Running Out Of Ideas?! Getting Verified Reviews And Feedback In 2018
By now, it seems like you’ve tried everything to encourage your customers to leave you positive reviews and feedback in your efforts to rank your products.
But nowadays, it seems like Amazon just wants to stop you at every turn.
– Try to give a coupon in exchange for positive feedback? BAM! Amazon makes it illegal.
– Try to get your family and friends to leave multiple reviews for your product? BAM! Amazon puts your account on thin ice.
– Try to provide helpful links in your BSM (Buyer-Seller Messaging) that redirect your customers to your website? BAM! Amazon makes external links illegal too.
The line between black hat and white hat methods seems to get blurrier when it comes to generating feedback and reviews for your Amazon store.
Obviously this concerns lots of sellers, because an overall positive review/feedback history is what drives sales and is the lifeblood of your online business. But you already knew that.
So… what is an Amazon seller to do now?? There’s gotta be a lesson here somewhere…
I think there is.
It may not be something you want to hear, but the lesson is this: stop trying to game the system.
It’s time to face facts, the risk factor that comes with using “hacks” and other means of bending Amazon’s rules is way too high these days. You have to start asking yourself if it’s worth risking your account getting suspended just to try out some shortcuts.
But this is not meant to freak you out, despite what you might be thinking right now. It’s actually meant to encourage you to move forward based on a principle that is LITERALLY bulletproof to Amazon’s ever-changing TOS.
How’s that? Because it falls in line with Amazon’s overall mission statement, which is to be customer-centric. In other words, you want to put genuine effort into making your customer experience as amazing as possible. Amazon will never get in the way of that.
The Customer Is Always LOVED
Whatever your endgame is with having a successful Amazon business, aside from accomplishing your dreams of course, it should be coupled with the desire to make people happy. This is how you can define the impact that your business and brand will make on the world.
Keeping this in mind, however, needs too come with the understanding that this is about playing the game long-term. And whatever you do in the meantime, needs to be done in the spirit of creating happy customers that develop a loyalty to your brand.
These are the people that are going to carry your business on their backs. They will be your repeat customers who don’t just buy from you to acquire a product, but they actually want to actively support your business.
Now I know I’m not the first person to talk about the importance of building a brand, but that makes up the building blocks of a lasting foundation on Amazon. If you use their platform to make your money, you need to play by their rules.
And having a solid brand that makes its customers happy basically falls in line with Amazon’s #1 rule. So you can bet that you’ll never lose sleep worrying about the health of your business, if that becomes your main focus.
Don’t Bite The Hand That Feeds You
Amazon uses their vast array of talent and resources to track every little trick you could possibly pull to fast-track your success.
If you try to get verified reviews from anyone you have ANY kind of connection with online, Amazon will be able to find that out and quickly prevent you from getting what you need.
For example, if you send your product link to your Facebook friends or family members as a means of getting some verified reviews, Amazon has a way of tracking all that activity. It’s a quick way to get your account under manual review. You don’t want that.
Getting family members to buy your products is the most risky because they share a name with you. Amazon would be able to easily see that and will immediately know what you’re trying to do.
If you must share your product with friends, acquaintances, or even product review groups, NEVER send them the direct link to your listing. Instead, have them search for your product in the search bar and find it that way. Once they buy your product, you can reimburse them via PayPal. But if any of them happen to be Facebook friends with you, you’re going to have to unfriend them until those reviews are verified and posted.
Bottom line: it’s a waste of time and energy to look for ways to outsmart Amazon. Even if you’re successful at it in the beginning, chances are it won’t last and could ruin everything you’ve built up to that point.
Give Them Something To Talk About
Hearkening back to my previous point about focusing on making your customers happy, this is the tried and true method of organically building your positive review/feedback portfolio.
And it all comes down to building the relationship. Do this, and your customers will feel compelled to leave you positive feedback like it’s a social contract.
But you may be wondering what that means for you. How are you going to put that to action?
It starts by knowing that the first (and most important) element lies in communication.
Think about it, human beings are social creatures by nature. Communication is the way we connect with each other and it defines our experience in the world. The same principle holds true when it comes to doing business.
When a customer buys your product, obviously you want them to stay informed on the status of their order (when it’s been shipped, when it’s delivered, etc.) That part handles the “utility” of the business relationship.
But beyond that there’s an opportunity to really connect your customers with your brand identity and get them invested in what your business is about. That comes from providing valuable content in your messages, like specialized information on your product to give your customers more knowledge on how to get the most out of what they bought. This tends to reduce product return rates and disputes as well.
Also, don’t be afraid to share your story with your customers. Let them know that they are doing something more than just buying stuff from you. Facts may tell, but stories sell.
Sending all these messages can seem like a lot of work. But there are ways of automating the process in a way that brings you the results you need, while freeing up your time to focus on other needs for your business.
Lastly, focus on giving amazing customer service. It’s shocking how few online businesses seem to prioritize that. If your customer has an issue, don’t just give them generic solutions. Be an active problem solver, as well as a good listener.
Oftentimes customers with issues just need to be heard. An angry customer can so quickly turn into a happy one if you take their problem seriously and let them know that you’re on their side by being friendly, respectful, and authoritative.
It’s true that generating reviews and feedback is the hardest thing for an Amazon seller to do these days. But be very careful when it comes to using “hacks” and “shortcuts”, because most of them aren’t worth the risk.
It’s a losing uphill battle to fight Amazon at their own game, the best you can hope to achieve in the long run is to abide by their rules. BUT you should learn and understand their rules so well that you can use them to your advantage.
At the end of the day, putting focus on your customers and making sure they have a great buying experience will always keep you in Amazon’s good graces. Keeping a valuable and respectful line of communication open to your customers is the best way to go about doing this. Which will in turn lead to more verified reviews for your business.
Unless of course they chose to opt out of seller messaging. In which case, who needs them anyway? 😝
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