With Amazon’s recent changes of TOS in mind, many sellers have been confronted with the question of how to generate organic and genuine product reviews from scratch. The truth is: Product reviews are just waiting to be picked up. If you manage to receive feedback from your customers after they purchase your product, your business is set to finally take off. This blogpost will explain to you, why most customers do not leave a review and introduce you to an easy yet effective solution on how to generate more genuine product reviews.
The reason you do not receive as many reviews as you think you deserve is simple: You do not really reach your customers. Maybe your emails are too boring or your language is too standard. In any case: You do not catch the attention of your clients and thus they simply do not bother to leave feedback. As a matter of fact, most customers only reach out if there is a problem or - in the worst of all scenarios - leave a bad review right away.
Customer support experience - get the reward you deserve
The customer reaches out because he/she has a problem but no one is really able to help him/her quickly enough.
Result: Bad product review
The customer never reaches out even though several follow up emails were sent.
The customer reaches out with a problem and it is fixed quickly.
The customer has a problem and his/her problem is fixed exceptionally well in a charming and helpful way. The customer is surprised and delighted by the immediate help.
Result: After asking whether he/she could leave a product review, they are happy to leave one!
As the table shows, customer service usually does not get rewarded. Why should it? The customer feels that the support staff is just doing their job and it is certainly not the client’s job to give them a pad on the back! However, if the support staff is incredibly helpful and has fixed the problem in a surprising and quick manner - well, that is a whole different story!
All this of course can be said easily. It's always harder to actually do it though. So how do you create a positive customer experience like the one above?
"The key is to set realistic customer expectations, and then not to just meet them, but to exceed them - preferably in unexpected and helpful ways." - Richard Branson
Getting started: Define your ideal customer
In order to establish a successful business, outstanding customer support is key. In this regard, one of the first things you should do is defining your customer voice. It ensures that the customer experience you create fits the needs and preferences of your clients. It also makes your communication different, unique and memorable.
The customer voice is the way you speak to your customer, the vibe you give out, the impression you make. It has an effect on your reputation, your customer loyalty and your social media growth, among others. In order to create this very special and unique voice, you need to know who your customers are, where and how they live, what they think, like and dislike. You have to know them inside out.
There are many articles and blog posts describing the concept of defining your ideal customer. Here and here you can find instructions on how to create a customer profile of your target group. Once you know who is most likely to purchase your products, you can start to think about how they would like to be addressed.
Second: Do it the personal way
Nowadays everybody uses “Dear” or “Best regards”. Sometimes we might still acknowledge this with a sense of pure boredness. Most of the time we do not even notice anymore. Imagine now receiving an email that is using a rather unusual greeting such has “Howdy” or “Buenos dias” - I am sure you would at least check twice and, if the customer voice is done correctly, you’d smile at the originality of the message. Obviously, your way of greeting should have some reference to your business overall. “Howdy” may work great for business located in Texas, “Buenos dias” may surprise customers who ordered a product from a company based in Mexico. Think about it. Wherever you are from, you probably have a certain way to talk to people. Use it. Be different and personalize the way you are talking to your customers. Do it the personal way! (Side note: If your target group are primarily wall street bankers, I probably wouldn’t go with ‘Howdy’).
Third: My dear customer, you do matter to me
Making customers happy is hard, but not impossible. Most of the time, little things make a big difference. Think about these suggestions (I will also go into further detail about these in a future blog post):
- Be generous - the refund or the promotion code you give out might save you from a bad product review that you will potentially never get rid of! Do the math - in comparison to having many potential customers turn away from buying your product because of a bad review it will be cheaper for you in the long run to just refund an impudent customer.
- Remember your customers (“Hi Anna, great to hear from you again!”).
- Don’t wait with your replies. You do not always have to have an answer right away, but let your customers know that you are working on it.
- Customers hold a great potential and (in case you haven't realized yet) are a major part of your success. No customers, no business. The conclusion is: Treat every tiny request like a big one. All of them matter.
- Keep the door open - make sure your customers know that they can always come back if they have additional questions.
- And most importantly: Be casual, be yourself, be accessible.
Customer service is no rocket science, but it is not easy peasy either. It requires a lot of detail. It defines your reputation and creates the face of your company.
If you are interested in learning more about the topic, I highly recommend you to read the Customer Support Handbook by Sarah Hatter. If you feel like you need some extra help or if you just want to use your precious time for other things, check out Enida - your Amazon Marketplace Assistance
Everyone at Enida is carefully trained to provide customer support that is genuine and surprising. We are experts in making your customers smile! :) Also, we have specialized in Amazon Seller Central assistance - so we know our way around (no training needed). If you ever feel like you need help with your customer support or if you just want to get in touch, we are always happy to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On that note, please keep in mind:
“We’re still craving the old corner store and the proprietor who knows our name. We’re wowed by personalization, and we know when something is a cut-and-paste reply.” – Sarah Hatter, Founder CoSupport
Picture by Lars Zahner.