- Lena R. Liberman
- On July 27, 2017
- 0 Comments
If you didn’t log in to Seller Central this morning, you might have missed this hot piece of news Amazon dropped in the extremely understated “Headlines” section of SC. The update to the Feedback Removal Request is effective immediately so we wanted to make sure to keep you in the loop.
Original Message from Seller Central
Updated Process for Feedback Removal Requests
Jul 27, 2017
In order to simplify the steps needed to respond to customers and manage negative feedback, starting July 27, 2017, all sellers must use the Feedback Manager page for all feedback interactions. As part of this change, you won’t be able to request feedback removal through Contact Us, and Seller Support associates will no longer evaluate feedback requests. Learn more about Feedback Manager.
That’s right. Starting today. Now as in right now when you are reading this. No transition period.
Go to Feedback Manager. Go directly to Feedback Manager. Do not use Contact Us. Do not contact Amazon Seller Support.
Well, the good news is that processing all requests via the Feedback Manager adds consistency in the sense that all requests now go through a standardized process. This levels the playing field in that no seller can circumvent the process by working directly with a Seller Support representative. It also means that the requests can be handled by Amazon in a more-orderly (and better-documented) fashion rather than individual correspondence and rely upon an individual support rep for help.
The bad news is just the other side of the same coin; namely, what makes the change positive in some ways makes it negative in others. That is to say, the consistency resulting from an automated systematized central point of contact reinforces existing red tape and removes any chance of getting in touch with an actual human who can help sellers resolve their feedback issues. Not only can this be frustrating and impersonal, it doesn’t leave much in the way of explaining the nuances of your particular situation. And as we all know, feedback issues are sensitive matters and not all are equal in terms of urgency and importance and potential repercussions. How do you, as a seller, communicate the particulars or escalate a matter when you are limited to forms and fields of pre-populated common issues?
Unfortunately, the change to feedback removal requests seems like yet another hurdle to an already-challenging process that is cumbersome and slow. Simply downloading Feedback Reports is a time-consuming hassle and now there is a new layer added to pursuing any issues you may find in those reports. Losing the ability to communicate feedback removal requests via Contact Us and Seller Support associates feels like a door has been shut and a lifeline severed.
Quick Assessments About Today’s Changes to the Feedback Removal Requests Process
- Again we see that Amazon is adding more resources in the way of customer support while removing existing resources for seller support. It’s a shame that Amazon does not perceive and value sellers as another kind of customer.
- By removing any human element of contact regarding feedback issues, Amazon has created a barrier that will make sellers less likely to follow up about potentially incorrect or damaging feedback. If you feel like you’re submitting a request into a black hole of automation, how likely are you to keep doing it or to believe that the process can help you? Not very.
- There is no doubt that the change adds efficiency for Amazon. But at what costs? If Seller Support staff members aren’t advocating for sellers who feel misrepresented (to costly effect), who then is advocating and does it really feel like support so much as a void where the only result is a message back saying “We have received your request and are working on it…”?
- Finally, why the swift rollout with no notice? That never feels fair. My guess is that Amazon doesn’t want to hear from sellers troubled by the change and that Amazon also wants to reduce direct interaction between sellers and Seller Support ASAP. That sends a powerful message and it is not a comforting one.
Advice and Action Steps
Not to mince words but Amazon Feedback Removal Requests are bad news and this update to the process isn’t likely to help matters. Anytime a seller has to ask Amazon for a change or an adjustment or even for more information or clarification (be it via a form or through direct contact with Seller Support), it’s an arduous process at best and a nightmare at worst.
With regard to all things feedback and customer interaction, the best thing a seller can do is handle it themselves and not let it get to the point of involving Amazon. If you can be proactive in how you take control in the post-sale period, you can diminish the number of times you have to deal with Amazon, and you can mitigate your risk of receiving negative seller feedback.
We say “own it and don’t look back (and don’t look to Amazon for help).” Use smart software like Feedback Genius to communicate with buyers directly, purposefully, with care and interest and you’ll not only get more positive reviews, you’ll avert potential feedback crises that can harm your seller reputation and have you chasing your tail with Amazon.
Given today’s effective-immediately changes to Feedback Removal Requests (along with Amazon’s history of rolling out changes that do not favor sellers), you have to be your own advocate and not rely on Amazon for resolution, especially as the process grows increasingly automated. That’s why now is the perfect time to start a free 30-day trial of Feedback Genius.