Why Asking for Feedback Makes Sense

One common objection to soliciting positive feedback is the concern that doing so will lead to more negative feedback. Because unhappy buyers are often more motivated than happy buyers to voice their opinions, the reasoning is that asking your customers for feedback will lower your score.

Let’s sort out this argument and show what is and is not valid.

Feedback Management

istock_000024654906xsmall.jpgFirst, the premise is correct: Dissatisfied consumers are more inclined than satisfied consumers to register their views. That tendency plays out in the Amazon marketplace. Only a fraction (common estimates are 5–10 percent) of total Amazon customers leave feedback. For most sellers, the absolute number of buyers who experience problems is very small. But Amazon sellers often rue in public forums that of that number, the percentage who leave feedback is high. (“Everyone with a problem complains!”)

The reason for going the extra mile in asking for positive feedback, however, is simple: Those motivated to register complaints will use whatever means available, which includes Amazon’s universal feedback solicitation service. On the other hand, to get more than the usual small number of responses from your much larger number of happy customers, you need to remind them. Not badger them. Or plead. But within the context of a friendly follow-up, gently prod them to complete an easy-to-use feedback request form.

Does this solicitation also risk reminding any disgruntled customer of his or her intention to complain? Yes, but that is not a fixed number. The level of risk derives in large part from the number of customers you may be regularly disappointing. Let’s hope that number is small.

Are there occasions in which soliciting feedback is not such a good idea? Yes, which is why FeedbackFive automatically excludes cancelled orders from feedback solicitation. We also allow all subscribers to manually exclude any order, and – as discussed in this blog article – we give those at the Pro level and above the additional ability to automatically exclude orders by SKU, lateness or foreign status.

Negative feedback happens. But the cumulative result of building positive feedback – the core purpose of FeedbackFive – is to reduce its impact.

Leveling the Playing Field

The squeaky wheel always has been the loudest, and the Internet can amplify the sound of anyone with a grievance.

Amazon sellers cope with that reality in several ways. Some advocate writing positive feedback requests on packing slips or order invoices. Amazon’s own tools can be effective. And many successful sellers who are looking for additional efficiencies and results have found FeedbackFive to be very helpful in correcting the imbalance. To read more about customer successes, click here.

Jonathan Tombes

Jonathan Tombes is an accomplished author and blogger. Having authored hundreds of articles and dozens of white papers, Jonathan specializes in connecting people, businesses and technology. Read his most recent e-commerce book, 17 Tips for Better Feedback.

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