Why you should always monitor your customer feedback…

By Sharon Fussell, January 21, 2016

When you sell products online using global sites such as eBay and Amazon, something that you do have to accept is the customer feedback processes.

Feedback is one of the ways that large corporations keep some sort of control over their third-party sellers.

It’s a carrot-and-stick phenomenon which is both hated and loved by sellers. It’s great when feedback is glowing, not so good when it’s bad.

The argument is that feedback sorts out the wheat from the chaff, so to speak: good sellers are rewarded with good feedback comments. Customers trust this process and will then buy more from good sellers and avoid the bad  – but this is not always the case at all!

The problem I have with feedback processes is that it’s a flawed concept. You may well find – no matter how good your products, customer service and how well you abide by the sites rules – you get stung from time to time.

Many buyers just do not use the feedback forum correctly: they leave inappropriate feedback, for example, or they record product reviews where feedback is supposed to go, and feedback in place of product reviews!

I saw the following feedback on the profile of a very recommended seller. I have no idea why they have not asked Amazon to remove the comment: Amazon most certainly will remove such a comment when money is mentioned for postage and packaging within a feedback rating…
2/5: ‘I am a little concerned that you sent both items in the same packaging and you charged me twice for the privilege! A small package cost £2.80 second class for up to 1kg in weight.
It’s Amazon that set the postage credit rate: sellers price products according this rate. If a buyer had purchased two 1p books, do they expect one of the books to sell for 1p!? The seller would then be completely out of pocket: most sellers are not operating a charity, and buyers know the price upfront. If they don’t like the cost, don’t pay.

Also, most postage rates increase according to weight and size: sending two books together does not always result in the same postage rate being charged.

Personally, I think this feedback comment would have to go: I would contact Amazon customer services immediately to remove it!

Of course, not all feedback is bad. Sometimes customers take the time to acknowledge when they have received a good customer service.

Here is a lovely comment I have recently received:

Hello Sharon. Just to say, many thanks to you for your prompt reply to my email and for the very caring and professional way you have dealt with this matter.

I am very impressed with your customer care as this is not always the way that people deal with things and it really makes a refreshing change. I will not hesitate to do business with you again and would recommend you to any of the cake industry that I deal with.

Kind regards from Carole.

Anyone can make a mistake: you are only human; often it’s how you rectify errors that will result in customer satisfaction or not!

So how can you ensure that for the large part you do receive great feedback? Always reply to email swiftly: try to ensure any errors are rectified to the customer’s satisfaction.

This may involve offering refunds and exchanges, when appropriate, again to the customer’s satisfaction.

The moral of the story is to ensure your customers are satisfied, but also don’t expect that every customer is always happy – no matter what you do!

What do you think?

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