|Tue June 11 2013 18:13:25|
How Do You Respond to Negative Feedback?
By: Julia Wilkinson
There's a very interesting and illuminating discussion on the eBay Sellers LinkedIn group about whether or not you as a seller respond to negative feedback. I'd tweak the question slightly, as in this blog's title - "How Do You Respond to Negative Feedback?"
That's *if* you respond at all. Some sellers don't. (The seller who started the thread wrote, "I have noticed that many sellers do not respond to a buyers negative feedback. I think a seller's response to negative feedback is important to other sellers when
they are considering offers from potential buyers. What are your thoughts?"
But the vast majority in this discussion agreed they did respond, and that they responded very carefully. My key takeaways after reading the whole thread are:
- It's good to respond to negatives, "and sometimes neutrals too," wrote Janice, one seller. "I do think it is a chance to show other potential buyers that you're trying."
- Keep your tone calm and professional. This is extremely important, even if you're thinking not-so-kindly thoughts about your disgruntled buyer, who you may imagine as a churlish little troll whose main goal in life is to mess with online sellers' reputations.
- If the buyer did not even bother to contact you before leaving a neg, Janice suggests you could say something like, "I wish you had contacted me to resolve your problem." That not only communicates with the buyer if there's a chance to resolve, "but it subtly puts other sellers on notice that this one is a potential problem," she wrote.
- Remember if a disgruntled buyer opens a case with eBay and it is decided in your favor, buyer feedback and related detailed seller ratings will be removed promptly and won’t count towards your seller performance rating. But...this means they have to open a case.
(The latest changes were announced in the last Spring Seller Update). Note that per the seller update, "Feedback and related DSRs will generally not be removed for eBay Buyer Protection cases in which no one is found at fault."
People talked about the importance of offering returns in preventing bad feedback if something goes wrong. I'm wondering if any or many sellers out there offer to pay for return shipping as well as the original shipping, to try to avoid the potentially more expensive damage a neg can do to their selling reputation?
And at what point do you put your foot down if a buyer is being unreasonable? In one seller's case, the seller offered to accept a return and refund for one-way shipping. But the buyer insisted that the hassle of returning i wasn't worth it. The seller held her ground and did not give in to her demand of a full refund without the return of the merchandise.
What happened? You guessed...the buyer left a negative. "And the reason she was able to leave negative was because she ++never opened a case.++" said this seller. "I was told by an ebay CS rep that ebay would have ruled in my favor, had she opened a case. So for future reference, if you know you aren't at fault, it works in your favor if you can get them to open a case."
How have you responded to negatives and/or neutrals? Do you respond at all? What advice would you give to a new seller, or what are your horror stories? Post a comment here!