Seller Feedback 2018
The Seller Feedback changes just rolling out make this an even more important metric to manage. Whereas previously Seller Feedback was averaged out from the beginning of time (ie from the date you opened your account), it is now calculated as a rolling average over the previous 12 months.
Comments in this area are arguably as important as Product Reviews. They rate you as a Seller, describing your Store.
Think of a bricks and mortar shopping experience. You are walking down the street looking for shoes and are no doubt be spoilt for choice.
Which shop will you walk into – the one with an appealing storefront or the one with yesterday’s trash in the doorway?
Here’s what Amazon says:
Comments you leave about a third-party seller should be focused on your buying experience.
How satisfied were you with how your order was packaged and shipped? (for products).
How was the work quality and professionalism of the provider? (for services).
Did you get good customer service and prompt resolution? (if applicable).
Would you buy from this third-party seller again?
What could have been improved about your experience?
They also outline what should not be included and this is what gives us Sellers an “out” which we are vigilant in managing for our clients.
Amazon reserves the right to remove feedback that isn’t directly related to the buying experience or violates one of our guidelines. If your comments include any of the following, your feedback is subject to removal:
Promotional content: This includes anything of a promotional nature such as comments about or links to other merchants or websites.
Obscene or abusive language: Please use helpful and appropriate language when participating in the Amazon Community.
Personal information: You shouldn’t include information that identifies other Amazon.com visitors.
Product reviews: It’s more appropriate to review a product on the product detail page.
You should also be aware that Amazon allows 60 days for a customer to delete their Seller Feedback for any reason. So, if they have written a complaint then you need to get on and fix it and then ask the customer to update their feedback…never ask them to remove it.
We are very conservative in managing our client accounts and where Amazon has a rule or a line in the sand as we call it, we always make sure we are a giant step away from it.
So what do these changes mean?
If you have had product or performance issues in the past, their effect has been averaged down over time so it is “easy” to get back to a 95% plus score. However, if this occurred within the last 12 months you will see your rating fall dramatically, especially if you have not had much recent Seller Feedback apart from a few negatives.
We have always managed our client’s Seller Feedback very tightly. We are only interested in 5-star comments so if anything less we reach out to the customer to resolve the issue. This is so easy to do as the customer Order ID is right next to the Feedback details in your Seller Central account!
If the Feedback is more of a Product Review, we have two clear steps:
Positive: We contact the customer, thank them for their kind words and ask them to copy it into a Product Review.
Negative: We appeal to Amazon noting it does not meet their criteria and asking for its removal.
Of course, if negative we are also reaching out to the customer. Sometimes we find a lowstar Feedback is clearly related to a lowstar Product Review that just landed. A quick and easy way to track down the customer to try and sort out their issue.
You will be pleasantly surprised how many customers do indeed copy across their feedback comment.
These are 5***** reviews just waiting for you to ask!
They are also a great way to interact with your customer and engage them further. Who knows what referrals or recommendations will arise from this…generating more sales!
If Amazon decline, we always appeal. Twice!
Be sure of your ground, articulate, always polite and clearly persistent. We have better than a 95% win rate on appeal.
Amazon will either delete the feedback completely or strikethrough the comment eg if it was an FBA delivery issue. Of course, if you are FBM you already know how a falling Seller Feedback can slow or stop your sales!
Sometimes a 5 or 4-star comment may have a slight negative and qualifies for removal. Here we make a judgment call – if it is minor we let it stay but do not request it to be copied into a Product Review. We may reach out to the customer or not…some things are best left.
Both these ratings are positive and contribute to you positive score. You want to keep as many positive Seller Feedback comments as possible!
You must remember that when dealing with customers, one size never fits all! So step back and look at the overall content and the impression it leaves and make your decision accordingly.
If you don’t already have this under tight control, it just became a huge priority for you. Dive in there now and sort it out. Reach out to customers and work on resolving their issue. Raise cases with Amazon going back 12 months and to see if you can get any bad ones removed.
Our Amazon crystal ball is a murky as yours but this is clearly a new area of focus. Make sure you add this to your twice daily checks going forward and manage it tightly.
As always, ask us anything. If we don’t know the answer we’ll know someone who does!
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