Did you know? One of the most important elements to winning the Buy Box is your seller account health. This is why sellers with superior performance metrics can command higher prices than their competitors and still win the Buy Box. With Amazon – Price is not the bottom line – Price + Performance – is.
Here are the top 4 mistakes most sellers make regarding this issue and practical ways to address them.
1. Not Responding to Customer Feedback within 24 Hours or Failure to Mark as “No Response Needed”
In order to satisfy Amazon’s customer service requirements, every customer message must be responded to within a 24 hour period. Yes, that means the weekends and holidays too. The goal is to ensure that sellers are following up promptly with their customers which helps create a standard of expectation among customers that all sellers will reply within this 24 hour period.
If you’re unable to check your account daily, you can create a user account specifically for customer service use and provide the necessary permissions in order to have someone check and respond to customer messages every day.
Occasionally customers will respond to you after you’ve assisted them with a short message that doesn’t require a response, but if you leave it as is Amazon will penalize you as their system doesn’t know the specific content of the message. In these cases, be sure to scroll to the bottom of the message and “Mark as no response needed” and submit to let Amazon know that the issue has been taken care of.
2. Failing to Ask for Positive Seller Feedback from Customers
The easiest way to increase your seller feedback is to simply ask for it and make it simple for your customers to do. Sending an automated email a day or two after an order has been delivered asking customers to provide positive feedback if they had a positive experience is the best way to increase your seller rating.
Amazon allows sellers to ask for feedback from customers provided that no incentive is offered to the customer for doing so. It is important for sellers wanting to maintain outstanding seller metrics to not only provide excellent customer service but also to find ways to automate the feedback request process. There are a handful of automated feedback resources out there but the best one that I’ve found and use is Feedback Genius by Seller Labs.
With Feedback Genius, you can format your automated emails to start with customer service by providing customers with the tracking number, notification of shipment and letting them know that if they have any issues they can contact you by responding to the email. This helps to prevent negative feedback as well as address any customer order issues quickly.
3. Failing to Ask Buyers to Remove Feedback Once Their Issue Has Been Resolved
While many sellers know to address customer service complaints quickly, most don’t know that it’s okay to ask sellers to remove negative feedback once their issue has been resolved. Per Amazon’s Feedback FAQs, “If you want to respond to negative feedback, the best option is to work with the buyer to improve the situation. Then, ask the buyer to remove the feedback.”
With Amazon, customers don’t have the option of amending feedback, only removing it, which must be done within 60 days. Once an issue has been resolved ask the customer to remove any negative feedback since it is no longer reflective of you as a seller. If a customer fails to comply, move on to the the next section to see if the feedback can be removed by Amazon.
4. Failure to Request Removal of Negative Seller Feedback that Violates Amazon Policy
When a customer fails to remove their negative feedback even though your have addressed any issues or concerns the next step is to submit the feedback removal request to Amazon. There are a handful of criteria that allows Amazon to remove negative feedback but know that sometimes no matter how diligent you are some negative seller feedback will remain and your goal then becomes to balance it out with lots of positive seller feedback.
To request removal of seller feedback from Amazon first copy the order number next to the negative feedback you want removed. Scroll to the bottom of your Seller Central account and select: “Get Support” – “Contact Us” – “Selling on Amazon” – “Customers and Orders”. Paste the Order Number in and select “Next”. Select, “Customer Feedback Removal Request” and select one of the options below:
Language: If the negative feedback includes any obscene or foul language.
Personal information: If the negative feedback includes any customer or seller-specific information such as email addresses, full names or telephone numbers.
Product feedback: If the negative feedback is in fact a review of the product and not the seller.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA): If the feedback is regarding an order Fulfilled by Amazon and is not indicative of the seller.
Other: If there any other issue that the seller believes Amazon has cause to remove the feedback.
In certain cases Amazon’s Feedback Removal Request tool will automatically scan and approve the feedback for removal. In other cases it will go to a customer service representative who will determine the validity and approve or deny the request for removal. Either way, sellers should work to ensure they are providing premium customer service and work to resolve any issues quickly with buyers first before requesting feedback removal from Amazon.
Sellers who implement the above seller feedback and customer response strategies have the opportunity to greatly increase their seller performance ratings, win the Buy Box more often at higher prices and ultimately increase their product sales.