Ooh, negative feedback. No merchant enjoys it, but it happens to everyone if you sell long enough. While it’s an unavoidable monster, you can still be Pollyana-ish about it and look for the silver lining in the storm cloud—and FeedbackExpress has concrete tips to turn that frown upside down.

The Exponential Effect of Negative Feedback

When shopping took place B.C. (‘Before Computers’), negative feedback was mostly limited geographically and socially. A shopper who had a lousy experience would tell their friends and family and for the most part, it was contained there. But in A.D. (‘After Development’), the internet played a huge role in making reviews and feedback go viral really quickly.

There’s no shortage of examples where negative feedback quickly became top-page news, like this Buzzfeed post. For the vast majority of Amazon sellers, they’ll never become headliners like that but it’s still important to focus on negative feedback, so let’s take a look at how you can manage it.

Find It, Analyse It, Change It

Feedback, positive or negative, is found in your Seller Central account (go to the performance tab and select ‘feedback’) and you can view it over the past 30, 90 and 365 days. It’s further subdivided into positive, negative, neutral (which also counts as negative) and total count. This is a blessing and a curse, because it means that you always have to be on top of maintaining a good rating but that ratings will also eventually be left in the past.

Now that you’ve taken a look at your feedback numbers and patted yourself on the back for amassing a good percentage of positive reviews, it’s time to fix the negative ones. If you’ve gotten a negative or neutral review, your first step should always be to address the customer’s concerns by clicking on the ‘resolve’ button. This allows you to email the customer directly and try and make things right.

When you’re doing that, it’s important to remember that you should never try to bribe your way into a positive review or send them links that take them away from Amazon. These are two really big no-no’s in Amazon’s books and can get you in hot water pretty fast. Plus, only users can change their feedback, so your responsibility will be to merely provide them with the instructions on how to do so.

However, there are occasionally cases where the negative feedback just isn’t your fault, like if you use FBA and Amazon screwed up on the delivery or product quality. If that’s the case, then contact Amazon first before emailing the customer and explain to them they missed catching a bad review that was their fault. Once you bring it to their attention, they’ll take the negative score away from your rating and all will be right in the world. And if the negative review is about the product, it’s not about your performance, so really, the only thing you can do is leave it alone or consider upping the quality of what you sell.

What to Tell Customers For Feedback Removal

There are a small handful of customers who, when contacted by the seller trying to make things right, will change the review on their own. But for the rest of the buying world, here’s what you gotta tell them:

  1. They have to login to Amazon and click on the ‘Your Account’ button in the top-right corner.
  2. Once there, they should look for the option that says ‘Your Orders’ and find the order in question.
  3. If they scroll down to the product picture and look just under it, they’ll see the words ‘Your submitted feedback’ and buttons to remove or edit the feedback.
  4. Because editing feedback is better and easier than deleting and starting over (or risking the buyer just not putting anything good in its place), ask them to edit their review and click ‘submit.

Oh, and when reaching out to customers to try and resolve issues, take a few moments and think about what you’d want to hear if a seller was trying to assuage things with you. Don’t accuse the buyer of anything, just show you genuinely care about their experience and are really try to improve things to them. It may not work, but you want to be the kind of person who treats others with respect and honesty.

Want to increase your Amazon seller feedback score? For a limited period, register your interest in FeedbackExpress below to receive a 30-day free trial which includes 10,000 free messages! What have you got to lose?!

*This blog originally appeared on the RepricerExpress blog

Want Pro Tips for Selling on Amazon?