How to proactively minimize negative feedback
Negative feedback is a harsh reality of trading online. It’s almost impossible to please customers all of the time. Sooner or later somebody will leave neutral or negative feedback, whether it’s justified or not.
However, there are some simple steps all online retailers can implement quickly and easily to reduce the likelihood of this happening, as well as solutions to handle negative feedback when it does crop up.
Customer service is always the first thing which springs to mind when talking about feedback. Great customer support differentiates the good sellers from the great sellers and is a key factor in ensuring positive feedback.
The great thing about online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon is that they are customer-centric, making it as easy as possible for buyers to contact sellers about their orders. This vital functionality provides sellers with the opportunity to query any problems the buyer is experiencing before it descends into negative feedback.
It makes sense that the first point of contact with a seller should be at least satisfactory and at best excellent in helping to resolve their issue. A few points to consider within this scenario are:
- Response time
- Resolution time
- Personable, friendly communication
- Full and detailed responses
Speedy and personable responses within marketplace guideline times go a long way to resolving negative feedback or issues. Prompt responses to customers can turn a query into a sale.
Shipping is a big piece of the negative feedback pie. It’s a massive contributing factor for buyers when evaluating an online purchase, but luckily it’s also one of the simplest processes to refine and improve.
The first step is to ensure that all deliveries are dispatched on time. Marketplace automation means that as soon as the item is marked as dispatched within the seller account, this will be relayed on to the buyer’s email address automatically. Customer webstores should also pursue this approach and automate the notifications to buyers to keep them informed of the progress of their order.
When managing negative feedback, it’s essential to record the reasons for feedback to identify the areas of improvement and act accordingly. This is very helpful for shipping as it enables sellers to get a grasp on what percentage of products arrive late or not at all. The estimated delivery dates can then be revised to reflect a more accurate prediction, which in turn will ensure that buyers will not be disappointed by late deliveries and will be more likely to leave positive feedback.
Managing customer expectations is an important aspect when considering feedback. This means that for buyers to be fully satisfied with their purchase, the order must match up to the product description. This is particularly important for eBay and customer web store sellers, as the listings are submitted by the seller (unlike Amazon sellers, who all trade under the same advert).
It is essential that all listings – especially for used products – are truthful and fairly reflect the quality and functionality of the product. Achieving the perfect listing is a constant process, but one which is extremely valuable. It can drastically increase the likelihood of your product turning up in searches and build trust with browsing shoppers and turning them into buyers.
A simple way to ensure understanding of your products is to review customer queries relating to the items and updating the product description where necessary. This will help eliminate confusion and ambiguity for future buyers.
Demonstrate how the product works using high quality photos to ensure the customer understands how the product works and how they can expect it to look upon delivery.
Webinar – Minimize Negative Feedback
I hosted a webinar on “How to Proactively Minimize Negative Feedback” on Wednesday 20 January at 6pm GMT (1pm EST, 10am PST), sharing advice and best practices on marketplace feedback, as well as strategies for minimizing negative feedback.
Watch the webinar on our YouTube channel and learn how to improve your seller rating by reducing negative feedback.