Tag Archives: Feedback

Improve the Customer Experience: Think Like an Amazon Customer

One thing Amazon wants to be known for is having the most customer-centric online marketplace in the world. Amazon truly takes “the customer is always right” to the extreme – just look at their super lenient return policy if you need an example. They want happy customers. Customers who will come back again and again. Customers who trust Amazon. Customers who leave raving reviews. Customers who tell all their friends how much they love Amazon.

Amazon wants the customer experience on their website to be the best in the world.

And that’s a phrase you as an Amazon FBA seller should remember and ingrain into your psyche: the customer experience. If you can begin to focus on how you as a seller can contribute to the customer experience on Amazon, you can begin to increase your profits and decrease your returns as an FBA seller.

The easiest way to make this mindset shift is to think like an Amazon customer. Shift away from always thinking like an Amazon seller…shift toward thinking like an Amazon customer.

Shift away from thinking only about your bottom line as a seller…shift toward thinking about how the customer will react when they open your product after their delivery arrives.

One tendency many of us resellers have developed over time is frugality. We are always on the lookout for a good deal, and we’re willing to overlook some minor flaws in order to save a few bucks. When customers go to Amazon, however, to purchase new items, they are looking for good deals but not at the expense of quality. They don’t want to receive an item with dinged up packaging or crushed corners. They want their merchandise to arrive in pristine, gift-quality condition.

As resellers, we absolutely cannot send in inventory to FBA warehouses that will cause customers to lose trust in Amazon or have an unpleasant customer experience. We must look for ways to positively impact the customer experience by providing quality merchandise. And when we give customers a great experience, it can increase our profits by giving us more sales, more product reviews, and more positive feedback.

Here’s how your contribution to the customer experience can increase your profits:

  • Thinking like an Amazon customer opens your eyes to see more items to source. Too often when we’re sourcing we pass up quality inventory because we think, “No one would ever buy that!” But if you’re thinking like an Amazon customer, your mind is open to the possibility that even the oddest item could be something customers are searching for. Scan everything (we use the Scoutify app), and don’t just disqualify items because you personally would never be interested in buying them. Pay attention to sales ranks and sales rank history, and you’ll begin to learn trends in what Amazon customers are buying.
  • Thinking like an Amazon customer helps you find higher ROI items. ROI is return on investment – and in general we as Amazon sellers want to get the biggest ROI possible. As you’re scanning items and keeping an open mind about what customers are looking for, you can start finding items that other sellers would overlook, but that have great ROI potential! Often we make assumptions that items aren’t worth anything, but when we do the work of 1) thinking like a customer on the search for these types of items, 2) scanning anything that fits the description of what an Amazon customer would be looking for, and 3) paying attention to sales rank and how it works in different categories, then we can start finding items that stand out and have higher ROI than if we just follow what every other seller is doing and chase after the latest BOLO.

Now let’s look at the other side of this coin of thinking like an Amazon customer. Here’s how you can begin to decrease your return rate:

  • Think like an Amazon customer while you’re sourcing. When you’re sourcing for inventory, the biggest way you can positively impact your return rate is to stop sourcing borderline items. It may be a hard habit to break, but for the sake of your seller account, I highly recommend you not buy items that are at all questionable as to their condition – and that includes packaging. No more dinged tins, crushed corners, broken plastic, or missing shoebox lids. The reseller thinks, “They’re just going to throw the box away. What difference does it make?” But the customer thinks, “What’s the deal? Why is this packaging all messed up? Is something wrong with the item also? Guess I should return it.” While you’re standing there in the clearance aisle sourcing, stop looking at the dollar signs on your scanning app for a moment and think about how your customer would feel opening an Amazon box and finding this particular item. Would they be pleased with their purchase? Or would they be disappointed because of how it’s presented? There are plenty of high quality inventory finds out there for you to source, so if you think the customer will be disappointed at all with the item in your hand, put that item down and keep moving down the aisle. Your return rate will thank you.
  • Think like an Amazon customer while you’re listing. When you’re listing your items for sale on Amazon, always round down on the condition. You’re not going to be making it out of the store with borderline items anymore, right? But sometimes inventory items make it home with you and you find out too late that there’s a defect in the packaging or something else about the item that makes it not in new condition. In these cases, always round down on the condition. Do not list them as new. List them as like new or very good.

