Since 2000, selling on Amazon has been helping individuals and businesses increase sales and reach new customers. Today, more than 40% of Amazon's total unit sales come from third-party selection.
As an Amazon FBA seller, you get to take advantage of a number of perks to help grow your business. While the benefits are enormous, you may have headache from returns, negative feedback & suspensions.
How can you avoid returns, negative feedback & suspensions?
Firstly we need to be familiar with the general reasons for returns and negative feedback.
- Counterfeit products and poor quality
Quality is always the most important. For some cases, sellers may buy the goods from other factories or they do not thoroughly check the goods before delivery. Then the quality of the goods cannot be ensured. If buyers receive the goods with poor quality, they may return the goods or give negative feedback.
- Products do no match their descriptions
Product descriptions on Amazon should match the actual product quality. Some sellers outsource the goods and they do not understand the goods, and cannot list their products on Amazon with the most accurate details as a result. In other cases, the descriptions & photos are better than actual products in order to boost sales. When buyers receive the products which are not the same as they requested, they may be unsatisfied and then return the goods.
- Poor packaging
If low quality packaging materials are used, or improper packing methods are followed, the goods may be destroyed during transport. For high-end products, the packages must accurately reflect the quality of the products within.
- Sending wrong goods or sending goods late
Sending wrong goods or sending goods late will also make buyers unhappy. Sellers do not check the order information carefully and send the wrong goods or deliver to the wrong address. Sometimes, due to lack of stock in the warehouse, the sellers could not deliver the goods well in time. In other cases, delays may be caused by the delivery company.
- Shipping issues
While the goods are of high quality and well packaged, they may sometimes get damaged during transport due to delivery company’s carelessness. When choosing a delivery company with a longer delivery time, it is suggested that the delivery time is also clearly indicated on the Amazon page to ensure the shipping time is clear to the customer.
While these are just a few of the major contributors to product returns, there are certainly others. Returns or negative feedback will not only influence the brand image, but also affect the order defect rate. Order defect rate is the key measurement of your ability to provide a good customer experience. If ODR is greater than 1%, Amazon may suspend your account. Thus, it is very important to avoid returns & negative feedbacks.
When receiving negative feedback from buyers, what should we do? Here are some key steps.
- First and foremost, you should apologize for the problem which occured.
This is not an admission of guilt, it is just good manners. This is the most important part of the whole process- if you don't say sorry, the situation will go downhill fast.
- Listen to the buyers and have quick response times
If buyers have negative feedback and would like to return the goods, please listen to buyers and understand what exactly has made them unhappy. Communication is always important in business. Based on the facts, offer your solution to customers quickly. You could choose to give them discount or agree for them to return the goods and then arrange a reimbursement for the payment. This minimal cost surely offsets the negative effect of negative feedback.
- Thank the customer for raising the complaint
You should consider yourself lucky that the customer is prepared to give up their time and money to let you know they have a problem, instead of just walking away - a complaint is a gift. If they don't tell you and leave, you will never know and you might keep repeating the same mistakes.
- Learn from every negative feedback
Do something! Fix the process; train staff in the issue; eliminate the fault. Wherever possible, let the customer know that they have helped you resolve a problem - they'll feel great and come back again and again (and will probably tell their friends).
- Follow a correction plan
- If it is an employee’s mistake, train your staff and improve internal procedures to avoid such problems happening again in future.
- Work with a professional third-party inspection company to check the quality of your goods well before shipping. You will have a full review of your product quality, specifications, packaging, labels & barcode, etc., by conducting a pre-shipment inspection. Then you could choose the right goods and prepare an accurate product listing on Amazon to avoid negative feedback.
- Work with a well-organized shipping or delivery company to ensure your goods will be delivered on time and the goods are well protected during transport.