An increasing number of consumers are turning to the Internet for goods and services, and that figure has risen exponentially during the pandemic. Consumer behavior has changed in that people start the buying process by looking up the product, but they don’t purchase without first confirming reviews. The same is true when consumers choose which online sellers to purchase from.

As an online seller, you can increase your Amazon sales threefold by prioritizing your reviews and feedback.

Reviews and Feedback Influence Your Sales

Customers buying online are going in blind, not having touched or seen the product, and likely have not bought anything from you yet so they don’t know how good a merchant you are. In a report examining how reviews impact consumer decision, State of Online Reviews, staff reveal that 93% of consumers say that online reviews have an impact on their purchasing decisions. Most of us are consumers too: how likely are you to buy from a store with little to no feedback?

Different ways that feedback impact the purchasing process:

  • Availability of feedback can increase sales by as much as 270% – just getting those first few is extremely important
  • Customers trust online review almost as much as a personal recommendation from a friend
  • Negative feedback deters 86% of potential customers from buying from a seller
  • Consumers view the number of feedback, in addition to the star rating, as a measure of credibility and trustworthiness
  • People will turn away from a seller when there are no available reviews

How to Solicit Feedback from Your Customers

NOTE: Amazon employs a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to skirting their rules for soliciting product reviews or seller feedback. It is important that you familiarize yourself with the Amazon Communication Guidelines and make sure to avoid violations.

Probably the most important rule when soliciting feedback from your buyers is to avoid offering compensation for the review, and the second most important is to avoid asking for a positive review. Both of these are a sure violation of Amazon policies and could potentially get your account suspended. Instead, what you’re aiming for is an invitation for the customer to leave an honest description of their experience. If your team and processes follow best practices then the description will recount a pleasant shopping experience that satisfied the customer’s expectations.

Ways to get more reviews from paying customers:

  1. Use the Request a Review feature on Seller Central
  2. Use an attractive product insert reminding customers to leave a review
  3. Place a handwritten note thanking customers for their purchase and ask them to send a review
  4. Send an email review request after the product is delivered (if you have the customer’s direct email address)
  5. Remind your social media fans to leave reviews of their favorite products

Manage Your Neutral and Negative Reviews

According to FindStack’s deep dive into reviews, a dissatisfied customer is 21% more likely to decide to tell people about their experience than a satisfied customer will. The key is to getting better reviews for your page is your customer service.

How to get positive reviews and feedback:

  • Have a positive attitude.
    • The number 1 reason people leave a seller feedback is employee attitude.
    • The customer is always right isn’t true, but what is true is that to err is human and every customer is human. We all make mistakes, but when working a customer service job we deal with a large number of people that made mistakes and it’s easy to forget they probably didn’t mean to.
    • Make sure that every customer touch point, from product listings all the way to email and phone communications, reflect a positive attitude.
  • Make sure that your product information is accurate.
    • The number 1 reason people leave a product review is when the product is “excellent”.
    • Use your description, specification, images, and other fields within your listing to make sure that customers understand what they’re going to receive, how big it will be, and how it can be used.
  • Respond to queries promptly.
    • Amazon’s policy of requiring you to respond within 24-hours isn’t the goal, it’s the minimum policy you should set for your CS team.
    • Use a ticket system to help your team sort inquiries into the correct buckets and provide the appropriate response as quickly as possible.
  • Offer proactive customer service that goes the extra mile.
  • Ship products on time.
    • More than half of negative feedback is related to orders that ship late.
    • Work with your suppliers, carriers, and shipping team to identify pain points and remove them from your process.
  • Personalize communications.
    • Everyone likes to feel special, so although there’s an added cost to personalization, use automation tools to reduce costs.
    • Send surveys that ask for suggestions on how to improve.
    • Respond to every review.
  • Ask for feedback and reviews.
    • Too many sellers ignore the most important “trick” to earning more feedback and reviews – they never ask for it!
    • Don’t just ask every customer, ask the ones most likely to leave you a positive feedback.
    • Use Seller Maven’s partner tools to filter out refunded or returned orders, filter out customers that had to contact your CS team, and focus your efforts on customers that are more likely to have had a positive experience.

That being said, nothing in life is perfect and you’re bound to encounter a dissatisfied customer sooner rather than later. All is not lost however, as there are ways that you can mitigate neutral to negative reviews.

How to manage neutral to negative seller feedback:

  • Contact the buyer and see how you can resolve their issue. If you can resolve the concern, politely ask for them to edit their feedback to reflect your efforts.
  • Use the Feedback Manager in Seller Central to dispute the feedback.
  • Have Seller Maven feedback experts deal with Seller Support for you.

Neutral and negative feedback can be valuable too. Don’t shy from them. Instead, read each one that comes through and identify the underlying concern of the customer. What are they saying? Take it as a lesson to improve your processes and your customer service. What are they not saying? What were the implied issues of the buyer that you were not able to meet? Take it and improve from it.

While it’s important that you pay attention to each and every negative feedback, remember also that a single disappointed customer can be drowned out if there is a crowd praising you. The more positive feedbacks you earn, the less impact a negative feedback will have on your business. The better your overall star rating, the better your sales.

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