Think like an Amazon customer. If someone buys a book in like new or very good condition, but they open it up and see that it’s way better than they imagined, they’re going to be pleased (and possibly leave you positive seller feedback). On the other hand, if they order a new book but open it up to find it has shelf wear of any kind, that book might be on the fast track to your return pile (and your seller feedback might take a hit). Always round down on the condition, not up.

It’s not worth it to make 5 extra dollars on a sale but risk the return or the impact on your seller account – it’s not even worth it to make $50 extra! Amazon sellers must stop putting their bottom line ahead of the customer experience.

It may seem counterintuitive to think like an Amazon customer, but really, try it! Next time you’re out sourcing or back at the computer listing, start thinking about your products and how a customer would respond to these products if they receive them in an Amazon shipment. It may sound crazy, but thinking this way will begin to increase your profits and decrease your returns.

Have you found some ways to think like an Amazon customer? If so, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

***********************

Imagine knowing exactly what to expect in your Amazon FBA business every month of the year.

Imagine what it would feel like knowing you were not missing out on any of the opportunities that will come your way this year. 

Imagine working on your Amazon business knowing exactly what your priorities are, what you need to avoid, and what you need to accomplish during each month to make progress toward making this year your best sales year ever.

Find out more about The Reseller’s Guide to a Year in FBA: A Month by Month Guide to a Profitable Amazon Business today. The package includes a 200-page ebook, monthly live webinars, and 4 special bonuses.

Feedback Genius Review – Get More Positive (and Eliminate Negative) Feedback

feedback-genuis-reviewMost Amazon sellers will agree: It takes a verrrrrry looooooong time to build up your feedback on the Amazon platform.

Most Amazon customers aren’t accustomed to leaving seller feedback for FBA purchases, at least not with the same frequency as eBay customers leave seller feedback. It could take 100 sales via FBA to receive one or two customers leaving feedback on Amazon. At that rate, it seems to take forever to build up a solid feedback score.

That rate also means that just one negative feedback carries a huge punch. The effects of one negative feedback can be devastating to your seller account, if you don’t have enough positive feedback to counterbalance it. No one knows for sure exactly what algorithm Amazon uses to award the buy box, but feedback scores have some component to it. I absolutely must pay careful attention to keeping my feedback score as close to 100% as possible if I want to keep the buy box and get more FBA sales.

This is where the genius of Feedback Genius comes in. Feedback Genius helps me keep my 100% positive feedback score, and it also helps me fight off the occasional negative feedback that I receive as an FBA seller.

1. Fmail-1454731_1280eedback Genius automatically sends my customers an email the day their item will be delivered.

The email lets the customer know to be expecting the item, and it gives the customer a link where they can leave positive feedback for you as a seller if everything went well in the transaction. The email also asks the customer to just reply to the email with any issues that need to be resolved before they leave a negative feedback.

Feedback Genius emails allow you to set a positive tone with your customer right off the bat and to be proactive in avoiding negative feedback. With just this one email, I can increase my positive feedback and descrease my negative feedback.

do-it-now-1432945_12802. If the customer hasn’t left feedback in 4-5 days, Feedback Genius sends a reminder email.

Again, this reminder email gives me another chance to increase my positive feedback from customers and decrease the negative. I’ve seen a huge increase in my feedback score overall since signing up with Feedback Genius, and I’m convinced this increase has had a positive impact on my ability to get the buy box.

feedback-genius-text3. Feedback Genius sends me a text and email if I receive a feedback score of 3 or below.

This feature is even more of a game changer for me, as far as Feedback Genius is concerned. I wrote a blog post a while back about how one day a text from Feedback Genius at the beginning of lunch helped me act quickly and have a negative feedback completely removed by the time I was paying the check and headed back to work.

Amazon considers 4 and 5 to be a positive feedback score, 3 is neutral, and 1 or 2 are negative. Although a 3 is technically neutral, it will still negatively impact my feedback score. I don’t want to waste any time when it comes to dealing with negative feedback on my FBA account. For me, that text notification from Feedback Genius is a must.

