Written by: Jeanne Croteau
Growing up, you might have been told not to worry about what others think of you, but the complete opposite is true if you’re a business owner. In fact, you should be very interested in learning what customers are saying about you because it can make or break your brand.
Word-of-mouth is a powerful way to build a following, but if the chatter is negative, you won’t last long on the Amazon marketplace. That’s why you need to do everything you can to put yourself in a position to stand out from the crowd. Recently, Nuanced Media was mentioned in a Buzzfeed article regarding the struggle customers face when it comes to Amazon Seller reviews and communicating with sellers on Amazon. Let’s explore how you, as an Amazon seller can improve communication with your customers and improve the experience for all.
Request Reviews and Feedback
Many people use the terms “Amazon seller feedback” and “Amazon customer reviews” interchangeably, but in reality, they are two very different things on Amazon. Understanding the difference is very important as a seller because they will impact your account in different ways.
Amazon customer reviews use a five-star scale to indicate the buyer’s satisfaction with a specific product. These ratings are displayed publicly so that potential customers can review them before making a purchase.
Think of the last time you shopped online. Didn’t you look to see what others were saying before you bought it? That’s exactly why you need to have good reviews on your product listings.
While reviews are product-focused, Amazon seller feedback is all about you as a seller. The same five-star scale is used, but this time, buyers use it to evaluate your performance in terms of shipping, packaging, responsiveness and overall customer service. Customers have 90 days to submit one feedback per order. Your Amazon seller feedback rating is made up of the average of all the feedbacks you’ve received.
Requesting Amazon customer reviews and Amazon seller feedback is one of the best ways to improve your seller reputation. However, Amazon has strict communication guidelines that are important to follow. Make sure you know the rules before sending a request.
Be Responsive to Customers
Most of us have complained about a product or service. As a customer, it’s your right to share your experience. It’s very different, though, when the negative comments are being directed at us. As a seller, you might be tempted to ignore the unsavory remarks, but you’ll fare much better if you see them as an opportunity to learn and address them proactively.
Buyers want to see that you are actively engaged on Amazon. While you don’t have to respond to every review, answering questions, addressing concerns and showing appreciation are great ways to connect with your customers and stay on top of your Amazon seller feedback. Not only will you get a sense of how you might improve the products you sell, you’ll show that you actually care about their experience. Responding publicly in a professional manner will give more future shoppers more confidence when considering your product.
Additionally, if you notice a pattern in your negative feedback and reviews, it might be a sign that something has gone wrong in your supply chain. Investigating the source of the problem immediately could save you from serious issues down the road. Again, this shows customers and Amazon that you’re paying attention and actively seeking ways to make things right.
Keep a Low ODR
To ensure a high-quality experience for buyers, Amazon tracks your performance as a seller. One thing that is monitored closely is your Order Defect Rate (ODR), which is determined by the percentage of negative feedbacks, service chargebacks and A-to-z claims in your account, divided by the total number of orders in a specific period of time. Providing proactive customer service is the best way you can keep your ODR low. Are people complaining about poor packaging? Has the quality of a product seemingly dropped? Does the product listing seem misleading? Roll up your sleeves and fix those problems right away. The goal is to resolve buyer concerns or supply chain issues before they become official complaints.
One more important reason to keep your ODR as low as possible is that it can affect your ability to win the Buy Box. Amazon is customer-focused, so they aren’t going to reward sellers who don’t meet and exceed expectations. Keep your ODR under 1% in order to maintain a competitive edge on the marketplace.
Seller Reputation Takes Work
A great seller reputation doesn’t come easily — you’ll have to work for it. Then, you’ll have to work even harder to maintain it. Being successful on Amazon requires more than simply adding product listings to the site. You have to connect with your customers, understand their needs and then find ways to keep them happy. It’s just like any other relationship.
The best way to do that is to request feedback and reviews, and then pay attention to what buyers are saying. Subscribe to email and text alerts in order to stay in the loop. As a seller, it’s important to optimize your Amazon listings and prioritize customer reviews to preserve and improve your brand’s reputation. The sooner you jump in and address an issue, the better it will be for your customers and your brand. Every day will come with a new set of victories and challenges, but as long as you’re committed to making things right, you’ll be setting yourself up for success.
About the Author
Jeanne Croteau is a staff writer at eComEngine. She’s also a psychology professor and freelance writer with a keen interest in exploring the minds of online shoppers (including her own!). She loves hockey, cooking, running, and spending time with her husband and six children. You can read more from Jeanne and the eComEngine team on their blog page.