Customer Experience News & Trends

Be as good as Amazon: 3 keys to handling customer reviews

Whether you give customers the opportunity to review you or not, they’re going to do it. So let them go at it – and then react as well as the leading online retailer.

Handling customer issues, questions, compliments and complaints online when they’re not directly sent to you is just an extension of good customer service. has crafted the fine art of managing that angle of service and using it as another tool to improve the customer experience, according to researchers at MarketLive.

Step in at the right time

Amazon has such an immense number of customers, it would be nearly impossible for the online giant to interact with them all on a personal level. But carefully handling situations when customers reach out beyond an order — such as when they post a review or comment in social media channels — has helped Amazon build a reputation for excellent service.

Here are three of its solid approaches:

  1. Monitor, but don’t censor, product reviews. Amazon pays attention and responds to major issues — and it doesn’t censor negative reviews because it believes all customers should understand the positives and negatives of a product. One thing it does do, however, is allow some reviews to be flagged by other customers if the critiques are unhelpful. Shoppers have the option to see them — but the reviews won’t waste their time if enough other people said don’t bother.
  2. Track what your most loyal customers feel and say. Amazon knows who its biggest fans are, as well as its biggest — yet fair — critics. Those fans and critics are often the first to spot a trend and spread the word. So Amazon wisely keeps a close eye on what they have to say.
  3. Set up alerts for bad reviews. Amazon is on the lookout for scathing and thoughtful comments. By responding to one-star reviews it shows customers that it cares about their experience. Another good approach for companies: Taking sensitive issues off-line.

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