To find out more about how to handle removing negative feedback, check out this blog post or this YouTube video.

ratings-1482011_1280-14. Feedback Genius can also be used with product reviews for specific ASINs.

In addition to helping monitor my seller feedback, I’ve also used Feedback Genius to send out emails to request product reviews for specific ASINs. The service also allows me to set up alerts for negative product reviews on specific ASINs. Just as seller feedback is important for helping me get the buy box, the number and quality of product reviews helps an item show up higher in search results and potentially get more sales. For any seller who creates their own listings, whether it’s a one-off product, a bundle, or a private label product line, having a way to monitor or increase product reviews (without breaking the Amazon seller terms of service) is critical to business.

parameters5. Feedback Genius is customizable as to the content and number of emails you wish to send out.

Some sellers want to send lots of emails, some just a few. Some want to just send out the content of the template email, some want to tweak it and personalize it. Feedback Genius lets you take the lead in deciding what you want to say to your customers, when you want to say it, and how often.

FB-GeniusSpecial Offer from Feedback Genius

I spoke with Jeff from Seller Labs (creator of Feedback Genius) and he is offering Full-Time FBA blog readers a special offer of 500 free messages for signing up for Feedback Genius. That’s 500 free messages to your buyers asking for them to leave you 5-star reviews, to contact you if there is a problem, or to leave a product review. That’s a lot of messages, and you get them for free when you sign up for Feedback Genius. You’ll also get a 60 day free trial (that’s twice as long as their normal 30-day trial period). There is really no reason why you shouldn’t give Feedback Genius a try today.

How To Keep a 100% Feedback Rating (even if you get negative feedbacks)

feedbackA few months ago, I was out sourcing retail and thrift stores with my wife. It was lunch time, so we took a break and went to one of our favorite local Mexican food restaurants. While we were waiting for our lunch to come, I received a text about a negative feedback that was just posted to my Amazon seller account. By the time lunch was done, the negative feedback had been removed, and we enjoyed the rest of the day. How was this situation fixed so quickly? More on that in a minute…

Many Amazon sellers know that winning the Buy Box is vital to their success on Amazon. If you are wanting to win the Buy Box more often, one really great way is to improve your feedback score. When Amazon sees that you are a quality seller with an amazing reputation, their Buy Box algorithm is more likely to include your inventory. About 70-80% of all Amazon sales come through the Buy Box, so it’s really important to have all your ducks in a row in order to get the Buy Box a higher percentage of time. 

Here are the methods I use to to keep a 100% feedback rating:

1. When choosing the condition of a product, round down, not up. 

Select-ConditionIf you have a book and you think its condition is somewhere between very good and good condition, round down and list the book as good. Buyers can be very picky and if they think they are ordering a book in very good condition but get a book they believe is only in good condition, you might get a negative feedback for the order. Remember, people grade items differently, so it’s best to play it safe. Plus, if someone orders an item in good condition, but then gets it and thinks it’s in very good condition, then it is much more likely you’ll get a positive feedback rating. 

2. Think twice about selling an item in acceptable condition. 

cannibalbookI almost never sell an item that I think is in acceptable condition. Just like I wrote above, different people grade items differently, and what I think might be acceptable, someone else might see as completely unacceptable. Even if you provide the buyer with the most detailed condition notes describing exactly what the item’s faults are, they probably won’t remember when they get the item days later and are more likely to post negative feedback on your account. 

3. When you get an unfair negative feedback (and you will), act quickly.  

Most of the negative feedbacks I get are product reviews, price complaints, or other unfair negative feedbacks. It’s against Amazon’s feedback policy for a buyer to leave feedback for a seller that is related to a product review or price. As soon as you get an unfair negative feedback, open up a ticket with Seller Support and ask them to remove the feedback as it violates the feedback guidelines.

When you describe your reasons to Amazon, limit the number of words you use. The longer the explanation, the more likely the Seller Support staff will ignore the bulk of your message and just deny your feedback removal request.

