By Lauren Carter
Avoiding Negative Feedback & What To Do If You Get It
In last week’s blog post we discussed the importance of getting seller feedback to ensure customers know they can trust you and increase your chances of winning the Buy Box. We mentioned that only 10-20% of customers on Amazon will leave seller feedback after making a purchase. This means getting feedback can seem like a slow process. Once you start to see the feedback rolling in it’s very exciting to know your customers are happy and want to recommend you. But what about that dreaded day when you log in to Seller Central to find somebody has left you negative feedback? Seeing your perfect positive rating slip is heart breaking, especially if you don’t feel it’s deserved.
You’ve probably heard that prevention is better than cure, this is certainly true in this case. You want to do what you can to avoid getting negative feedback in the first place, not just for the sake of your feedback score but for your account health in general. Happy customers are less likely to return items, complain to Amazon about you or ask for chargebacks; all of which are damaging to your Amazon account and put your business at risk. You can generally avoid negative feedback by ensuring your products are in the advertised condition, are packaged appropriately and dispatched on time. Using FBA handles most of this for you, which makes using it a good way to build up lots of positive feedback.
No matter how hard you try nobody is perfect and you can’t expect everything to run smoothly all of the time. So you’ve received your first negative feedback score, what next? Firstly you need to think objectively about whether this was your fault. If you messed up you need to own up to it. Look at what happened and how you can avoid it happening in the future. If you are using FBA and the customer is unhappy their order arrived damaged or late you can speak to Seller Support and have the feedback removed. This only applies if the problem was genuinely not your fault and the warehouse was to blame for the error.
Feedback can also be removed if it is solely about the product the customer purchased rather than your service or if it contains obscene language or information that identifies you personally. If the buyer leaves seller feedback saying the shirt they bought from you is too small and too thin, this is not your fault, this should be a product review not seller feedback. Seller Support will be able to remove this sort of feedback from your account.
Sometimes you won’t be able to have the feedback removed. Whether you feel it’s justified or not you need to keep your cool, sending an angry message to the customer will certainly not help and will get you in more trouble. You now have two options, either you let it go and accept that these things happen or you can try to resolve the issue with the customer. This decision will depend on the circumstances and whether you’ve already been in contact with the buyer. If you’ve already been messaging them prior to the feedback and have refunded them and done all you can to make it right then you may have to accept the feedback and move on. If the negative review appears from a customer you’ve had no contact from, it may be worth messaging them to see if you can make things right
Send your customer a message through Seller Central; explain you’ve just seen their feedback and express your sincere apologies. Explain you would like to make things right, offer a refund, a replacement product or tell them you are sending an Amazon gift card in the mail, whatever seems appropriate given the problems they’ve experienced. Even if you feel the complaint is unjustified you need to be sincere in your apologies and do what you can. Once the customer gets back to you and seems happy you can send another message explaining you are happy you were able to resolve their issue, mention that if they are happy the issue has been resolved to their satisfaction they can amend their feedback and give them instructions to do so.
Never push your customer to change their feedback or use it as a bargaining tool. This is against Amazon’s rules and could get you in serious trouble. Wait until the problem has been fixed before even suggesting it to a customer and don’t make it the focus of your messages. The customer wants to think you are making the effort because you care about them not because you care about your feedback score. If the customer doesn’t want to change their feedback there is nothing more you can do other than go out and get more positive feedback to drown it out!
If you receive negative feedback you need to look at what you can do to avoid similar problems arising in the future, see if you can take any steps to have it removed and ultimately, move on. One piece of negative feedback is not the end of the world. If you are a good seller and do everything you can to ensure your customers are happy you should have no trouble getting lots of positive feedback to outweigh it. If you start receiving a high percentage of negative feedback then you really need to take some time to look at your business and establish what is causing the problems you’re having.
If your positive feedback percentage starts to slip you could find your seller account is suspended. In next week’s blog post we’ll look at Amazon suspensions and what you should do if this happens to you.