7 Experts Reveal Their Best Feedback Advice
by Colleen Quattlebaum, on February 16, 2017
Feedback Frenzy month continues here at FeedbackFive!
If you haven't already solicited feedback for your holiday orders, time is running out. In the meantime, we decided to ask several eCommerce experts for their best feedback-related advice. We've compiled their tips into this handy guide on the topic of Amazon feedback.
Why Do Online Ratings Matter?
In the age of online shopping customers want to understand who they are purchasing from, and whether or not they can trust that you'll send the the right product on time. A solid feedback rating will communicate to customers that they are purchasing from a reliable retailer." -Liz Adamson, Owner & Lead Consultant, Egility
Amazon is a very review-driven platform. Product reviews are critical for discoverability and conversions. Additionally, customers feedback can be a great source for any product improvements.” -Irina Balyurko, Owner, SellerLadder
Amazon is a consumer validation site where consumers partially make decisions to buy based on other consumer feedback. Feedback matters – but honest, believable feedback matters more than just having it. Customers need to feel they can trust you.”-Keith Greer, Managing Director, Cascadia
Simply put, reviews are absolutely critical when building a successful eCom company. ‘84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.’ (Bright Local Survey 2016)” -Wes Grudzien, Founder, Ezonomy
Your seller reputation dictates so much about your business. Quality feedback can help you increase conversions by building buyer trust and reflecting your ability to deliver products as promised.” -Liz Fickenscher, Business Development Lead, eComEngine
Feedback is critical for the growth and success of a business. If customers are saying great things about your business, you want to know. Vice versa if customers are saying bad things about the business that could damage your sales and reputation, you want to know. The most successful businesses in the world take feedback seriously and make decisions based on this. When customers have a positive experience (e.g. they received excellent customer service, the product was good quality and value for money) the business learns about what is important to the customer and may be able expand more in those areas. If the customer has a negative experience (e.g. the product arrived with no instructions, the product was received damaged), this highlights to the business that improvements need to be made. What is important is that businesses don’t just read the positive feedback. Often it is the negative feedback that is the most important. A business should never shy away from this and hope that it will pass. A business must take on board the feedback in a timely manner and always be appreciative to the customer that wrote it whether they agree with it or not.” -Carina McLeod, eCommerce Nurse
Seller feedback is important for several reasons:
1. It helps sellers to understand their strengths and weaknesses in order to make improvements in customer support.
2. Many buyers read feedback when comparing buying options for an item.
3. Your seller feedback score AND your total number of feedbacks are factors that determine how much Buy Box share you get for items with multiple sellers. For many, this is the most important reason to focus on feedback.” -Laura Pugliese, FeedbackFive Product Owner, eComEngine
What Can Sellers Do To Earn More Positive Feedback?
Ask for it! Most customers will not think to leave seller feedback. A well designed follow up email series will both remind customers to leave you feedback and give them an easy way to do so. To ensure positive feedback, be sure you are listening to your customers. Respond to their concerns quickly and keep in mind ‘the customer is always right,’ and I would add, even when they are not.” -Liz Adamson
Make the ask. If you aren’t already using software to automatically request feedback for every transaction, start now. If you already are, track the percentage of buyers currently leaving feedback and create strategies to increase that percentage.” -Wes Grudzien
Set up an automated feedback request service, such as FeedbackFive! Having a series of two or three follow up emails (vs. just one) may increase feedback rate. It is also worthwhile to experiment with the copy of feedback emails in order to continually increase your feedback rate.” -Irina Balyurko
To earn more positive feedback, sellers must respond quick to any negative or neutral feedback and make quick improvements where possible to enhance the customer experience. The seller must put the customer first and show their customers that they appreciate them for their loyalty and feedback. A seller needs to offer a great product at a good price and good quality. They must then back it up with good customer service from the point of purchase to after sales. If a seller is doing all this there is a higher chance for positive feedback. A seller must also not have to bribe a customer to provide positive feedback, whilst this is against Amazon’s policy this also can reflect badly showing that the seller is less interested in the actual customer and only bothered about the 5 stars. That approach might work in the short term but long term it is not sustainable or effective.” -Carina McLeod
The first step is to make sure you are providing a great buyer experience. Are your listings accurate? Have you addressed common buyer concerns? Are you supplying products of high quality? Are you meeting your promised shipping times? Is your packaging appropriate for your items? Are you responsive to buyer inquiries? Many sellers find that using the FBA platform helps them provide excellent customer service. If your process and product are functioning well, then you can easily obtain more positive feedback just by asking for it! When asked, about 5-8 % of buyers usually leave feedback. Feedback requests can easily be automated and customized using FeedbackFive.” -Laura Pugliese
The easiest way is to ask for it – but you need to earn it too. Make your request email a value add for your customer. Send your products with a customized card representing your store or your brand, with your customer service number and Amazon store URL.” -Keith Greer
Ask for it! And don’t be afraid to send a follow up email if they don’t leave feedback the first time you ask.” -Liz Fickenscher
What is Your Advice for Increasing Feedback in 2017?