When communicating with Amazon, it’s always best to be concise and to the point. Most of the time, the Seller Support staff member will see your point of view and remove the unfair negative feedback. If they deny your request, your goal of feedback removal is not over. Simply open up a new ticket with Seller Support and hopefully the next Amazon staff member will understand your reasoning and remove the feedback. Feedback Removal

4. When you get a legitimate negative feedback (and you will), act quickly, apologetically, and generously. 

Maybe you forgot to put in the condition notes that the book you are selling has a lot of highlights and underlines on most of its pages… and now your customer is upset that they didn’t get a clean copy of the book. Perhaps you sent in a used music CD without testing it first, and your customer complains that the CD you sold them skips every 10 seconds. Sometimes when a buyer leaves you negative feedback, it’s deserved… but that doesn’t mean that you’re stuck with it for life.

While Seller Support probably won’t remove the feedback for you, the buyer can. When you get a negative feedback and you are in the wrong, reach out to the buyer with a friendly email. In the email, tell them that you are very sorry for the mistake you have made. Communicate to them that you have learned from your errors and you appreciate them pointing out where you went wrong. Ask them if there is anything you can do to make things up to them. Tell them that customer satisfaction is very important to you and that you want to do anything you can to make things up to them. Even go so far as to offer them a $10 Amazon gift card to make up for their inconvenience. In this email, DO NOT request that they remove the feedback; this will come later. Most likely, the buyer will accept the $10 gift card and your apology.

A few days after you send them the gift card, send them another email that communicates, once again, that customer satisfaction is very important to you. Ask them again if there is anything else you can do for them. Then, remind them that your feedback score is very important to you as a small seller on Amazon. Ask them, very politely, if they would consider removing the negative feedback only if they feel like you have made up for your error. Provide the buyer with a link or instructions to how they can easily remove (or update) your feedback score. Most of the time, the seller will remove the feedback. 

NEVER (EVER!) connect the gift card with the removal of the negative feedback. Never even talk about them in the same sentence. It is against Amazon’s policy to offer gift cards in exchange for a feedback removal, so don’t even come close to making that connection in your email communications with the buyer. 

Note: I got this Gift Card tip from Peter Valley in his book, Feedback Mastery: The Amazon Annihilation Feedback Repair SystemIf you get the book you’ll get even more details on this tip, as well as how to repair almost any other negative feedback situation. To learn more, read my Feedback Mastery book review

5. Use Feedback Genius. 

The methods that Feedback Genius uses are truly… well… genius! When I signed up for Feedback Genius, not only did my positive feedback more than double, but I was also able to more easily stop negative feedback from happening. 

fbgenius-logo-350x501Feedback Genius easily integrates with your Amazon account and automatically sends your customer an email letting them know that their order will be delivered that day (they look at the package tracking information to know this for sure). Feedback Genius then asks the customer, if they are happy with their order, to leave a five-star review on Amazon for you, the seller. Feedback Genius also tells the customer, if they have any negative issues with their order, to contact you so that you can address and fix these issues. I can’t tell you how many times I was able to avoid negative feedback since the customer knew to come to me with the problem before they left negative feedback for me on Amazon. 

A few days after the customer gets the package, if they have still not left feedback on Amazon, Feedback Genius sends a friendly reminder for the customer to leave positive feedback or to contact you if there was an issue. Again, my feedback score has more than doubled since signing up with Feedback Genius, and I’ve been able to keep a 100% feedback rating. 

My favorite feature of Feedback Genius is their text updates. Any time I get a feedback score of 3 or lower, Feedback Genius will text me and email me to notify me of the neutral/negative feedback. I can then act quickly to either ask Amazon to remove an unfair negative feedback, or I can email the buyer to start the feedback repair process. 

IMG_2383Ok, so back to the Mexican food restaurant with my wife. We were taking a lunch break from working, and while we were waiting for our food to come, I received a text from Feedback Genius about a negative feedback that was just posted to my Amazon seller account.

Since I was out to eat with my wife, I asked her if I could take a couple of minutes to deal with this situation (I wanted her to know she was my priority, not work). She said it was fine, so I spent about 90 seconds on my phone in an attempt to fix the situation.

