While brands may not be selling directly to the end customer, they still want to check in and ensure the buyer had a positive experience with their products. They want to know if the customer is happy with their purchase and if they are unhappy, work with them in finding a solution.
A positive experience can result in positive customer feedback which can help boost conversion and sales. Plus, a brand can only grow and improve its products and content by listening to its audience.
When a vendor sells to Amazon and not directly to the customer, vendors don’t have access to customer details to make direct contact and solicit feedback on their experience. However, there are still ways vendors can communicate and engage with their end consumer.
A great way to get feedback on products is through customer reviews. Reviews can increase buyer confidence and help improve conversion. Customers want to hear what others are saying about the products and get that ‘stamp of approval’ before they make a purchase.
As vendors are unable to solicit feedback, as an alternative route they can enroll their products in the Amazon Vine Program. Amazon Vine is a product review program, where Amazon invite their most trusted reviewers ‘Vine Voices’ to post their opinion in the form of a customer review on certain products.
Vendors can be part of this program by enrolling products they would like the ‘Vine Voices’ to review. Despite the high enrollment fee, Amazon Vine is a great way to accelerate the number of customer reviews, particularly on new releases that have had little time to get feedback. This helps increase conversion a lot faster. It is also the only Amazon approved review program available to vendors.
Customer Review Feedback
Vendors need to be monitoring their customer reviews regularly. There are tools available to allow vendors to manage this in volume and receive notifications.
Sellics has a customer feedback management tool where vendors can monitor and setup alerts for incoming customer reviews.
Vendors need to be ready to jump on and comment on any negative reviews with a rating of 1-3 stars immediately. These can be damaging to sales and the brand’s reputation if not handled correctly. If the customer review is against Amazon’s review policy, then vendors can request the review to be removed. If it is down to opinion and the customer is not a fan, the review remains and the vendor has to accept that all customers have a voice.
When responding to negative feedback, always remain professional and level headed. Even if the review is unfair, still thank the customer for taking the time to respond to the review and offer them a path to resolve the issue. If the customer needs to be corrected, do this positively and professionally. Whilst you want to avoid becoming ‘defensive’, you still need to be mindful that customers read the negative reviews so it is important vendors utilize this space well and ‘have their say’.
Positive reviews with a rating of 4-5 stars should not be overlooked. Vendors should still comment on these reviews, showing the customers they care and thanking them for taking the time to share their positive experience. Just because a customer wrote a positive review doesn’t mean they don’t have any suggestions for improvements. Some positive reviews may also point out areas they did not like.
When commenting on customer reviews, the vendor must comment as the ‘Manufacturer’. To do that they must be logged in under the same email address linked with the Vendor Central account and have user permissions for Customer Interaction.
Customer Questions and Answers
Customers like to ask questions on Amazon product pages. These questions can be about product information that might be missing from the content or for other customer’s opinion. Vendors need be monitoring these questions, similar to customer reviews.
Vendors can also use Sellics Vendor Edition to monitor and answer these customer questions in bulk.
Vendors can also receive email notifications from Amazon when a customer asks a question. To set this up, vendors must have access to the Customer Interaction section in the user permissions in Vendor Central. With email notifications, this does not mean the vendor will receive an email every time a customer asks a question, it is only when a question requires a manufacturer response, for example a customer wants to know the dimensions of a product.
Where relevant, vendors should be responding to these questions. They already have the customer interested to have asked the question in the first place. The sooner they can respond with a solid answer, the sooner they can hopefully close the sale. Vendors should only respond to questions about the actual item, questions about opinion could appear as biased if the vendor responds.
Building Customer Trust
When a brand interacts with their end customer, they are showing they care. It helps build customer trust and brand loyalty. It can often inspire others to ask questions and share experiences and helps deliver a positive customer experience. Customer engagement if managed well can help boost conversion and ultimately sales. Don’t be a stranger to your audience and come out from behind the Amazon curtain.
This was the last blog post of the 5 part Vendor Learning Series. We hope you found the articles insightful and were able to take useful nuggets of information that you can apply to your business. If you want like to know more about all things vendor and receive more content from Carina McLeod, become a member on Vendor Society today!