Friday, September 29, 2006

Turning Negative Feedback into Positive Feedback

Last week Amazon sent me an e-mail telling me that my feedback for the last 30 days was only 90 percent and I'd better get my act together. Oops.

I went to our account and saw that eight people gave us five out of five stars last month. Yay! One person left us two out of five stars, saying that I had described the book as having clean pages but there were some underlines. These two stars lowered our monthly feedback to 90 percent. Oops.

Our lifetime feedback remained unaffected (96%) but I decided to contact the buyer anyway. I apologized and asked him to remove the negative feedback. I told him I'd be happy to give him a partial refund or a full refund, including return postage. I told him we have a home business and feedback is crucial to us and that I want him to be a happy customer. Sometimes people think they are buying direct from Amazon instead of from an individual seller so it's good to dispel that notion.
Well, the buyer was not mollified. "Sorry, You did not state in your description accurately what the condition of the book was. There is writing in the margins. Changing it would simply be a lie. Perhaps, in the future you will not receive such low marks."

Undettered, I wrote back again, apologized again. Finally it seemed to dawn on him that I was a real person, a person actually trying to make him HAPPY. He asked for a list of the other philosophy books that we have in stock. I sent it to him and he picked one out and I mailed it to him at no charge. He removed the negative feedback and now our score for the last 30 days is 100 percent and our lifetime feedback increased to 97 percent. He thanked me for my "professional" attitude. Now we're both happy.

A note to Amazon book buyers: if you purchased a used book, please leave the seller 5 out of 5 stars if you are satisfied with the transaction. If you are not satisfied, contact the seller first and give the seller a chance to correct their error and make you happy. Sometimes a buyer will leave 4 out of 5 stars and say something like "pleased with the book." Aaargh. Some people can't bring themselves to give 5 out of 5 no matter what. They think it's too hyperbolic. Because so few buyers bother to leave feedback even a 4 out of 5 will have a negative effect.

A note to Amazon sellers: when you receive a rating that is less than 5 out of 5 stars, don't hesitate to contact the buyer. Anything we can do to make buyers aware that we are professionals and real people, not faceless entities, will make the online marketplace more hospitable to buyers.
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Anonymous Andrew said...

Great advice! I hope to get into books soon.

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've always deleted the request for feedback Amazon sends but after reading this I made sure to give my latest transaction 5 stars and some good comments, all of which were true. Thanks for a good insight into the bookseller's world.

6:32 PM  
Anonymous wanderingrose said...

Feedback can get you in other fields as well.

I do computer support for corperations, through an online system that uses feedback. (6 stars)

After 2 years someone has now given me a 5 star rating, lowing my over all to less then 6 (5.96) stars, some companies won't hire you if you have less then 6.

The comment they left "The tech did a good job and would recommend the service."

Gee, thanks. :(

8:10 PM  

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