Be proactive, talk to your customers. Find out what your customers like about your business and what improvements they believe should be made. You don’t have to wait for seller feedback to appear on Amazon to find this out. This will help you with decisions that you make throughout the year as well as help you prioritize projects. Some improvements you may be aware of and already be working on and some may come as a surprise. Also, if you are not currently gathering seller feedback or are doing this manually, there are third-party tools out there that can make this process simple and automated for you at a low cost. I recommend all sellers have an automated process to collect customer feedback.” -Carina McLeod
Be smart about how you ask for feedback. Automating your feedback solicitation messages through FeedbackFive is a great way to make sure that you’re reaching out to every customer, but an automated message doesn’t have to be impersonal. You should craft messaging that your customers can connect to. And be sure not to send requests to those who have opted out–it’s just good manners!” -Liz Fickenscher
Keep your communications short and sweet. Often times sellers will send 3+ basic scripted emails per transaction asking the buyer to perform multiple tasks. Buyers are becoming fatigued and beginning to just ignore all emails. Do the opposite. Send 1-2 emails max with a unique subject line and content calling out the fact that their time is valuable and you won’t continue to contact them. Set yourself apart from the crowd by being unique with your message.” -Wes Grudzien
Focus on your customer. We all get bombarded with emails, so what can you do to not only get your customer to open your email, but also click through to leave positive feedback? Be genuine in caring about their experience, keep it concise and give something extra, for example, an informational guide around topic of your products.” -Irina Balyurko
1. Make sure you provide an excellent buying experience. 2. Ask for feedback from the buyers most likely to leave positive feedback. Leave out buyers who have contacted you about other issues, buyers for products that get complaints, and refunded orders. 3. Create personalized messages for buyers of specific products by adding their name, the product purchased, or other order-specific information. 4. Send messages at the right time, based on how your products are shipped, delivered, and used by the buyer. 5. Address negative feedback quickly and specifically. FeedbackFive will alert you when negative feedback is left so you can investigate and contact the customer right away.” -Laura Pugliese
Think of your Amazon store like part of your total value chain for customers. It’s your chance to interact with them and build their trust in you. It’s especially important for a brand to build trust, so that customers remember you and come back to you.” -Keith Greer
Any Further Feedback Advice
Always allow customers an equal opportunity to review you positively or negatively! Otherwise, you’re attempting to manipulate the platform, and Amazon Seller Performance will take action on your account…You must allow them their own choice as to whether they’re happy with you or not, and respond accordingly to their honest feedback.” -Keith Greer
Keep in mind that customer satisfaction is Amazon’s #1 priority. If you make that your top objective as well you will have no trouble maintaining a solid seller feedback score." -Liz Adamson
Don’t ignore your feedback score. Use FeedbackFive to solicit feedback and quickly address any issues. Don’t forget about product reviews and their importance in driving traffic to your product pages.” -Laura Pugliese
Tailor the message of your automated emails to the types of products you're selling. If you’re selling a spatula, keep the email basic, everyone knows how to use a spatula. If you’re selling a piece of complex electronic equipment, load the email up with anything you believe the buyer would find helpful. Spending the extra time up front to customize your emails will more than pay for itself in the long run with increased feedback rates.” -Wes Grudzien
Focus on quality of product reviews just as much as quantity. I see a lot of anxiety from sellers about growing the sheer number of product reviews. In the long run, quality (‘stars’) of your reviews will become more important than the quantity of reviews left.” -Irina Balyurko
Everyone is a customer whether they are in the grocery store or buying a car. Everyone has an expectation as to what a good customer experience is. Therefore, always put yourself in the customer’s shoes and think about what you would like to see if you were buying a product or service from your business.” -Carina McLeod
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