Customer service is the heart of any business. It is even more important for e-commerce, since you don’t have the personal interaction that brick-and-mortar stores have with their customers.
It can be hard to provide personal customer service for online businesses, though. Even more so when you’re based on Amazon, since Amazon puts certain roadblocks between you and the customer.
Amazon’s buyer-seller messages is their way of enabling communication between you and your customer. We’re going to use this article to explain exactly what this system is, and how you can leverage it to grow your Amazon business.
What Are Buyer-Seller Messages?
The buyer-seller messaging system enables sellers to get in contact with customers, directly on Amazon’s platform.
The interface works just like email. However, it encrypts both the buyer’s and the seller’s address, showing up as email@example.com (for example).
This allows the sides to correspond without the conversation moving onto a private channel.
Amazon moderates the contents of the seller’s message. As per their terms, you are not allowed to link to any external sites or Amazon product listings, and you cannot include any marketing messages, promotions or referrals to third-party products or promotions.
To keep it simple, buyer-seller messages are for matters relating to a specific order, question or dispute. Trying to move the topic to something else or market to the customer in any way will put you in clear violation of the Terms of Service.
How to Use Amazon Buyer-Seller Messages Effectively
Amazon’s messaging system has its limits, but by no means should you ignore it. There are many ways you can use buyer-seller messages to provide important customer service and communication related to your listings.
Note that for Amazon FBA sellers, the messaging system is only for pre-purchase product inquiries. These sellers will have to turn the system on to be able to respond to inquiries. You can do so by doing as follows:
- In the Settings menu, click Fulfillment by Amazon.
- Under Product Support, click Edit.
- Select Enable, then Update.
If you’re selling via FBA, it’s still a valuable tool to use for managing customer expectations and, thus, limiting returns. For Merchant-Fulfilled sellers, know how to get the most value out of the system that’s in front of you.
Solve issues that might result in negative feedback or bad reviews
Buyer-seller messages are the perfect way to clear up any issues customers have behind closed doors.
Negative seller feedback can be damaging to your store’s reputation, and bad reviews are even worse. For a product in a competitive niche, a few bad reviews can end up costing a ton in sales.
Often times, problems that lead to poor feedback or reviews can easily be solved. Whether it’s by offering a refund or replacement
It’s important to note that Amazon tracks your response time to messages. The summary of which is added to the Performance Metrics section on your Seller Central account. You’ll be able to find your:
- Average response time
- Rate of responses in less than 24 hours
- Percentage of responses over 24 hours
- Percentage of messages not responded to (and not flagged as “no response needed”).
While Amazon says that response metrics don’t affect any of your seller permissions, it’s likely that they take it into account as part of your standing. If you ever make a mistake or have an issue that may result in a suspension or ban, a history of quick response times could help your case.
Integrate with an autoresponder tool
Many sellers use automated follow-up tools that integrate with the buyer-seller message system. With these tools, you can thank a customer for their business, or request a product review or seller feedback.
Most customers don’t think to leave a review unless there’s something extraordinary about their purchase (positive or negative). So, for the vast percentage of customers you have who buy a product and leave satisfied, a little reminder or request for a review can go a long way.
Autoresponders are valuable because they save you a ton of time you would otherwise spend sending everything yourself. Additionally, you can schedule emails to be sent just at the right time in the buying process. For example, you want to wait until enough time has passed for your customers to try your product out before asking them for a review.
There is still a decent amount you can’t do with autoresponder tools. But they still save a sizeable chunk of time. And time is money!
An Alternative – Collect Customer Emails
The Amazon messaging system is far from perfect for sellers. Amazon wants to protect its platform, and stop sellers from cutting the middleman and selling to customers directly.
This results in restrictions to what you can do with your customer service.
There is a way to correspond with your customers with no restrictions, though. Capture your customer (and their email) before they get to Amazon, and you’re free to send whatever follow-up messages you like.
As long as you make
You’re also free to offer better customer service and provide a more personalized customer experience. Which is a vital step to take if you’re building a private label brand.
The best way to do this is to advertise on channels such as Facebook, Instagram, or blogs, and send interested traffic to a landing page. On the landing page, offer some sort of incentive – such as a discount promo code – in exchange for the customer’s email signup.
LandingCube makes creating the landing page and distributing codes easy. All you need to do is get your product in front of the traffic.
Offering a discount helps you boost sales, and keyword rankings too. Capturing your potential customer’s email lets you offer improved customer
Amazon Buyer-Seller messages are a key function of the Amazon selling experience that shouldn’t be ignored – by FBA and FBM sellers alike.
They offer a channel that allows you to provide pre and post-purchase customer service that is vital for a successful business.
But to grow lasting relationships with your customers, and offer the best service, it’s always a great idea to get in front of external traffic and capture emails.
For more tips on generating more customer reviews, read our guide.