what’s an honest seller to do when years of devoted customer service are overshadowed by one angry (and vocal) shopper who misread your listing?
Sometimes it may seem like your Amazon seller rating is at the mercy of chance; all you can do is cross your fingers and hope for the best. The truth is, there’s a quite a few actionable and battle-tested techniques to regain control of your own narrative.
Below, we bring you the 5 most useful tips to improve your Amazon seller rating. After all, you can’t climb to the top with just three stars.
1. Offer Solutions Not Excuses
Responding properly to negative feedback is a common customer service strategy, but less common are those who do it correctly. People who write negative reviews don’t want apologies or reasons, they want solutions.
As we mention in our free ebook Master the Amazon Marketplace, you want to handle each grievance one-on-one. Demonstrate that you’re focused on this particular customer’s complaint. Don’t be stingy on concessions, refunds, or returns — think of the loss as an investment in your seller rating. A reviewer can delete their comment up to 60 days after a purchase, so that’s plenty of time to reach a compromise.
If no common ground can be reached, at least give your customer the freedom to vent. Often angry shoppers just want to be heard, and once they realize that you’re actually listening, their mood will soften.
2. Have Amazon Remove Negative Feedback
Of course, some nuts you just can’t crack. There will always be those customers who stubbornly leave negative feedback no matter what, even if whatever they’re complaining about was their own fault.
In some cases, Amazon can remove a negative review, as long as it meets one of the following criteria:
- the reviewer uses profanity or offensive words
- the complaint refers to a fulfillment issue on an FBA account
- the comment reveals personal information about the seller
- the feedback revolves around a review of a product, not the seller
Of course, these only apply with certain conditions. Even if you can’t get the review taken down, reply politely and professionally; that way, other shoppers reading the review get a sense of both sides.
3. Be Specific with Product Details
“Not what I was expecting,” sums up a good chunk of bad product reviews. Instead of constantly defending what your product is and how it should be used, preemptively get ahead of the problem. Be more specific with product details so that users know exactly what they’re buying. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Product write-ups, directions, and even pictures can all be misleading — or worse, ambiguous. If you’re noticing a lot of disappointment in your feedback, try revisiting the product description and images/videos. Accurate descriptions can remove all shadows of doubt.
4. Go Back and Master the Basics
What irritates customers most are the little things that could have been avoided. Items not in stock but still listed. Sending the wrong size or color. Late shipments. None of these mistakes should ever happen regularly, and in fact they should be the first issues addressed when building an Amazon business. That’s what makes them the basics.
Try reevaluating and auditing your entire operation to see which screws need tightening. Patching up a small issue here and there adds up in the end, especially with shipping. If you’re having trouble isolating precisely what the customers don’t like about your brand, try sending out surveys to see if the reviewers are speaking for themselves or for everyone.
5. Proactively Request Feedback
Part of taking back your Amazon seller rating is making the first move. You want as many reviews as possible to flood out the occasional negative one, but to get those numbers you’ll need to take the initiative. The question is how?
One way is to ask customers directly for feedback through the Contact Buyer feature via Amazon Seller Central. Just go to Manage Orders, set the target timeframe, and choose your target recent buyer. In the dropdown menu of the email subject line, choose “Feedback Request.” Don’t forget to personalize the message to the order.
Another option is including a reminder for feedback on the packaging slip. This may not be as effective as a direct message, but it’s a small and easy-to-implement addition that could still give your numbers a little boost.
In traditional ecommerce, post-sale emails would be a good strategy for eliciting reviews; but for Amazon, it might be overkill. Amazon already sends a minimum of five automated emails for each purchase (including a feedback request), so another email from you might do more harm than good.
Related: 3 Steps to Get More Amazon Feedback
Ecommerce shoppers are pack animals. Even though they shop from remote areas, at different times, without ever meeting each other, peer reviews allow them all to work together in finding the purchases they want. Approach your customer service with this in mind: if one shopper has a bad experience, they all have a bad experience.
Do you have any questions about our five tips for improving your Amazon seller rating? Any techniques you find especially useful? We want to hear your thoughts, so write to us below in the comments section now.
Check out this post for more Amazon seller resources.