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7 Amazon Customer Service Tips for Prime Day

by Liz Fickenscher

I had the awesome opportunity to have a conversation with Michael Melgar and Tygh Walters. They are the co-founders of SellerSmile, a great organization that allows you to outsource all your eCommerce customer service needs.

Michael and Tygh have the ability to dive deep into complicated topics but keep the conversation engaging, which is a wonderful trait and speaks to their passion for excellent customer service and communication.

They presented seven ways that Amazon FBA sellers can be proactive with their customer service, especially with Prime Day quickly approaching. In the video, we share a few key facts about Prime Day including:

  • Prime Day 2019 will be the longest event to date at 48 hours.
  • Over 100 million Amazon Prime members qualify for deals.
  • "Prime Day is prep for Q4." - Peter Kearns
  • "The best customer service is if the customer doesn't need to call you, doesn't need to talk to you. It just works." - Jeff Bezos

Next, we were ready to talk customer service!

Review Your Amazon Product Listings

You will have more traffic coming to your Amazon listings in the days surrounding Prime Day. Your product descriptions had better be accurate! Make sure:

  • Listings are explicit about what's included in your item. Your product images shouldn't include other items that are sold separately.
  • Product packaging copy matches your listing. Avoid discrepancies between them in terms of features, dimensions, material and more.
  • Variations are explained clearly. Explain all sizes available, and consider including a sizing chart as a product image if shoppers will need to select a size to order your product.
  • Specific or new aspects to your product are explained. Is there a difference in texture compared to other products? Is your sizing different than standard?
  • Product description FAQs address as many common questions as possible.

Review Outbound Messaging

In terms of your outbound messaging, there are some things you should ask yourself:

  • Do customers understand they can respond to your message to reach you?
  • Is your warranty information readily accessible?
  • Do you have unboxing, care or setup and use instructions you can include?
  • Is your messaging compliant with Amazon Terms of Service?

Update (or Create) Your Amazon Reputation Management Strategy

Prime Day and Q4 mean more eyes on your Amazon reviews and seller feedback, as well as an opportunity to get more of each. Have strategies for:

  • Responding publicly to positive and negative customer reviews (also called product reviews).
  • Responding publicly to positive and negative feedback.
  • Buyer follow up to offer a resolution for an unsatisfactory experience.
  • Your type of communication. You'll need to cater your responses based on the feedback and reviews you get. Make sure you create responses for 1-3 star ratings and for 3-5 star ratings.
  • Resolutions. While you shouldn't offer resolutions publicly, figure out resolutions to the most common reasons buyers leave negative ratings.

In my discussion with SellerSmile, they noted, "Remember, you're hoping the resolution will encourage reviewers to update their rating. You need to wow these customers more than usual."

Since you can't ask a buyer to change or remove a product review, I asked Michael and Tygh what sort of success rate they'd seen with people just voluntarily changing reviews, and I was shocked. They did a case study with one client and the change rate was actually 5%!

Since reviewers don't get notifications when a seller comments on their review, the comments in the reviews are for future buyers to see what a conscientious seller you are.

Keep Your Response Times Low With Email Templates

There's a balance between personalized communication and speed of response that is important for sellers to keep. Michael and Tygh's tips are:

  • Turn common responses and FAQs into starter templates. These are a starting point so that you're not composing every email from scratch.
  • Then, personalize. If you're responding to a buyer, and they've given their name, address them by name. Remind the buyer of your commitment to their happiness. Refer to the situation unique to that buyer.
  • Tell the buyer your name, so that they know you're a real person.
  • Make sure your grammar, spelling and punctuation are correct.
  • Try to route all buyer communication to the same place so nothing falls through the cracks.

Test Your Shopping Experience

While you can't ask friends and family members to leave you product reviews (against TOS), you can ask them to test out the buying experience, and your products, so you can identify any problems ahead of time. Here are SellerSmile's tips for success:

  • Ask a friend or family member to purchase a product from you. (Be sure to let them know that this is simply to test the process and that they should NOT leave a review for their purchase, since it is against Amazon Terms of Service.)
  • Interview them about that experience, asking open-ended questions like "Was there anything confusing about the experience?" and "Was there anything missing from the listing?"
  • Categorize the answers you get, review them for patterns, then create action items to address high-ROI issues.

Have a Plan For Inventory Management

Of course, the ideal scenario is to never run out of stock. But when you're ordering from manufacturers overseas or face other supply chain issues, it could happen. Tygh suggests:

  • Have a backup plan! Ship from your local inventory (if you have any).
  • Some prep services will store inventory for you. If you have a fast-moving item, it might be a good idea to sock some of that stock away for emergencies.
  • Train your team on how to fulfill non-FBA orders, if they don't already know.
  • Be ready to respond to out-of-stock questions. Be apologetic, keep a list of who wants what and follow up when items are back in stock.

Outsource and Delegate

Time is your most valuable asset, no matter what your business is like. We talked about how many Amazon sellers, entrepreneurs and sole proprietors can have a hard time letting go of certain tasks. That's natural, but shying away from outsourcing and automation can really slow down your growth.

  • Try outsourcing the less valuable and less urgent tasks first.
  • Figure out the bottlenecks in your business. Are you the bottleneck?
  • Identify whether there is a single point of failure in your business.
  • Research automation and outsourcing options to find the solutions that will work for you.

Michael and Tygh built SellerSmile to help Amazon sellers by automating their customer service tasks. They CARE about customer service, and it shows. Contact SellerSmile if you have any questions for them after you watch the video!

Originally published on June 28, 2019, updated July 1, 2019

This post is accurate as of the date of publication. Some features and information may have changed due to product updates or Amazon policy changes.

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