Sometimes you don’t see what’s right under your nose

Last weekend saw me hosting my sixth E-Seller Mastery Workshop, and what a fantastic day it was! I met a great bunch of really positive, motivated people all keen to ensure they achieve success with their online businesses and throughout the day I had the pleasure of chatting with some of those people. I definitely got involved in some very interesting conversations and one of those involved the topic of ‘feedback’ from customers.

So here’s a question for you: Do you listen to what your buyers are saying about you and your products?

When I posed this question on Sunday, the response was pretty much that there is no actual ‘talking’ with buyers involved because of course the transaction is completed online, therefore as there is no talking – how can you listen?

Well actually, your buyers do talk to you and you should be listening!

You have in fact probably got buyers talking to you right now, even as you read this and what your buyers are telling you about your products and your service is very valuable to you and can be used to your advantage.

No I haven’t gone mad and started hearing voices! Your buyers are talking to you through the feedback comments they leave for you after every completed transaction on eBay, on Amazon and also when they send you testimonials. What’s more, you can access this information at any time and then use it to improve your online sales and your customer service in the future.

Feedback comments aren’t really that big a secret are they, after all they are there readily available for all to see and you already know about the feedback and rating systems on eBay and Amazon and how they work, but it’s very easy to miss the obvious.

So here’s another question for you: How often do you actually look at your own feedback comments page? Or should I ask, have you ever looked at your own feedback comments page?

By this I mean when was the last time you really and truly had a good long look at the comments you’ve received? I don’t mean a quick peek, not just a glance on eBay to check that they all have the lovely little green positive cross next to them and then closing the page! I’m talking about a proper look to see exactly what people are telling you. Because that’s what people do – they tell you things within the feedback they leave and some of those things will help you run a better online business and improve your sales.

Not everyone leaves useful comments as you know. There’s always one who simply writes: ‘Received Item’ as their feedback or ‘Thanks’. But often you can find some really useful little gems within the comments.

The sort of comments you are looking for are unique, one-off comments that are not automated through Selling Manager Pro. Those SMP comments are all the same – for example ‘Great communication. A pleasure to do business with’ – and although that’s a fair enough comment it would have been chosen at random by the SMP computer and could apply to any product and any seller.

What you want are the comments that are actual, honest observations from individuals who have taken the time to leave personal feedback. Here are some examples of the types of remarks I’m talking about:

  • “Fantastic. Just as good as the more expensive versions. Thanks.”
  • “Excellent product. Have been looking for one for ages.”
  • ”Easy to use, just as described. Perfect for new mums!”
  • “Thank you for super fast delivery. We can’t get these over here!”

These buyers are ‘talking’ to you through their feedback and giving you little snippets that can help you.

You can add feedback comments like these to your listing descriptions for other potential purchasers to read – this will give extra confidence to buyers as they can see that you have a great product on offer which is backed up by genuinely honest feedback from previous purchasers and your sales will increase with buyer confidence.

If you get a feedback comment that tells you that your product is hard to find in a particular area (overseas for example), then you know that you’ve potentially got a best-seller on your hands because others in that area may also be finding it hard to source too. So why not list it on, for example, the eBay site that covers that particular area.

This actually happened to me a few years ago! I’d found a great product that I had researched and knew would sell well in the UK. I listed 100 of this particular item on eBay UK but set my shipping terms to dispatch worldwide as I always do.

It was a 10 day listing and within 3 days I had sold the lot! The amazing thing was that roughly 80% of the buyers were from France and I got a lot of feedback in French telling me how amazing this product was!

It became obvious to me from the feedback comments and the amount of French sales, that French people couldn’t buy this product in their own country (it wasn’t illegal by the way – it was a household gadget just in case you are wondering) and so I ordered more stock and listed it specifically on the French eBay site and what’s more I made sure that the description was written in French – there are cheap online translating services you can use to do this very easily.

Now, because I had listed it in France, and in French, I pulled in even more sales than the first time round, simply because my listing was written in their own language and on their own site. Although many buyers from around the world look on eBay UK, some won’t buy because they can’t speak English and don’t understand the descriptions or they just prefer to buy from their own country’s site. So, by listing this way, I had targeted the exact people that wanted my product. They wanted, they bought!

Listen to the positives…and the negatives too!

All this is very good, but of course, you should also pay attention to any negative feedback comments that you may receive. For example, if you are unfortunate to get comments such as:

  • ‘Instructions hard to follow, otherwise ok.’
  • ‘Box was broken when delivered.’
  • Took ages to arrive, but the item was as described.’

This tells you that you really need to improve in these areas. You know that you should perhaps add extra instructions to the product yourself to make things clearer, you can improve your packaging to avoid damage in transit and you can speed up your dispatch process to ensure faster delivery. Often a delay in delivery is not your fault, however the faster you dispatch the quicker it gets into the delivery system.

So you see, your customers are constantly talking to you and giving you really helpful information that you can put to good use to improve your descriptions, improve your products or improve your service generally.

And they are giving you all this information for free.

It’s all available right there in front of you with just one click of your mouse and if you check your feedback every day it’s not even time-consuming. So, remember this, If you don’t know what you are doing wrong you can’t improve on it and if you don’t know what you are doing right then you can’t capitalise on it.

As always I wish you the best of success,