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How to Contact Customers Who Left You a Bad Amazon Review

This isn't an April Fools joke! Amazon has just created a way for Brand Registered sellers to contact unsatisfied buyers!

For years, Amazon sellers have asked questions like: “Is it ok if I contact Amazon customers who left me a bad review and maybe offer them a refund?” “How can I find out which customer is the one who left me a bad review?” “How can I contact customers who left me a bad review?” “How can I find the Amazon order ID of the buyer who left me a bad review?”

Until now, the answer to these questions was usually, “No,” or “Amazon doesn’t want you doing that, they would probably view that as review manipulation.”  

People would sometimes come out with hacks on how to backtrace bad reviews via review profiles and such, but this was typically not really recommended. 

A Message from Amazon

Well, those eagle eyed people checking out their brand dashboard this week might have had their jaws hit the floor when they saw this message from Amazon:

We listened to your feedback!

We’ve been tracking feedback from brands related to the Customer Reviews experience. We heard that you love having a way to see all your reviews in one place and that it is nice to be able to filter by star rating and time period. You also shared your frustrations over not being able to directly engage with your customers who left critical reviews.

We’re now offering a brand-only benefit that allows you to reach out to buyers who purchased your branded product directly from you, who left critical (1-3 star reviews) via templated emails that allow you to communicate with buyers via buyer-seller messaging.

We believe this will build brand trust and help establish stronger relationships between you and your customers.

Say what? Amazon is allowing us to have direct contact with customers who left us bad reviews? Go ahead….double check your calendar to verify that it’s not April Fools Day.

This is for real!

How to Use This New Feature

Let’s dive into who can use this feature, how to use it, and why you might want to. 

First of all, this is only for those who have Amazon Brand Registry. If you do, in seller central, go to the Brands Menu, and select “Customer Reviews.”

You will then be brought to a page where it clearly says that you can now send direct messages to customers who left you a 1-3 star rating!

Now, the first thing to know is that this JUST got released, and there seems to be a few bugs in some accounts. For example, in both the Project X and Project 5K accounts, for some negative reviews, there is no button to contact the buyer. Instead we get a message saying that “You can contact the buyer only when you are the seller for that order.”

However, this obviously WAS a product that we were the only seller for, so we had to open a case with Amazon to get that fixed. 

What SHOULD you see if everything is working? Check out the bad review below.

You should see a “contact buyer” button there. Now this is where things start to get interesting. Notice what pops up when you hit that button:

Wow. So Amazon is obviously completely fine with you outright offering a full refund or replacement item to the person who left a bad review.

In the past most people would have told you that this could be something dangerous. That even if you didn’t ask them to change their review, the fact that you were giving someone a refund or replacement might be implying you are trying to influence them to change their review, and thus something Amazon frowns upon.  

The fact that this is now the first option should put to rest that debate. 

What shows up when you hit the “courtesy refund” button?

A templated message comes up that offers the customer a full refund or replacement. You cannot change the language here. But how many of you never thought you’d see the day, when in response to a negative review, Amazon WANTED you to say something that said “we hope that you give us another chance?”

If you would have asked me two weeks ago if that would be ok to say to someone who left you a bad review, I absolutely would have told you that I would not recommend that since I have seen so many accounts have their buyer/seller messaging privileges suspended for language that seemed less serious. 

What shows up when you hit the “check with your buyer” option?

As you can see, Amazon actually has a full template there that is written out that you can use to contact the buyer. As of this time, you cannot edit this template in any way. You can only send the message or not.  

One quick thing…did you see what shows at the very top of both of these scenarios?  

Yup! This shows you the exact order number that resulted in your bad review! This is exactly the thing that people used to come up with when using advanced hacks trying to figure out how to get the order ID. 

Now Amazon provides it directly to you!

These two templates utilize the buyer/seller messaging system of Amazon. As soon as you send the email, you will see it show up in your buyer/seller messaging sent folder:

Why Would an Amazon Seller Want to Use this Service?

We all know that positive reviews are the backbone to the social proof that will help boost your sales over your competitors. You also never want to forget that good customer service goes a long way.   

If you can turn a negative experience into a positive one, you never know the kind of ripple effect it could have down the road. Perhaps that customer is impressed by your efforts to make the situation right, and becomes a customer for life, or tells their friends about you.  

Perhaps they are moved by your gesture of goodwill and thus on their own, they change the review to a five star.  

There is almost nothing to lose by at least trying to contact the customer to see if there’s a way you can make the situation right. Even if you choose to go the route of a refund or replacement, you are only out the price of your product, but you have at least changed the customer’s last perception of your brand from a negative to a positive.  

Amazon continues to give great exclusive benefits to Brand Registered sellers, and this new feature allowing Amazon sellers to contact customers who have left negative reviews has many sellers jumping for joy!

If you do not have Brand Registry yet, make sure to start the application process ASAP if you want to take advantage of this feature. A while back, I wrote a piece on how using the Helium 10 company sellertrademarks.com, I was able to get brand registry in only ten days!

What do you think of this new feature? Will you be using it? If so, how? 

Let us know in the comments below!

Bradley Sutton

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