In recent years, Amazon has taken a huge stand against manipulated product reviews. For many years, services could be bought by sellers in which a person would buy your product, and then leave a review. Most of the time, these purchased reviews were favorable – who would pay for someone to trash their product? – and so the Amazon review system was slowly but surely becoming unreliable.
And purchasing reviews isn’t the only way that product reviews could be faked. While Amazon has been pursuing fake reviewers for some time, they sued three sellers in recent months for posting reviews of their own products from fake “sockpuppet” accounts.
Because of these new, stricter policies regarding bad reviews, it can be difficult for a seller to believe that they have any recourse when it comes to unfairly received criticism. But there are still a few ways that you can banish bad product reviews from your Amazon listings. First, let’s look at why you might want to pursue such action.
Why Get Rid of Bad Reviews
If you support Amazon’s quest to weed out the fake reviewers, you might think that removing bad reviews from product listings is counterintuitive. After all, in a marketplace where unfavorable opinions are not allowed to stand, how can anyone trust that the positive reviews are genuine?
But let us be clear that we are speaking about reviews that were left unfairly: those that are mistakenly left on the wrong product, those that do not follow Amazon’s policies, those in which customer error caused the issue, or those that are intentionally false or harmful out of spite or due to “trolling”.
Bad reviews can have a potentially drastic effect on your product listings. Even if your product has a great average rating, with several hundred 5-star reviews, a single 1-star review can drag the average down. A study of restaurant revenue in 2011 showed that dropping from an average of 5 stars to 4 stars on a user review site could have a negative impact on their revenues as much as 9%, and the product sales business is often eerily similar to that of restaurant sales.
Shoppers often go straight to the negative reviews, ignoring the positives altogether, in order to find out what the “catch” is behind your excellent product. Most statistics show that 80% of consumers have changed their mind about buying an item based entirely on the negative reviews the product had.
In contrast, consistently good product reviews can lead buyers to believe that your product is superior, and that it outperforms similar competitor products. With the popularity of websites like Amazon, Yelp, and Angie’s List, looking to customer reviews is now, more than ever, a primary part of the way consumers shop.
How to Get Rid of Bad Reviews
Knowing why you should get rid of bad reviews is one thing, but with Amazon’s updated manipulation policies, can you still get rid of them? We’re going to discuss three different approaches to bad reviews, which can help you banish them for good from your product listings.
- The first thing that many sellers do to get a bad review removed is contact the buyer. Perhaps there is something in the review that you can address very quickly, or explain better, that will help the customer see their product in a whole new light. For example, consider a product that has multiple uses, but the customer only understands one of those uses. If their review was a complaint the product was overpriced for its single use, you could send a customer service email explaining the other uses, and even offering links to tutorials or videos if such things are available.
It doesn’t always work, but in some cases, simply reaching out to a customer and offering to fix an issue or solve a problem after the fact will cause them to update their review. FeedbackEmails offers a way to automate feedback and review requests, so that you can address issues before customers ever get to the review step of the interaction.
- Having Amazon remove a review is next to impossible, unless the review contains profanity, the seller’s personal information, or is a review totally based on shipping rather than the product itself. However, one way that sellers can use Amazon’s system to remove a review is to get enough “unhelpful” votes on the review. If you have happy customers or associates who find that this negative review is unfair, they can click “No” by the question, “Was this review helpful?” under the review. With enough “No” clicks, Amazon’s system will automatically hide the review.
- Finally, you may consider, in rare cases, commenting on the review. It’s best to use this option very sparingly, as most customers believe that this makes a seller look bad. But if you can’t contact the buyer through the private buyer-seller channel, or you haven’t had luck with any other method, you might be able to post an explanatory comment that offers real, helpful customer service. Be sure that your comments are positive, and be aware that you aren’t trying to change the review in this case, but rather to convince any new buyers reading the bad review to give your shop a chance anyway. Never, ever react to criticism with negative remarks of your own.
Banish Bad Reviews For Good
These three methods may help you get rid of bad reviews, but in order to banish them for good? Learn from your reviews. If your products are routinely receiving bad reviews because customers thought they’d be getting something of better or different quality, then you may need to update your product listing with clearer information.
When you’ve created a listing that accurately depicts exactly what you sell, you’ve priced your item according to market trends and demand, and you’ve addressed any other common complaints that you may have seen, you should see a drastic reduction in bad reviews overall.
Don’t forget that managing your reputation is much easier when you have a simple way to contact your buyers before they ever even leave a review. Through FeedbackEmails, you can automatically ask your customers to let you help them achieve a 5-star experience before they review, greatly reducing your chances of ever receiving a complaint.