If you sell your product on Amazon, you have to keep an eye on your feedback - a comment left by the buyer after the purchase. This article reflects everything I know about this subject, these tips are distilled from personal experience on the Amazon marketplace.
I am not a guru, and if you find anything that is explicitly contradicted by Amazon's documentation - it means that I am wrong, please point that out and I'll update the text.
Seller feedback is very important
- It helps you improve your service - people tell you what's wrong with it;
- People rely on this information when deciding whether to make a purchase or not;
- Amazon uses the feedback, among other things, to determine your product's position in the search results;
- A lot of negative feedback can cause your merchant account to be closed;
- Seller feedback is not the same thing as a product review. The former is shown on the seller's profile page, the latter - on the product page. Both types are important.
To see your seller feedback, log on to Amazon seller central.
The rules are simple
- Keep your average rating above 4.3
- Neutral feedback is not counted as positive, it reduces your rating
- Negative feedback is bad for you, learn from your mistakes and don't repeat them
- Negative feedback can be removed
What you should know about feedback on Amazon
- It can be removed within 60 days after it was published, so react swiftly; if you're late - the negative rating will stay there forever
- Feedback cannot be edited, only removed
- Only the buyer can remove the negative feedback
- Amazon will remove certain types of feedback, but they don't do this unless you ask them to; these cases will be reviewed below
What you must do
- Read the negative feedback, address the problem and make sure it never happens again. Feedback is a great way to see what your flaws are. It is easy to see the buyer as an enemy, but quite often they're just telling the truth.
- Contact the buyer and talk about the problem. If there is a way to solve it - do it. Explain how to deal with the error they ran into, give them a partial refund, etc. The solution varies from case to case, the point is to talk to the person and find a fair way to resolve the conflict.
- Calling is better than emailing. Amazon's internal mailing system is not always effective, some people simply don't read those messages, there is also a chance they will be flagged as spam.
- Be polite and remember that the customer is not an enemy. Think about the conversation before you make that phonecall. Ideally, a person who talks to clients is someone who knows about social engineering and who has read William Ury's "Getting to Yes", "Getting past No" and "The power of a positive No". You can also practice the conversation with a colleague, who will simulate the customer's answers; ideally - you'll have an answer for every case, such that nothing the customer tells you will catch you off guard. Prepare your BATNA too. Remember, the customer who left negative feedback is not your archnemesis.
- If you can't reach the customer, keep trying - call later, leave a voice message, write an email.
- Once you manage to address the problem and the person is happy - ask them to remove their negative feedback.
- If the customer is unreachable, write a response to the feedback. If you can't talk to the person, at least react in such a way that other people who read the negative feedback will see that you tried to deal with it, that the company has people in it - rather than insensitive zombies that read scripts.
If the customer is cooperative and they are willing to remove the feedback, they can do so:
- Go to the Amazon homepage
- Go to Community\Personalization\Seller Feedback Submitted By You
- Find the entry and click Remove
When Amazon removes negative feedback for you
- If the product is fulfilled by Amazon (i.e. they handle the handling and shipping for you) and the comment is about a late or lost package. Obviously, this is not your problem and the feedback is actually about Amazon's modus operandi. It is fair to remove it, and they do so, if you ask them.
- If the comment contains obscene language.
- Or if it reveals personally identifying information.
- If the entire comment is a product review, rather than a seller review. What this means is that negative feedback is not about the speed or quality of delivery, but it focuses on product features or faults.
Amazon won't remove the negative feedback automagically, you have to get in touch with them and ask them to remove the comment, and point out the rationale for the request (one of the reasons above). Do so via the contact seller support section, then click Orders\Customer feedback problems.
Good luck selling!