The Art of Asking For and Getting Feedback

jodi-gaines-pereiraJodi Gaines Pereira is the co-founder of ReplyManager, acquired by XSellco Limited early in 2015, who’s solutions include High5, a Feedback Automation tool.

Today Jodi writes how to ask for and get feedback:

The Art of Asking For and Getting Feedback

Over the past few months I’ve been collecting feedback request emails and gathering stories from colleagues and friends on their purchase experiences from eBay and Amazon. In that time, I’ve discovered three things: 1) very few feedback requests were sent; 2) the messages were poorly written; and 3) requests were too frequently sent from the same seller.

So what’s happening?

Most sellers worry about being perceived as a spammer (a valid concern) or cannot logistically keep up with manually sending requests, so they just don’t do it. And the others that are sending bad requests? Sellers are forgetting that the request is part of the customer experience.

Case in point.

A colleague recently received multiple, blatant feedback requests for a product they purchased on eBay. So instead of ignoring these pesky requests, he decided to give the seller exactly what they asked for. However, instead of a positive review, he gave them (and I quote), a “big, fat, red negative.” This seller asked too many times and made the email just about themselves and not about the buyers experience, turning what could have been a good experience into a negative review. Better to have not sent the request at all.

To master the art of asking for and receiving feedback, focus on these three key elements: Who to Ask, When to Ask and How to Ask.

Who to Ask

  • Customers that received confirmed, on-time delivery.
  • Purchasers of an established, proven product line.
  • Customers that have a history of leaving positive reviews. It’s ok to avoid trouble-makers.
  • DON’T send to angry customers, even if the issue has been resolved in a positive manner. It’s just not worth the risk.

When to Ask

  • After delivery confirmation.
  • After enough time has passed for proper use, giving more time for more complicated products (e.g. don’t ask for feedback on a laptop the day after it arrives, give it 5-10 days). But don’t wait too long.
  • Stick with one email. Two emails is pushing the limit and more will brand you as a spammer.

How to Ask

  • Be customer centric. Make the email about them, not you.
  • You have to give to get. Provide helpful information or tips on using the product. Give points of contact if the buyer has any further questions. This gives the email value to the customer and also helps get ahead of potential issues.
  • Cater your message to your market. eBayers speak a different language than Amazonians. Fashionistas will react differently to a message than a dude that just ordered Harley parts. Know your customers and customize your message directly to them. You’ll get better traction out of your request.
  • Include product / seller information.
  • Politely ask for feedback. Once you’ve offered help and given your customer something useful, ask for feedback and make it easy.
       ■ DO include links to seller feedback (product reviews if you’re building a brand or cannot leave it up to Amazon)
       ■ DO ask politely and quickly
       ■ DON’T hide links in a ton of text
       ■ DON’T demand feedback (don’t laugh, I’ve seen this first hand)
       ■ DON’T guilt users

Once you get all of your ducks in a row, find a tool that allows you to put your strategy into action. The right tool will help to manage high volumes, provide consistency (key in getting feedback responses up) and save you precious time.

Any additional suggestions? Stories? Feedback tool suggestions? Please share!!