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How to avoid bad customer reviews

avoid bad customer reviews

What are the best ways to avoid bad customer reviews? Our guide outlines how to ensure you get good customer reviews and why to fix bad ones.

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Customer reviews were around long before the digital age. Just read this 1750 BC clay complaint tablet sent by a buyer called Nanni to the Mesopotamian copper merchant Ea-Nasir:

“You claimed that you would give my messenger excellent copper bars, but you did not keep this promise! Instead, you put bad goods in front of him and then say that if he doesn’t want them, he can leave them there and leave again! Who do you think you are for, that you are treating me so condescendingly ?! I sent men of honor with my money who came back from you several times empty-handed. THROUGH ENEMY COUNTRIES !!! I have never experienced that before, with no salesperson from all over Telmun. And now I’ve paid, but I don’t get my goods? I want my money back immediately – in full! Or you come to me with your copper and I choose each bar individually. Otherwise I will not accept any more goods from you! “

The clay tablet by Nanni an Ea-Nasir is almost 4,000 years old, but not long ago it went viral on reddit when it was translated. Although our own interpretation is colored with modern idioms, the original translation on Wikipedia still speaks volumes today. The reason may be that it seems incredibly familiar to us. It is strongly reminiscent of complaints that we would read on Amazon today. The anger about the bad goods, the arrogant and not at all service-oriented attitude of the seller, the poor service, in which the supplier had to travel through enemy territory several times in vain …

Bad reviews are harmful in e-commerce

One thing is certain: you won’t get rid of bad customer reviews so quickly, especially not in the age of the Internet. And that can mean great damage to any seller. Because whoever reads Nanni’s judgment on his dealings with Ea-Nasir will think twice about entering into a deal with him. The clay tablet gives insights into the product quality that awaits you, as well as the quality of the delivery service. Both seem to be expandable here.

And anyone who operates e-commerce today can tell about the importance of customer ratings and why it is important to avoid bad customer reviews. Because today, with the transparency and immediacy of the network, customer behavior when searching for products has changed. They no longer go to the retailer they trust and look for their favorite brands. Instead, they are primarily looking for product types. So for a “coffee machine” and not for De’Longhi, Rowenta or Krups. In addition, a third of customers now start this search directly on Amazon, only 15 percent do the same on Google.

This makes the bar with the five stars and the customer comments behind it all the more important on portals such as Amazon, but also on review portals. Because they form a concrete and comparable basis for decision-making when purchasing products that are displayed next to each other. 

Is the actual delivery time the same as the promised one or are there many complaints? Is the product quality as advertised? Are the products often faulty and are there problems with complaints? All of this can be seen through online reviews. And these reviews are now so important that some online retailers even buy inauthentic reviews , like likes were bought on Facebook years ago.

Avoid bad customer reviews

Of course, hiding authentic negative customer reviews by flooding them with fake positives isn’t the best way to go. Rather, it is more important to maintain a good partnership with customers and not to behave like Ea-Nasir.

That means:

  • Offer products of at least an acceptable quality and price them according to their quality.
  • Don’t make promises you can’t keep.
  • Value good service and communicate on an equal footing. For example, not sitting on the customer’s money, taking their complaints seriously and accommodating them instead of letting them wander through enemy territory.

Because there is one thing you must not forget: Complaints are also an opportunity. If something does not work for the customer, he complains and then gets in touch with a friendly and competent company that really wants to help him, a bad rating can in many cases even become a good one.

On the other hand, if you don’t take customers seriously and let them starve to death on the long arm, they feel offended and are sometimes so motivated to complain loudly that they send their messenger back through enemy territory.