Seller feedback is something that every Amazon seller should be concerned with. Keeping your score as close to 100% and 5 Stars is important when customers are analyzing who to buy from. Many times buyers just buy from whomever is in the buy box, but more and more listings are showing up with nobody in the buy box (suppressed buy box), so buyers have to go to the list of all sellers to select on to buy from. If you have a 98% feedback rating, and your similarly priced competitor has a 100% feedback rating, you could easily lose sale after sale to that competitor.
A quick look at what feedback scores mean:
Feedback Score of 4 – Some people worry about not getting all perfect 5 feedback scores. Leave this alone. It does bring down your star rating a little depending on how many feedbacks you have, but it counts as a positive, and that’s what matters.
Feedback Score of 3 – This is a neutral feedback according to Amazon, but since it’s not a positive, it counts against you like a 1 or 2 would. Fight this as diligently as you would a 1 or a 2.
Feedback Score of 1 or 2 – These scores are negative scores and should be fought as much as you possibly can. One negative out of 25 feedbacks drops you 4 percentage points. Three or four of these negative scores can seriously impact your account, your ability to win the buy box, and reduce sales.
Steps to request removal:
1. Contact Amazon Seller Support and see if they will remove the feedback. Many times customers will leave product reviews (e.g., “This product was not
as soft as I expected” or “The instructions were confusing and it was impossible to put together.”), negative comments about the high cost of the item, use your personal name or curse, or complain about the shipping/packaging if the item was fulfilled by Amazon. If they violate Amazon’s feedback policy, Amazon will quickly remove the feedback.
If the customer complains about the shipping time, condition of the product packaging, or anything else that Amazon is in control of, just email amazon with the order number, and they will strike through the feedback or remove it altogether, and it will no longer count against you. If they simply strike through the feedback, they will include a sentence basically saying it was their fault, not yours.
2. When you receive a customer complaint that is not easy to remove based on Amazon’s feedback policy violations, no matter how angry you might be, you need to reach out to the customer like they are your best friend and you have just injured them. My key components of my first email are as follows:
A. Thank the customer for their purchase.
B. Empathize with their predicament. Surely you’ve had a bad customer service experience and can relate to how your customer is feeling. Let them know that you understand how it feels.
C. Apologize, take responsibility, and offer a solution that you think is fair. (Refund with no return required, gift card, etc.). The more worried you are about maintaining your feedback, the more aggressive I would be in this area. I’ve offered a full refund with no return required more than once when I screwed up.
D. Ask the customer if this resolution meets their expectations. This step is key in my opinion. If you simply include the above three steps, the customer has no incentive to respond to you. If you go ahead and refund their purchase or send a replacement right off the bat, they have no incentive to engage with you. Getting them to engage with you is critical.
3. Once you have sent this initial email, the majority of customers will reply. They will let you know if your proposed resolution is acceptable or not. The few who don’t reply aren’t worth stressing out about. There will always be a few customers who you can’t make happy, and sometimes it really will be your fault, and they will have every right to be mad.
4. Once the customer replies, thank them for being such an understanding customer. I always include, “Not every customer is so understanding” or something like that. This appeals to people. It makes them feel special and set apart.
Tell them that you will immediately initiate whichever concession you proposed in the first email, and tell them you will be back in touch in a few days to make sure that everything was processed properly.
5. Once that time has passed, contact them again to make sure they received the concession. Thank them again for their patience and understanding.
6. In the vast majority of cases, you will have built a rapport with the buyer by now, and they will respond to your inquiry regarding the concession. If not, a second email a few days later often does the trick.
Now is the time for your (hopefully) final email. At this point, you should email the buyer and explain (very briefly) that feedbacks are very important to a small business like yours. I like to write something like this to request the removal: “If you feel that your level of satisfaction with our customer service has changed based on your overall experience, I would be extremely grateful if you would consider removing the negative feedback you left originally. Our goal is to provide a perfect experience for every customer, and while we fell short originally, I hope we have made up for that.” Provide the link to remove feedback in case they would like to, and you should be done.
Of course, every situation is unique and requires a unique approach, but this general pattern has worked very well for me, even when I was completely at fault.