When You Shouldn’t Ask for Amazon Feedback

  • 20th April, 2016

Amazon seller feedback is one way that sellers can create and manage a reputation as a great provider for customers to shop with. If a customer chooses to leave feedback after a transaction, the seller’s marketplace rating will reflect their feedback. By providing quality products and good customer service, most sellers can manage to maintain a very high seller rating.

Because feedback can have a positive effect on future sales, acting as a recommendation of one seller over many others, many sellers use tools such as FeedbackEmails to contact customers and ask them for their valuable feedback. Just like leaving reviews, feedback is something that requires customers to go out of their way, even if it only takes a few seconds.

Feedback Effect

Gathering and managing positive feedback is something that all successful Amazon sellers do to increase their reputations. However, a study reported by Berkeley showed that for whatever impact positive feedback may have, negative feedback can have a much more visible effect. The study also showed that buyers are willing to pay up to 8% more for a product if the seller has a positive and experienced reputation in the marketplace.

And on Amazon, there’s another important effect that feedback can have – the Buy Box. Sellers with higher feedback scores are more likely to win coveted Buy Box real estate. The lower your score, the less likely you’ll ever show up where buyers can see you easily.

For these reasons, it’s easy to see how feedback can be a double edged sword. A high feedback rating can play a part in turning your Amazon sales business into a major success. A low rating can bury you under the competition for good.

Should You Always Ask?

For this reason, many Amazon sellers may actually find that their feedback request routine could be harmful to their reputation at times. Science has proven many times over that the human brain is hardwired to remember bad events and experiences over good ones, and this rings true for buyers as well. Those who have a bad experience with your service or product are far more likely to leave feedback than those who have a good experience.

So you’re already battling an unbalanced bias towards negative feedback, just based on human behavior. If you think that feedback may be bad, should you even risk asking in the first place? For many Amazon sellers, playing it safe in certain situations may help save their marketplace rating. Here are some situations in which you may want to think twice before you request buyer feedback:

  1. The order had shipping issues. If the order arrived late, or was shipped internationally where it had to go through multiple layers of customs, you may want to skip the request for feedback.

    Slow shipping is one of the leading complaints among Internet shoppers, especially when Amazon goes out of its way to advertise their two-day shipping on every page. Buyers can’t blame anonymous postal service workers, so they turn to the next best thing – you. And because you can’t control the shipping rates, it’s difficult to fix this complaint. FeedbackEmails offers a setting that will automatically exclude orders that were shipped late or out of the country.

  2. You already dealt with a complaint or refund. Even if you handled a complaint about a product or shipping to their satisfaction, it still may be a good idea to skip the seller feedback.

    Any time something didn’t go as planned, a customer will remember. They had to make an effort to contact you for a refund, or to complain, and that means that they already consider their time wasted. You may risk it if the situation ended with the customer sounding incredibly pleased, but otherwise, consider the high risk that the customer will mention the infraction and rate accordingly.

  3. You’ve dealt with this customer before, and they left bad feedback then. People are not prone to changing their opinions once they are formed.

    This is, in fact, an evolutionary tactic that is meant to keep us safe, so you can imagine how hard it would be to convince a seller that you deserve a better rating this time. It is said that it takes up to 12 positive customer experiences to make up for a single bad one. If you recognize a customer from a previous round of bad feedback, even if the experience was perfect this time, you may want to skip the request for feedback.

Should You Have Feedback Removed?

There’s no way to predict every instance in which a customer will leave bad feedback. Maybe you went against your gut feeling in one of the above situations, and it resulted in a bad rating. There are a few things to keep an eye on that will help you get rid of the rating, such as:

  • The feedback is entirely about the product.
  • The feedback includes profanity or your own personal information in order to shame and identify you.
  • The feedback is entirely about the price.
  • The feedback is entirely about the fulfillment process on an FBA product.

In any of these cases, sellers can request that Amazon get rid of the negative feedback, but should you always do that? Looking at the ways in which bad feedback can hurt your reputation that we listed earlier, you may think that the answer is: of course! But before you do, here are a few things that you may be able to learn from bad feedback, in order to improve your customer service in the future:

  1. Do you need to consider sending a customer service letter before a feedback request? This email could prompt customers to work with you on issues before they get to the feedback stage.
  2. Do you need to change your product descriptions or images for better understanding? Or, alternatively, do you need to develop a new product line altogether?

While you work on developing the best experience for your customers, you can easily manage your feedback requests and your seller reputation with FeedbackEmails. With an automated system in place, it’s much easier to focus on fixing the bad feedback issues, and letting the good entries work for you in the background.