5 Signs Your Amazon Feedback Solicitation Process is Broken
by Colleen Quattlebaum, on October 29, 2016
Feeling like something isn't quite right with your current Amazon feedback solicitation process?
No worries. Now is the perfect time for a quick tune-up before the holiday rush.
In this post, we'll discuss five warning signs your solicitation process is broken - and how to fix it.
1. You're Not Soliciting
In an increasingly competitive marketplace, each new feedback rating can make an impact. Smart merchants monitor their feedback ratings closely, seeking invaluable customer insight for improving service. In addition, Amazon.com, Inc. ("Amazon") also uses feedback scores when determining Buy Box eligibility and Order Defect rate. It's therefore no surprise why sellers and Amazon alike place such heavy emphasis on feedback.
Many merchants aim to fully capitalize on the Amazon feedback system, but they soon return to old habits. Soliciting for feedback does require an investment of time and resources, which are often consumed by more pressing issues such as inventory management and repricing. With each new order, another feedback opportunity is lost.
If this sounds like you, there is good news. Our FeedbackFive software (14-day free trial) has been used by Amazon merchants to (automatically) solicit more than 30 million positive feedbacks since 2009. FeedbackFive checks for new orders and solicits feedback based on the campaign rules you define. With FeedbackFive, there's really no excuse for failing to solicit.
2. You're Not Getting Feedback
Frustrated by a low feedback conversion rate? You're probably in good company. As we recently pointed out, less than 5% of customers tend to leave feedback on the Amazon marketplace. If you're manually soliciting via the "Contact Buyer" link or automatically soliciting with FeedbackFive, you may notice an uptick in this ratio (some of our customers greatly exceed the 10% threshold). Regardless, the fact remains that between 90% and 95% of your buyers will fail to leave feedback. Keep this fact in mind before getting too concerned.
If you are soliciting but still experience unusually sluggish feedback, perhaps it's time to dig deeper. Ask yourself these questions:
- Is the messaging in my email too generic or confusing?
- Do I provide clear instructions for leaving feedback?
- Am I soliciting too soon - or too late - after orders?
- Would personalizing my message yield better results?
- Are orders for certain products more likely to generate feedback?
- Should I consider updating my packing slip to also contain a solicitation?
Put yourself in the shoes of your customers. If you were the customer, why would you take the time to leave feedback? It's a question worth considering.
3. You're Getting a Lot of Negative Feedback
There's nothing worse than solicitations that result in negative feedback. Although the customer's comments can be useful for improving your business, they can also be damaging when it comes to your public seller reputation.
As you may know, buyers have 90 days from the order date to leave feedback for third-party merchants. Buyers are also permitted 60 days to remove negative feedback they have left. Unless you're closely monitoring negative feedback, several days could easily pass before you notice something is wrong. Each day that goes by is one less day to resolve the issue.
On a broader scale, if you seem to be receiving consistently poor feedback, perhaps it's time to examine the root cause. Remember, feedback is an indication of the buyer's experience with your company. Packaging, shipping turnaround times, communication and overall service are fair game. It may also be wise to pause your solicitation process until you work through the issues. Optimize your business operations first, and you'll likely be rewarded with the accolades of satisfied customers.
4. Copy & Paste is Your Favorite New Hobby
Copy, paste, personalize and repeat. Copy, paste, personalize and repeat. Sound familiar?
For sellers manually soliciting through the Amazon Buyer-Seller Messaging Service, copying and pasting solicitation content can quickly grow tiresome. Sure, manual solicitation is technically "free," but what about the opportunity cost of your time? Even if you spend as little as one hour per week on this task, that's another hour you could instead spend identifying profitable products, building exciting new kits or relaxing with your family. In addition, copying and pasting opens the door to errors and oversights. Oversights create confusion with customers and, therefore, reduce the likelihood of positive feedback.
Compare the "copy and paste" approach to that of using FeedbackFive. With FeedbackFive, you build your templates once, and the system remembers them forever. By using shortcut tags, FeedbackFive will even automatically personalize your messages. Insert product information and other order details without lifting a finger.
5. You Still Feel Like You're Wasting Your Time
If, after implementing a realistic solicitation plan, optimizing your business processes and streamlining the solicitation process, you still feel like you're wasting your time, cut yourself some slack. Perhaps the target audience for your product is less engaged than others. Or, perhaps you just need to stop over analyzing things.
Either way, just always remember this final truth: soliciting feedback is, at a minimum, an important way to stay in touch with your customers. Even if customers rarely say much, at least you're doing your part to deliver the best experience possible.