Seller Feedback: Crucial For Your Amazon Business
By Tina Marie Bueno | August 31st, 2016
If you’re a Seller on Amazon, most likely you are also a buyer. When placing orders, do you take the time to give Seller Feedback? You know, it’s the button that looks like this in your order history:
Clicking on Leave Seller Feedback would take you to this 3 question survey, with star ratings plus a 400 max words comment box:
Any of this look familiar? Shaking your head no? That’s because you probably aren’t taking the time to leave Seller Feedback! Maybe you’re too busy writing product reviews which as a Seller, you know are definitely not the same thing.
Who Cares About Seller Feedback?
Prospective buyers do. Amazon unequivocally does. Sellers should too since those ratings are calculated into an overall company rating combined from all sales. It builds a quality reputation that helps your business stand apart from competitors.
Seller Feedback (also known as Customer Feedback) is a valuable asset yet isn’t as conspicuous as Product Reviews. They both play a contributing role in Buy Box wins which makes ignoring either, not in your best interest. There’s your definitive reason to genuinely care. As I wrote in Drive Your Amazon Sales: 3 Reports Every Seller Should Master, Dan Burnham, ChannelAdvisor’s head of service for EMEA, says that merchants need to monitor performance on a daily basis, as a poor feedback rate of just 5% can cost you the Buy Box.
You may be the only Seller of your product, have a high average Product Review star rating, and a great selling track record; but if your Customer Feedback rating has dropped from Good to Fair, you’re immediately booted out of the Buy Box without notification. Say bye-bye to Sponsored Ad campaigns and page rankings, a.k.a. discoverability and sales momentum. This is not an easy road to status-recovery either.
Where In The World Is Seller Feedback?
Seller Feedback shows up in two places:
1. For Public Viewing.
Maybe a buyer wants to know what other products you offer, or what shipping options are available. Perhaps they want to ask a question directly to you, the Seller. When a consumer clicks the “Sold by” company link on any product page, they are sent to this…
Front and center, the first menu tab automatically displayed is Feedback. ALL feedback is but a click away by anyone who wants to know. If you have a high return rate or multiple buyers say your customer service is lackluster and unresponsive; those statistics and quotes will show up here. Amazon’s goal is to make buyers’ opinions available to everyone and to keep Sellers are on high alert with consistent 5 star service.
Even if all of your products are FBA, that actually helps since one of the ratings has to do with products arriving on time. And we know how efficient Amazon is. But the rest of the feedback is purely based on your performance.
View this feedback as valuable for internal benchmarks. For example, customers are asked “Arrived As Described”, making this another resource to confirm that your titles, bullet points and photos are spot on.
Seller Feedback is also an opportunity to see if your Customer Service meets buyer expectations (thank you Amazon for setting that bar so high). Consumers can rate their experience if they’ve directly contacted you for any reason. Did you respond promptly and resolve their issue? Remember, Amazon is looking through the eyes of buyers to gauge your performance and other consumers are depending upon those details in their purchasing decision process.
And the other place this information can be accessed is,
2. In Your Seller Account.
This is where detailed reports are located. Essentially Amazon (and you) can see where performance is strong or weak.
Accessed on the left column of your Seller Account Dashboard:
clicking on the Customer Feedback blue link, takes you internally…
From here, each tab offers details such as statistics on your Account Health, current Seller Feedback comments (with a button to respond/resolve), and other reports. Take the time to become familiar with every page. It’s definitely worth your while.
Are Your Customers Like You?
What percentage of your customers are actually leaving Seller Feedback? There may be a quicker way to calculate that, however here is an example of one simple way:
Go to your Orders page → put in the exact dates. (If you are calculating from the launch of your product, use those dates.)
→ Next, look at the bottom of the page for the total number of orders. In this example the total is 40.
→ Then look at how many total ratings you have in the Customer Feedback. (At a glance, it’s on the main dashboard page in that left column mentioned earlier, where it says # total ratings in parenthesis next to the stars.)
In this example that amount is 4 → Divide the total ratings amount (4) by total orders (40) to calculate the percentage of customers leaving Customer Feedback ratings which in this case is 10%. Although there is an average of 5 stars which indicates that customers are having a great purchasing experience with this company; only 1 out of 10 customers are actually taking the time to leave that crucial feedback.
