Removing Amazon feedback is possible – that is, if you play by the rules.

Is your eCommerce business dealing with the side effects of negative customer ratings? The clock is ticking, which means it’s important that you take action swiftly and stay within guidelines put forth by Amazon.com, Inc. (“Amazon”).

In this post, I’ll share three steps to take before going any further.

Check to See if Amazon Will Remove It

Did you know that Amazon will actually remove certain types of customer feedback? That’s right. If a customer violates the community guidelines, Amazon will take action on your behalf. So what does Amazon look for before agreeing to delete a customer’s rating? Amazon points out here that it will only do so in the following situations:

Uses Profane or Obscene Language – The customer’s feedback uses words that are “commonly understood” to be inappropriate. Obviously, Amazon has the final say on what is (or is not) profane.

Reveals Too Much Info About You – Some customers take things too far by revealing private seller information (such as your email address or even your full name). If this happens, Amazon will remove the rating.

Is Actually a Product Review – Although sellers usually understand the difference between reviews and feedback, customers can easily confuse the two. If the customer’s comment is entirely about the product’s performance (rather than the seller’s customer service), the rating may qualify for removal. (It’s important to note, however, that if the feedback contains both seller and product information, Amazon will not take action.)

What about FBA orders that receive negative feedback? Shouldn’t Amazon take the blame in the rare circumstances that things go wrong? Your intuition is correct! If an order receives negative feedback explicitly about fulfillment (or other services) provided by Amazon, the rating will be struck through and the following statement will appear: “This item was fulfilled by Amazon, and we take responsibility for this fulfillment experience.”

If an order meets one or more of the above criteria, don’t assume Amazon will automatically notice it. Rather, Amazon puts the burden on you, the seller. To request removal by Amazon, follow the instructions found on this seller support page. Alternatively, if you’re using FeedbackFive, you can easily submit a removal request without leaving our software. Simply click on the Amazon order number on the “My Feedback” page to be taken directly to the appropriate link on your Seller Central dashboard.

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Work with the Customer

In many cases, Amazon will refuse to remove customer feedback – and, perhaps for good reason. For example, when you ship a package to the wrong address, you kind of expect it to be your problem. Unfortunately, not all situations are as cut and dry. What about the order that arrives ahead of schedule but randomly receives a 2-star rating and a comment stating: “terrible – not satisfied”?

You’re essentially left with two choices:

  1. Do nothing
  2. Try to resolve the problem (and salvage your score)

Although this is enough to ruin even your best day, there is a ray of hope. You have a 60-day window to contact the customer, resolve the issue and (hopefully) remove the rating.

Start by reaching out in a friendly, non-confrontational tone. Acknowledge the low rating, but keep the email focused on better understanding the customer’s needs. What specifically could have been done differently? Was there an issue with packaging? How could the situation be made right? Be thorough yet concise.

After reaching out, give the customer a few days to respond. (You don’t want to look desperate or be an annoyance.) Once you receive a response, take steps to resolve the problem. It’s also possible that the customer will realize he made a mistake. We commonly see the following situations occur:

  • The customer thought he was actually leaving a product review
  • Negative feedback was left for the wrong order / merchant
  • The buyer was in a bad mood and now realizes his rating was unfair

Whatever the reason, be sure to maintain a kind and understanding tone. Just be thankful that the customer responded!

Guide the Customer During the Removal Process

Unless you’re dealing with an unreasonable customer, most people will appreciate your efforts to solve the problem. Once solved, don’t be shy to ask for a removal of the feedback. Most of your customers probably don’t even realize that removal is a possibility.

If you’re doing everything through the Buyer-Seller Messaging Service, Amazon recommends you send these instructions to customers who wish to remove feedback. Alternatively, if you’re using FeedbackFive, you could use our prebuilt removal email template. It contains a link that customers can click to directly access (and remove) the original feedback.

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Removing Amazon Feedback is All About Service

Whether you use your Seller Central account or FeedbackFive (get your free account today) to resolve customer issues, always be mindful of what feedback really is. It’s a measurement of both customer satisfaction and your own eCommerce brand.

By delivering best-in-class service (even to those who have publicly criticized you), you’re sure to reduce the number of permanent complaints.

Colleen Quattlebaum

As the Business Development Manager for eComEngine, Colleen Quattlebaum is committed to helping Amazon Sellers succeed. Colleen reviews the latest market trends and strategizes on how to improve eComEngine’s offerings, so she can pass that insight and value on to Amazon merchants.

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