Guest post by Sam from eBusiness Boss
A couple of weeks back, I was contacted by one of our Instagram followers. They were struggling to understand why they were not winning the Buy Box on some of their products, even though they were priced below the Buy Box price…
They wanted to know if I could help them get to the bottom of it, which I duly obliged. This was an unusual occurrence, as usually if you’re priced as the lowest on a listing then it tends to mean you win the Buy Box. It got my mind ticking…
First of all, my immediate thought was that they were probably competing with Amazon on the listings, which is usually a bad idea!…
But no, that wasn’t it.
I then asked if they were a Merchant Fulfilled (MF) seller, competing with FBA sellers on the listings… But no, they said they were an FBA seller, so that wasn’t the answer either.
The next step was to ask them for some exact examples of these listings…
Interestingly, out of the ten they sent us, eight of them showed that they were competing with other FBA sellers and for two of them they were actually competing with MF sellers. This made no sense, especially the MF examples…
If you’re an FBA seller and you’re priced below an MF seller then you should be pretty much guaranteed to beat them to the Buy Box because of Amazon’s preference for FBA sellers.
It’s at this moment when I realised it must be something to do with their Seller Feedback rating! The penny had dropped. So, I asked them to look into this and come back to me.
Well hey presto, there it was, they had a Seller Feedback rating of 4 stars (3.9 to be exact). Now in most walks of life when it comes to feedback, reviews and ratings, 4 stars is usually regarded as really good.
However, when it comes to Amazon Seller Feedback unless you have a 5-star rating you’re going to struggle to compete with some competitors when it comes to winning the Buy Box…
Having a 5-star seller feedback rating is vitally important when it comes to building a reputable business on the Amazon platform.
Unfortunately, the seller in question had been neglecting their feedback, they’d thought that 4 stars would be enough.
My first recommendation was for them to go through their feedback and attempt to get any negative feedback removed that didn’t fit in with Amazon’s criteria…
Thankfully this had an immediate impact, they managed to remove a lot of the negative feedback…
Their rating instantly increased to 5 stars (4.8 to be exact), and over the coming weeks, they saw a marked improvement in their Buy Box wins and more importantly… their sales.
This is exactly why we decided to set up eBusiness Boss… Our extensive experience as full-time Amazon sellers gives us the chance to help people out (and that feels good).
The example above shows the importance of your Amazon Seller Feedback Rating!
Now, I want to dive into this topic a little bit further.
I’m going to go through the following…
- Why your seller feedback rating is important
- How you can achieve 5-star feedback
- How you can outsource the upkeep of your seller feedback
Why is Your Seller Feedback Rating so Important?
To put it simply your seller feedback rating reflects on you as a seller… It’s your chance to show that you run a trustworthy, professional business.
If you’ve got a high overall rating with loads of feedback then you are going to be looked at as a trustworthy seller.
Not only is this important for your customers, but it’s also important to Amazon…
It looks like established sellers with a higher overall rating can be shown preferential treatment by Amazon…
It makes sense… We all know that Amazon wants the best experience for their customers…
If two sellers are priced at the same level, with the same fulfilment options it’s going to make sense that Amazon awards the Buy Box to the seller with the highest indicator of customer service (their Amazon Seller Feedback Rating).
Remember… in Amazon’s eyes, your seller feedback rating is an important indicator of your performance as a seller. I’ve read a lot about Amazon account suspensions due to extremely poor levels of seller feedback, don’t give Amazon any reason to suspend your account!
But it’s not just Amazon’s preference for higher seller feedback that you need to consider, it is also a big factor in conversion rates with customers! If a customer can buy the same product from a seller with a 5-star feedback rating, or a seller with a 4-star feedback rating, it’s highly likely that they’ll choose the 5-star seller.
Hopefully, I’ve made it fairly clear how important it is to have a high seller feedback rating. If you want to make sales on Amazon, you need to keep Amazon happy and your customers happy. Which may leave you asking the question?…
How do you Achieve 5-star Feedback?
Offer a 5-star service! I mean this in terms of everything you do.