IMG_2797

I first noticed that the feedback in question was actually a product feedback. This particular feedback was for 2-stars and the review stated, “This item is not what I intended. Do not like it.” Seeing as this feedback was in violation of Amazon’s feedback policies, I opened up a ticket with Seller Support five minutes after the feedback was posted. I simply asked them to review and remove the feedback. I told them it was a product review and would they please remove it. About an hour later, I got the notification that the negative feedback had been removed. Soon after that, lunch was over, and we enjoyed the rest of the day sourcing. 

Without the Feedback Genius text, I probably would not have seen the negative feedback until the following morning. Who knows, I may not have seen the negative feedback for a few days. This delay would have potentially cost me sales while my feedback score was lower than it was supposed to be. 

Special Offer From Feedback Genius

FB-GeniusI spoke with Jeff from Seller Labs (creator of Feedback Genius) and he is offering my Full-Time FBA blog readers a special offer of 500 free messages for signing up for Feedback Genius. That’s 500 free messages to your buyers asking for them to leave you 5-star reviews or to contact you if there is a problem. That’s a lot of free messages, and you get them for free when you sign up for Feedback Genius. You’ll also get a 60 day free trial (that’s twice as long as their normal 30-day trial period). There is really no reason why you shouldn’t give Feedback Genius a try today. 

 

Book Review: Feedback Mastery: The Amazon Annihilation Feedback Repair System

feedbackYour feedback rating: it is one of the most important numbers to anyone selling on Amazon. A high feedback rating is essential to making more sales. Buyers trust sellers with a high feedback rating. Not only that, but the secret algorithm to winning the coveted buy box most definitely includes the seller’s feedback score. On the other hand, a low feedback score will get you fewer sales — and could eventually get a seller banned from selling on Amazon all together.

All resellers have had it happen to them, and if you haven’t, then you probably will soon. You check your feedback score and see that a customer has left you unfair feedback. Do any of these look familiar?

  •  The customer who ordered a book described as “Good condition, has some pages underlined” gives you a 1 star feedback rating and complained that there was underlining on some of the pages.
  • A customer ordered a book described as “Good condition, signed by the author” gives you 1 star and complains that there was writing on the first page.
  • The customer who ordered a VHS copy of “Star Wars” complained that they got a VHS copy of Star Wars (because they assumed it was a DVD).
  • The customer states in the review “Great seller, fast shipping, awesome item” but accidentally clicked on the 1 star rating.

These feedback scores are not your fault, but could possibly put your Amazon selling account (and possibly your livelihood!) in jeopardy. It’s up to you as a business owner to be proactive in protecting your feedback score at all costs.

fbafeedback8001

Click on the book image above to learn even more about Feedback Mastery.

In his book Feedback Mastery: The Amazon Annihilation Feedback Repair System, author Peter Valley addresses feedback from every possible angle. He not only shares how to get positive feedback, he addresses how to get unfair negative feedback removed. Peter gives an exhaustive list of everything you can do to improve or repair your current feedback situation. Even if your Amazon account has been suspended, he discusses the best ways to get it reinstated.

Don’t just assume that if you do your best as a seller, that positive feedback will  automatically follow. Acquiring and maintaining a good seller reputation is still a matter of doing work. The good news is that this work is easy and doesn’t take up a lot of time. Enhancing your seller reputation, and thus distinguishing yourself from your competition, calls for going above and beyond. Peter not only teaches you to become a magnet for positive feedback, but also how to proactively attack any and all negative feedback that may come your way.

Feedback Mastery is not just a bunch of random ideas to help your feedback score. It’s a detailed step by step process of doing whatever it takes to repair and improve your feedback. There are even some ideas that I would only do under extreme circumstances, but if my account was about to be banned for life, then I might follow through with some of his extreme suggestions.

I’ve been selling on Amazon for 3 years, and I still learned a lot from this book. I recommend this book for both new and experienced Amazon sellers alike. The book is great for new sellers because one negative review when you are starting out could lower your feedback score by double digit percentage points. For experienced sellers, you already know how important having a great feedback rating can be. I used the information found in this book to get one of my negative feedbacks removed in just a few minutes.

To find out more about Feedback Mastery: The Amazon Annihilation Feedback Repair System, just click here.

Have any feedback stories you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them in the comments below.