In just a few weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic has completely upended normal life and the ways we usually do business. We’re all facing new challenges right now, and we hope that you and your families are staying safe and healthy.
Times are especially difficult for Amazon sellers because of the ways Amazon has shifted its priorities to adapt to the virus. Millions of third-party merchants are facing shipping delays, distribution challenges and lower sales. And, your customers needs’ may have changed with the virus - they may be stocking up on essentials, or looking for products they’ll need to keep busy while isolating at home.
Even though we’re in unprecedented times, customer reviews of your company and products are still important for your business. We’ve put together a few helpful guidelines for asking for reviews while being respectful of what your customers may be going through.
And, we’re offering an extended 90-day free trial period to merchants selling essential goods during the COVID-19 crisis.
Be friendly, but direct.
As brands find a way to pivot to online sales, and companies need to send updates about policy changes, your customers’ inboxes are filling up. Now isn’t the time for a lot of explanation or beating around the bush. Let your customers know exactly what you’re asking for, how long it will take, and what they can do to help.
Instead of this:
I’m asking for your help because your review directly affects my business. Out of the thousands of times people order our products on Amazon, 99 out of 100 don’t leave a review even though they’re totally happy with our product and their experience with our company. Only the one percent who are unhappy leave reviews, which gives other shoppers an inaccurate view of my business. If you’re happy with your purchase, please show your support for us by leaving a review.
Please take a moment to support my business and help other customers by leaving an Amazon review for your recent order. It only takes a few seconds.
Make it personal.
Though you sell through Amazon, you’re a small business owner who is navigating the pandemic as best you can - just like your customers. It’s more than ok to acknowledge the difficulty of the current moment, and build connections with your customers.
This is a chance to let them know that they didn’t buy a product from a faceless online mega-store - they bought it from you, and they can help you directly by leaving a review. Express gratitude for their purchase, and let them know what their review means to you and your business. Sign your name and include your company name to make it more personal.
Instead of this:
Leave a review for your recent Amazon purchase of a 24 pack of Charmin Ultra.
Thank you for your purchase. As a small business owner who sells through Amazon, your purchase directly supports my family and my employees. We appreciate you, especially in these uncertain times.
Don’t be pushy.
Your customers are dealing with a lot right now. Even though they’re likely staying home, the demands on their time have increased as they work from home, educate their kids and care for their loved ones.
When you ask for reviews, let your customers know that you would appreciate any review, no matter how short it is. Keep any instructions simple - now’s not the time to detail exactly what information you’d like customers to include in their reviews.
Instead of this:
It seems like potential buyers see my product as having problems in reviews, when in fact, they only see reviews for the 1 person who had problems, and not for the 99 people who were totally satisfied. It’s really unfair and hurtful to me. My business is already down due to Amazon’s new policies. You need to help me by leaving a positive review.
If you can, please take a few seconds to leave a review for your recent purchase.
Have a plan for addressing reviews for orders that are impacted by delays or shortages due to COVID-19.
It’s possible that your reviews may look a little different as customers are impacted by Amazon’s fulfillment changes. It’s important to make a plan for handling any potentially negative reviews that customers leave about your company or your products.
Be sincere and apologetic. If you’re able (like in the case of shipping delays), explain what went wrong. Thank the customer for their feedback and, if there’s anything you can do to address the problem, let them know how you will. Remember that you can either respond directly to the customer in private communication, or you can make your response public by replying to the review. We recommend reaching out to the customer privately before responding publicly.
For example, say a user leaves a review that mentions a shipping delay. You could respond directly to the customer
We apologize for the shipping delay. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon is prioritizing stocking and shipping household and medical essentials.
We understand how frustrating and disappointing this is, and we’re doing everything we can to make sure our products are able to ship as quickly as possible in these unprecedented times.
Reviews of individual products are likely to be less impacted by Amazon’s changes than seller reviews, but make a plan just in case. Remember that your responses to product reviews are public. If you feel you should respond, thank the customer for their feedback and answer any questions they have honestly, and leave it at that. You can also request that they contact you to provide more information.
For example, if a user leaves a review about a product not working, you could respond with something like this:
Thank you for your feedback. I’m sorry the [product] didn’t meet your expectations.
If you’d like to share more details so we can try to solve the problem, you can contact us using the ‘contact the seller’ link in your order history.
If you need help soliciting customer reviews, Feedbackz can help. If you’re a merchant selling essential goods during the COVID-19 crisis, you can try Feedbackz free for 90 days.