Many Amazon sellers have been concerned about the future of feedback solicitation since Amazon.com, Inc. (“Amazon”) began allowing buyers to opt out of non-critical communication from merchants. Some have started thinking things like Is feedback solicitation really worth it? and Is this even allowed by Amazon?
The answer to both questions is yes, absolutely. Read on for a more in-depth look at why.
Feedback Solicitation Works
Want proof? Last week, there was a bug in the Amazon Buyer-Seller Messaging system that was stripping HTML <a> tags from hyperlinks in all emails that were sent through the Buyer-Seller Messaging service. While Amazon was working on fixing the issue on their end, the FeedbackFive team temporarily paused all email campaigns while implementing a fix. When we turned our solicitation batches back on, we saw that positive feedback instantly went up by about 200%.
While it’s easy to feel frustrated when you see buyer opt-out notifications, the big picture hasn’t changed: seller feedback is still one of the most important metrics for your Amazon store. It can influence everything from Buy Box position to your relationship with Amazon. It just doesn’t make sense to email individuals who have said that they don’t want to hear from you. As a FeedbackFive user, you benefit from the industry’s oldest and largest opt-out list. When we receive notification that a buyer has opted out of non-critical communication, we immediately add them to our global opt-out list and ensure that no FeedbackFive user attempts to request feedback from that buyer in the future.
Amazon Wants You to Request Feedback
Providing an exceptional customer experience is all in a day’s work for third-party Amazon merchants, because Amazon demands it. In fact, there is an entire section of the account health dashboard within Seller Central that is devoted to Customer Service Performance. Within that dashboard, Amazon sets a few baseline goals, then states, “Sellers with exemplary performance have the opportunity to distinguish themselves to buyers through the feedback rating that appears next to each of their listings. Most sellers are exceeding these targets, so the stronger your performance, the better your chance of building a stronger, more competitive business.”
The very fact that the broken hyperlink issue was properly addressed by the Amazon Web Services team illustrates just how much importance Amazon places on seller feedback. As Amazon policy clearly states, “You may request feedback from a buyer, however you may not pay or offer any incentive to a buyer for either providing or removing feedback.” On the Improve your feedback rating help page, Amazon explicitly recommends that sellers “Send the buyer a polite request for feedback after the shipment has been received.”
Following the Rules
Of course, it’s very important to understand and adhere to Amazon’s guidelines for requesting feedback. You’re probably familiar with them, but here’s a quick refresher:
- Do not send inappropriate email communications, including marketing communications and unsolicited emails for anything other than order fulfillment and related customer services. (Requesting feedback falls in “related customer services.”)
- Never attempt to divert buyers or transactions away from the Amazon site.
- Do not post ratings or feedback to your own seller account.
- Never pay or offer any incentives to a buyer for providing or removing feedback.
When it comes to seller feedback, talented Amazon consultant Liz Adamson of Egility has this recommendation: “Ask for it! Most customers will not think to leave seller feedback. A well designed follow up email series will both remind customers to leave you feedback and give them an easy way to do so. To ensure positive feedback, be sure you are listening to your customers. Respond to their concerns quickly and keep in mind ‘the customer is always right,’ and I would add, even when they are not.”
Need a Health Check?
Are you sure you’re following Amazon’s rules in your feedback request messaging? Do you want some help ensuring that your campaigns are set up effectively? Check out these tips and consider signing up for a Campaign Health Check if you’d like more assistance. We’re always happy to answer your feedback questions!