You need to provide good quality products that are unlikely to suffer faults, cause issues or be returned.
You need to offer prompt delivery options and ensure the products are prepped and packed according to Amazon’s requirements.
If you are an FBA seller this is made easy with their speedy Prime delivery service and top of the range packing materials (Need packing and prepping advice? You might find the video below useful).
Lastly, you must implement a good customer service strategy…
For starters, you could consider putting an email follow up campaign in place using software like FeedbackExpress…
Make sure that the emails are based around your customer’s needs…. rather than your own.
Ask them if they are happy with their experience…
I like to prompt the customer to reply, this way I can start a conversation and start to build rapport…
If a happy customer replies, you can ask them to leave you some feedback.
If an unhappy customer replies, you can try to solve their issue which in turn will reduce the chances of them leaving negative feedback.
“But how do you prevent them from leaving negative feedback?”
Well, there’s a number of options, but first and foremost APOLOGISE!
It should go without saying that you should always apologise to any unhappy customers, even if you feel you’re not at fault.
Remember, the customer is always right! Whilst apologising, it’s also worth reassuring the customer that you acknowledge their concerns and that you will pass it on to the relevant team to look into further.
After this, you then need to offer the customer some sort of resolution. Now this, of course, will depend on you and your business model.
Here are a few different resolutions we like to offer…
- Partial refund
- Free replacement product
- Another (different) free product from your store
- Free shipping coupon
- Discount coupon
By implementing the above, you can significantly reduce the number of negative feedbacks you receive.
On top of good customer service, removing negative feedback on Amazon will also help.
Obviously, there will be some negative feedback you will not be able to remove, but thankfully most of it is removable.
Here are two examples of feedback Amazon will remove…
- A Product Review – Any feedback that is written as a product review, instead of feedback about the sellers’ service, does not count as feedback and can be removed.
- Delivery Issues – For FBA sellers, Any feedback that relates to delivery issues can be removed because these are deemed as Amazon’s responsibility.
If you can combine good customer service alongside active feedback management, then you should be able to maintain a high 5-Star Seller Feedback Rating with ease.
How and Why to Outsource the Maintenance of Your Seller Feedback
Once you have established a system that is working, i.e. good customer service and regular checks for negative feedback, then you should have everything in place to maintain a good overall Feedback Rating.
However, running good customer service comes with the added responsibility of responding to more regular customer emails. Although responding to customers is incredibly worthwhile in order to ensure good feedback, it can be quite time-consuming. This process can end up bottlenecking your business as you’ll be spending a lot of time on customer service, instead of the growth tasks that could be taking your business to the next level.
Thankfully, tasks like customer service and feedback removal are quite easy to systemise with set processes, it’s then very easy to train others to do these tasks on your behalf. I speak from experience because this is exactly what I have done within my Amazon businesses.
I have created a system to automate the customer service side of the business (this includes feedback removal).
I now have a team of Virtual Assistant’s (VA’s) who handle all of the customer service tasks across the European marketplaces. They cover all of the administrative tasks that ensure I have a constant flow of happy customers. I’ve also managed to achieve the same results across Europe by employing native speaking VA’s, language barriers shouldn’t stop you growing your business.
Related: How to Hire a Virtual Assistant
Efficiency and automation are important for all of the different Amazon business models. We use the above strategies within both the reselling and the private label arms of our business.
Positive seller feedback is vital if you want to compete on Amazon. Without it, both Amazon and potential customers won’t take you seriously and your potential will be limited.
If you want to take control of your seller ratings, then make sure you are removing any negative feedbacks that aren’t applicable to you.
More importantly whatever business you’re in – A proper customer service system should be at the top of your priorities. In the long run, your customers’ experience will determine the success or failure of your business.
Once you have an efficient system in place, you can consider removing yourself as a bottleneck. Take the time to outsource these sorts of tasks, this way you can spend your time and energy growing your business.
If you want to automate your Amazon feedback messaging, I highly recommend RepricerExpress’ sister company, FeedbackExpress. Sign up here using promo code FEX10 and you’ll get 30 days for free (no credit card needed) plus 10% off your first month.