It’s no surprise that reviews are crucial to your sales on Amazon. People want to know if your product really is as good as you say, and they’re looking for other people to test it and pass the word along.

Which is why Amazon experts encourage new sellers to get 25 reviews on their page as quickly as possible. Without them, potential customers don’t usually have the financial fortitude to put money down for a product with no social proof.

Most new customers are initially skeptical. Reviews help reduce that skepticism.

But reviews can be a bit of a two-edged sword for Amazon sellers as well. As one man famously said concerning his Amazon business,

“Reviews are like a box of chocolates…”

And that’s the thing about reviews - you really don’t have control over what you’re going to get. Customers are free to put their honest opinion out there for all to see whether it’s a correct opinion or not.

So while you’d love to dream that you’ll only get positive reviews (since your product is so awesome), you know that’s not possible. Negative reviews are inevitable. As one Amazon expert said,

“If you sell it, they will come.”

Which means you need to learn to handle negative reviews and minimize their impact as much as possible. This is true in both brick-and-mortar business and online business. Learning to respond to negative feedback is an essential tool to growing your business.

So the question we want to answer is, “What do you say to a 1 star reviewer?” I want to give you not only the right steps but also the right words to use when you engage a disgruntled and dissatisfied customer.

By meeting negative feedback with a positive response, you’ll defuse the potential damage done to your sales.

Here are my suggestions:

1. Get notified about negative reviews as early as possible

Now I don’t know how you personally find out about reviews on your listing. You might be the kind of seller that just checks their listing once or twice each day. Or you might not even check it that frequently.

But I strongly recommend that you find a way to be immediately notified if a customer leaves you a negative review. Why? Because it’s easy to miss.

Trust me, you’re going to get busy with other things, and before you know it, you’ll work your way back to your listing and find a 1 star review has been sitting on your listing for three days.

Not good.

Which is why software like Salesbacker is so helpful. You can get notified as soon as a customer leaves a review so that you are immediately taking care of that situation.

Your response time can definitely help minimize the impact of a negative review, so find a way to be notified ASAP.

2. Respond below the review immediately

Once you’ve read the review, you should respond below the review immediately. You can do this by logging into Amazon.com with your Seller Central account.

If you haven’t done this before, it might be good to set up your Amazon profile with your logo as your profile pick. That way, customers will not only see the name of your company when you reply, but they’ll also see the brand logo as well. (It looks official.)

When you respond, remember you don’t want to create an online argument with the customer, so no matter how wrong you may feel their opinion is, respond kindly and positively.

Now I’ll give you perhaps one of the most important skills in customer relationships. It’s one of the most underestimated tools to customer satisfaction in a business’s tool belt. What is it?

The apology.

Yes, regardless of your feelings, you must initially apologize for the customer’s experience. You’re not apologizing for your product or admitting it’s weaknesses. You are only expressing your sorrow over the customer’s personal dissatisfaction.

This is essential for two reasons:

First, an apology affirms the customer’s own experience and feelings. Maybe they shouldn’t have felt that way. Maybe they should’ve read the directions better. But regardless, they still felt badly after purchasing. If you ever want to be heard by the customer, an apology must come first.

Second, an apology will evoke good will from potential customers who may be reading your response later. If a potential customer comes across the negative review and sees your first response is to defend your product, you may have just lost another customer. But if they see you start with an apology, they will feel that you are putting the customer first.

After you express an apology, you should also offer to take care of them in some way. You’ll probably want to be generic in your response because if you promise a specific action, others will expect the same from them.

If you offer a money-back guarantee that is posted clearly on your listing, you might want to mention this in your reply.

Then you should end your response by asking them to contact you. Provide your business phone number and an email address. You want to take this conversation off Amazon and onto your own turf. There, you can have a real conversation that won’t be monitored by others.

I cannot emphasize enough that this should be brief. Here’s a sample idea of what a response might look like:

“We’re so sorry to hear about your experience with our {product}. We aim to offer customer satisfaction for all of our customers and will do whatever it takes to take care of you. Please contact us here {link to seller profile page where buyers can “Ask a question”}. Thank you for the opportunity to make this right.”

Apology. Concern. Request.

It works.

3. Contact the customer by email (generally not possible)

Now you may not always be able to find these customers that have left you negative reviews, but if they use their first and last name or just their first name you may still be able to contact them via email.

You can use the same framework I’ve described above when emailing this customer. At no time should you offer them an incentive to change their review or even ask them to change their review. All you’re trying to do is solve their issue and if the customer decides to change the review on their own behalf that’s all you can ask for.

Unfortunately most customers that leave reviews do not leave any personally identifiable information and in those cases the best thing you can do is at the very least reply to their review as I’ve shown you earlier.

If you’re using Salesbacker, you may have a better chance of finding them if they have left their name. Simply go into your sent emails to the date range in which you suspect they ordered and search for the customer’s name. Once you’ve located their name, you can send a follow up email to the customer.

4. Gather positive reviews to cover the 1 star review

The final method in handling a 1 star review is to keep accumulating positive reviews. By doing this, you’ll be moving that 1 star review further and further down the list so that it won’t be the first review customers see when they come to your listing.

Every positive review is a bullet in the negative one. Keep shooting until the negative review loses power to scare customers away.

There are several ways to get more reviews for your product, but an email sequence is probably one of the most effective methods for Amazon sellers. Contacting customers through personalized emails gives you a great chance to request a review.

And yes, Salesbacker allows you to do just that. Each time someone purchases your product, an email sequence is automatically sent to each customer at specific times of their purchase process. Each email can be optimized to ask customers for reviews and/or customer feedback.

Conclusion

A 1 star review may be inevitable for most Amazon sellers, but it’s ability to shrink your sales isn’t. By responding quickly and effectively to critical reviews, you might just transform a negative into a positive.

If you haven’t yet checked out Salesbacker yet, you can sign up for a free trial right now. You won’t even need a credit card. Just take it for a spin, and see if you like it. I think you’ll really appreciate the ease by which you can set up your email sequences and receive notifications when you do receive customer reviews.