Amazon seller feedback is a hugely important factor when it comes to selling products on Amazon. Your seller rating plays heavily into your Amazon search listings. High feedback? Good search position. Low feedback? Your listings may plummet — or if you have a high listing position and a less-than-stellar feedback rate, you’re leaving your search position open for the taking by a competitor with better seller feedback.
To be clear, we’re talking about seller feedback, not product feedback (which is also important, but that’s a topic for another post). Seller feedback is the ratings you get on how you handle shipping, fulfillment and customer questions — not on how much customers like your product.
We’ve heard some sellers accept far-from-perfect seller feedback. They say that “customers can just be wrong,” and that it’s not worth their time to pursue stronger feedback. Actually, it’s absolutely worth your time to pursue strong feedback. We’ve seen sales volume drop due to lost search position ground after just one or two bad ratings. Furthermore, we believe it’s always worth the time to find out whether a grievance is legitimate and address that grievance so you have a satisfied customer. And for the cases when customers truly are wrong? There are still steps you can take to protect your ratings.
Ask Amazon to remove negative feedback. In our experience, the overwhelming majority of negative and neutral seller feedback reviews are against Amazon’s policies (i.e. they’re actually a product review). If you use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), even complaints about fulfillment speed can be appealed. For example, feedback that states “My item still hasn’t arrived” would be eligible for removal if you’re using FBA, because in that case, Amazon is responsible for fulfillment, not you. Monitoring your seller feedback for these types of reviews is a no-brainer, but it does take time and persistence.
Quality control — stop problems before they start. One of the simplest ways to avoid negative customer reviews is to avoid negative customer experiences. At Whitebox, we do this by automating our fulfillment and shipping systems to remove the potential for human error as much as possible. We also establish thorough quality control protocols for all items shipped to FBA through directed workflow technologies and consistent training of our teams to ensure Amazon’s product prep and labeling standards are always being met. This way, many common reasons for negative reviews — like faulty products or mislabeled merchandise — don’t happen in the first place.
When legitimate problems occur, make changes. Mistakes happen. Even with all the energy that goes into setting up a thorough product page and developing quality control measures, things go wrong. Customers might not understand exactly what they’re purchasing and end up with a product they can’t use. Items occasionally get lost or broken in shipping, even when you use FBA. At Whitebox, we use feedback to make recommendations to our partners about product manufacturing specifications, adjust our own internal quality control documents and make suggestions about potential changes to the information provided on product detail pages.
Use the positive to outweigh the negative. One way to deal with those (very few) inevitable negative reviews is to make them matter less. At Whitebox, we reach out to every customer within a few days of the delivery of their order to ensure they know exactly how to reach out to our team via Amazon Buyer-Seller Messaging with any questions or concerns. It’s simple math, really. If you have 100 positive reviews, instead of 10, one negative review will do a lot less damage to those five stars you worked so hard to get.
Nip that negativity in the bud. Another way to deal with negative customer reviews is direct customer contact. While we work diligently to make the appropriate process and product changes when negative feedback is received, we also make sure to respond publicly to negative and neutral reviews as soon as possible to help make things right. Additionally, we follow up with the customer via Amazon’s Buyer-Seller Messaging system to assist them with any concerns. Sometimes, just showing we care enough to work with the customer may provide them with an experience that leads them to remove the negative review (or, in some cases, leave a positive review in its place).
Fix the problem with or without customer contact. Sometimes, waiting for your customers to provide additional information to help you address the root cause issue takes longer than you may hope. Since quick responses can make or break a customer’s perception of any negative experience, your priority should be to address the customer’s more immediate needs. This might mean moving forward with refunding or re-shipping a customer’s order based on the feedback they provided to ensure a prompt resolution. This way, the customer will see your commitment to their satisfaction while giving you the opportunity to make changes to safeguard other customers in the future.
Chances are, at some point you will wake up one morning and find negative or neutral seller feedback linked to your Seller profile. But with the right systems in place, you can turn negative customer experiences into opportunities to provide an even better experience to future customers — whether new or returning.
Want to learn more about improving your business’ online feedback? Contact us today!