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5 posts from March 2012

March 26, 2012

A Tale of Two Orders, Part II

Lackluster customer service can lose a customer forever.

A while back, I ordered "Item Z" and it arrived right away. That part was good.

But then the frustrations began.

The quick delivery was overshadowed by the poor condition of Item Z, which was listed as Refurbished (and was not cheap!), but especially by the lackluster customer service. When I contacted the seller about defective Item Z, he immediately deflected responsibility (and me) to the manufacturer.

Was I disappointed? Aggravated even? To put it politely, yes.

Did I leave negative feedback? Oh yeah.

Why?

Civility and good customer service matter immensely, and the seller failed to provide either:

  • He would not even acknowledge that shipping a product touted as refurbished, but that only worked at 1/3 the promised capacity, was not appropriate.
  • He gave no hint of an apology.
  • He made no offer of any remedy beyond "Contact the manufacturer." He did not offer a replacement or a refund, not even a tiny partial refund to compensate me for my inconvenience.
  • He was done with me in two e-mails. My second e-mail was met with silence—no response at all.

In addition, feedback matters to the overall success of sellers on Amazon:

  • A feedback rating of "1" helps toward lowering a seller's overall feedback rating. The tons of honorable sellers look even better by comparison.
  • A good explanation of the reason for a feedback rating helps potential buyers make good buying decisions. (In case you are wondering, yes, I did read the seller's feedback before buying. However, I clearly did not read back far enough. My failure. I have learned my lesson.)
  • I want sellers as a whole to thrive on Amazon. (I am even a seller myself.) Also, as a buyer, I appreciate good reliable sellers, and one of the best ways to support the amazing seller community on Amazon is to differentiate between the great, the mediocre, and the troublesome.

I am working with the manufacturer. What choice did I have? By the way, the manufacturer's customer service representative questioned me about specific aspects of the "refurbished" Item Z, and said that the seller may not have fulfilled all requirements. I suppose the manufacturer might follow up on that with the seller. . .

I know that mine was not the worst buyer experience ever. I know this seller was not the worst seller ever. I admit to expecting a lot from the businesses I select for my discretionary spending. All that said, I also know that this seller's customer service was disappointing and that I will never buy from him again and risk more aggravation and wasted time.

As noted last month, an order shouldn't go sideways very often, but when one does, customer service makes all the difference.

As a seller, this experience reminds me that forever is a long time when it comes to losing buyers. 

March 19, 2012

What to do with listings when you're on vacation

If you are going on vacation, you can use the Listings Status feature to temporarily remove your open listings from Amazon.com until you are ready to process and fulfill orders again. Setting your listings to "Inactive" will prevent customers from placing orders while you're away.

The Listings Status feature can be found on the Seller Account Information page in your seller account. When you set your listings to "Inactive," all of your listings will be removed from the Amazon.com product detail pages and search results within one hour.

When you return from vacation and are ready to sell again, you can set your listings back to "Active." Your listings will begin to appear on the Amazon.com product detail pages and search results within one hour.

March 12, 2012

Keeping an eye on performance

We've given two not-so-new customer service indicators more visibility recently in Amazon seller accounts. Metrics are a way for sellers to track their success on Amazon. These two metrics are qualitative indicators of your customer's experience:

  • On-Time Delivery Rate: The percentage of packages that your customer receives by the promised delivery date. This measure is based on tracked packages only.
  • Contact Response Time: The percentage of messages from customers that you have responded to within 24 hours.

Visual indicators for these metrics are now visible alongside Amazon's performance metrics. We've added them because they're good indicators of quality customer service, helping to reduce negative feedback and claims.

March 05, 2012

Check your seller account home page daily for useful information

Your seller account home page puts a lot of useful information right at your fingertips:

  • Technical Notifications: We post Technical Notifications when Amazon has a planned outage or a technical issue. If you see a notification about a particular issue, you'll know that we are already looking into it. You can also check back periodically for posted updates. These notifications appear in the top middle section of the home page.
  • Headlines: Headlines are announcements about feature launches, tool updates, new products, and changes that may affect your seller account. These announcements appear in the middle of the home page.
  • Widgets: Widgets provide information at a glance of key aspects of selling activity, such as Your Orders and Payments Summary. The Selling Coach provides advice targeted specifically to your business. Click the link in a widget to go directly to the corresponding tool or page in your seller account. Widgets appear in the left and right columns of the home page.
  • Selling Tools: Selling Tools provides information about tools that help you sell on Amazon, such as Fulfillment by Amazon and Checkout by Amazon. Posts about the Selling Tools appear in the middle of the home page below the Headlines.

 

March 02, 2012

Keep Your Seller Account Information Secure

What is a “phisher” or “phishing e-mail”?

“Phishing” e-mails (also called “spoof” e-mails) are fraudulent attempts to obtain confidential information about your seller account, such as your e-mail address and password. This information is used to gain access to your seller account.

Be on the lookout for these false e-mails, which may look similar to legitimate Amazon e-mail. Often these e-mails direct you to a false website that looks similar to the Amazon website, where you might be asked to provide account information such as your e-mail address and password combination.

Protect your seller account by following these security-related best practices

  • Know what Amazon won’t ask for in an e-mail: your social security number or tax identification number; your bank account information, credit card number, PIN number, or credit card security code (including "updates" to any of the above); your mother's maiden name or other information to identify you (such as your birth city, pet's name, etc.); your Amazon.com or Seller Central password
  • Review the e-mail for grammatical or typographical errors
  • Check the e-mail’s return address; genuine e-mails from Amazon in the United States come from addresses ending in "@amazon.com"
  • Check the website address in the e-mail; genuine Amazon websites in the United States end with ".amazon.com"; and finally:
  • When in doubt, go directly to the Amazon.com website to make any changes to your seller account

Learn more about how to identify “phisher” (spoof) e-mails by searching “spoof e-mails” in our online Seller Help.

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