Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Harnessing the Power of Feedback

As a seller we all enjoy looking at our feedback on our Ebay, Etsy, Artfire, etc. stores. I love to see my feedback number go up and I'm quick to click to see what my customer has said. And woe be the day when a neutral or - heaven forbid - negative - feedback is left. Sure way to ruin a great day.

But other than that little cozy feeling - what good is feedback to you as a seller?

Use Feedback as a Selling Tool

The most powerful way to use good feedback is to make sure your future customers see it. The best way to do this is in any of your social networking environments like Facebook, MySpace, twitter, newsletters etc.

When I get good feedback on a product I can re-list I almost immediately post to Facebook. I call these "What my Customers are Saying" posts. I copy the feedback exactly. For example a Facebook post may look like this:

What my customers are saying: Beautiful earrings, exactly as pictured. Fast shipping -- overall great deal!

Then I post a link directly to the re-listed item so the person reading the post can see what item the feedback was left for, and hopefully will click on it.

If you get enough of these, your Facebook fans will start to see a pattern of happy customers.

In addition, I include generic What my Customers are Saying quotes in my email newsletters. I may, or may not include links to the product in this case. But I try to have a small section of my correspondence show my existing and hopefully future customers that I do have current happy customers.

What if I'm not getting feedback?

Many buyers may not even be aware that they can or should leave feedback. So, with each purchase encourage your customers to let others know they are happy with their purchase.

But - make sure to tell them to contact YOU first if they are unhappy. This gives you the opportunity to resolve any potential problems before a customer has left feedback. This way, even if a customer wasn't initially completely satisfied, they may still end up leaving positive feedback because you exhibited exceptional customer service.

To help encourage my customers to take the time to leave feedback, I purchased special business cards just for this purpose. I used VistaPrint to get very inexpensive cards and include them with my standard business cards. I do not use these as handouts at shows, but only for online purchases.

Here is an example of the card I use (click to see larger image). I have two main online stores, which is why there are two store addresses. Tailor your card to your business. The important parts of this card are: 1.) Tell the customer to contact YOU if there's a problem. 2.) Encourage the customer to leave feedback if there's not.

Then - take that feedback and turn it into a selling point.


Lisa said...

Great idea! I do the same type of thing with a large label that I use to "tape" my tissue paper packaging before adding the ribbon. I love encouraging feedback.

BTW--we have that same card for our personal business cards. Great minds think alike! :)

Faery Charming said...

Thanks for this great tip. I always try to leave feedback whether buying or selling. It is always good to know that if something goes wrong a vendor will work with you.

skinner studio said...

Good thinking!

The Facebook idea is excellent, I think I'll start trying it.

And I really like youe cards as well, thank you for sharing!

Julie B. said...

Thanks for sharing this very useful tool, Carla. I'm going to add it to my arsenal!

CareyCottage said...

Carla, I agree! If I have a bad transaction, I will try my best to work it out! I loathe leaving a neg.

Some buyers don't understand it though...leaving a neg because USPS took one extra day? I've seen it and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I always try to be fair!!!!

Momma Goddess Treasures said...

Great ideas, Carla!! I'll give it a try!

Aquarian Bath said...

Great article. Thanks. I have started including product feedback in my item descriptions.

stitchntyme said...

Fantastic article. Thank you for sharing! Took your thoughts and I just posted on my Facebook fan page. :)

FavorCakes by Erica said...

Great blog post! Thanks for sharing such helpful tips.

Maria Soto Robbins said...

Great post, Carla! I am including my customer's feedback in my next newsletter~great tip!

Design Knit Fun said...

Great post ! and thanks for sharing - never even thought aboutr using feeback as a tool .

em.cecile said...

Loved reading everything! =]


Pretty Things said...

Nice info!