Sources vary but say that between 5 – 10% is considered an average Customer Feedback response rate. They also say that your goal should fall somewhere between 30 – 50%. Amazon doesn’t say how many responses it takes to get the algorithm’s attention, however, they do provide rating goals which I covered in Is Your Amazon Seller Performance Measuring Up? I have to say that these rate requisites are quite strict. And since it’s based on an overall average, we can count on 1 negative rating in 40 having a much stronger impact (think a drop in Account Health from Good to Fair and ousted from the Buy Box) than 1 in 100. All the more reason to accumulate more Seller Feedback ratings.
Inspire 5 Star Seller Feedback Ratings
In that same article I covered ways to earn high Seller Feedback ratings with best practices. In case you would like a reminder…All Sellers should evaluate and optimize the following:
- Review any claims, negative feedback, or charge-backs for the orders that are affecting your ratings to identify areas requiring performance improvement.
- Ship all FBM orders on time and provide valid tracking numbers for all packages.
- Optimize product listings with precise descriptions both in images and words to avoid customers saying “not as described”.
- Respond quickly and with courtesy to all buyer requests and messages as they are an intricate part of good customer service. Check Amazon emails or the message section on the Seller dashboard as the first and last task of the day. Use your Amazon app when traveling or away from the computer.
Often consumers will take the time to write Seller Feedback just to vent. This is your opportunity to take the high road and resolve whatever they are complaining about. Amazon has next to zero tolerance for the blame game, meaning Sellers suggesting it’s a customer’s problem. The prevailing theme is always treat your customers like royalty as long as their feedback does not contain profanity or threats, and is a valid issue. Often when treated with respect and a quick resolution; negative feedback will either be removed or changed for the better.
- Make sure to pack items well to avoid any damage that might occur during shipping to Amazon’s warehouses or to customers. Following Amazon’s packaging requirements.
- Provide post-transaction support for refunds, returns, and exchanges in a timely manner.
- Keep inventories stocked to meet the demand, especially during promotions and holidays.
- Take responsibility. Set your ego aside and respond the way that Amazon would.
Keep in mind that if a low Seller Feedback rating was caused by an Amazon action or the buyer has written a product review here, then you can open a ticket with Amazon requesting removal. That change is often reflected quickly when removed.
Ask To Receive Seller Feedback
Amazon actually encourages Sellers to solicit feedback. You must remain TOS compliant in any efforts though. For example, you may not offer payment nor any incentive to a buyer for either providing or removing feedback. Amazon states that “Maintaining a high feedback rating is an important factor in becoming a successful seller on Amazon. Customers often review feedback ratings when determining whether to make a purchase from a seller.”
It doesn’t hurt to ask for feedback. Soliciting feedback can help merchants improve their reputation if they actually pay attention to what buyers are saying.
Send a Personalized Email
As you know, contacting customers outside of the Amazon platform is a huge no-no. However, you can send an email from within your Seller dashboard. Use the Contact Buyer link in the Order info, then select “Feedback Request” for the subject…
Your request can be included in the same email as the one for your request for a Product Review but make sure customers understand that they are two separate ratings.
Ideally, you would help customers navigate how to do this since it may not be so obvious. They can actually go to the same starting point on their ordering page. Keep all instructions simple and easy.
Here’s a basic example:
“Dear Customer Name,
Thank you for ordering XYZ product from Company Name. Your 100% satisfaction is our main goal. We strive to offer the best service possible. Your feedback on both our products and our service is very important to us. We listen to everyone!
Please take a moment to rate both our product and your experience ordering from us by:
- Going to Amazon.com and click on Your Orders under Your Account tab on the top right. (You will need to sign in.)
- Click on our product and select Leave Seller Feedback.
- Next, return to the same order page and select Leave a Product Review.
We greatly appreciate all of your feedback and hope you enjoy using XYZ product.”
Use Package Inserts
If you are already sending inserts asking for product reviews, you can tweak your message to also include a Seller performance rating request.
Assigning the task to stay on top of Seller Feedback to an employee could most likely be your next step if sales volumes are high, especially since this information is not to be ignored. However, don’t surrender the responsibility of monitoring your Account Health metrics unless that person is fully trained on how to manage and respond to every scenario.
Tina Marie Bueno is a global citizen with an MBA in Int’l Business plus over 20 years of content marketing experience both in the U.S. and overseas. As iLoveToReview’s Marketing Director, she strives to deliver relevant content to serve Amazon businesses of all sizes.