Amazon is Not Just About Price,
Customer Service Can Make or Break You!
Not long ago, a family member attempted to place an order for golf balls off of the internet. They said the pricing was too good to pass up. It was a tremendous deal. However, as they attempted to navigate the virtual minefield of “up-sells,” and “additional product offerings,” they became frustrated with the entire process….ultimately canceling the transaction and emptying their “shopping cart.” Their final declaration was that, “….it now had become more convenient to actually drive to a store, walk in and buy what they wanted without all of the other hassles associated with buying online!”
Think about that statement for a minute. Have we now made the convenience of purchasing products from the comfort of our homes……less convenient and customer friendly than actually leaving our homes to visit a brick and mortar store?! Surely that is logic is counterintuitive. How did online selling get to this point?
“58% of Amazon Customer Reviews Now Promote Service Over Price.”
All one has to do today is read most the Customer Reviews that are posted on Amazon for products sold and you will recognize a pattern that begins to develop. The products are reviewed for their quality and performance. Most of those reviews are overwhelmingly positive. This could be because the products actually are as good as the consumer hoped they would be…..or it could also be because subconsciously most consumers do not like to “badmouth,” a product they have purchased. Doing so means that they did not demonstrate prudent judgment in selecting the product or it undercuts their belief that they are a “savvy” shopper. In any case, most product based reviews are positive.
The product reviews also make a point of touching on the great “deal” the consumer got when they made their purchase. If they saved more money on the transaction, received free shipping (or upgraded expedited shipping) or were sent a digital coupon or discount code, they always appreciate mentioning this as well. Again, most of these reviews are also overwhelmingly positive. Very few Amazon (or internet) consumers post reviews about how they “didn’t get a good deal,” when they made their purchase. It may be because this is considered more a reflection of their lack of smart shopping skills.
The most common negative review that is posted on Amazon deals with what falls under the heading of “poor customer service.” These complaints have a several common themes. It could be the customer’s product took too long to ship. It may be that they received the wrong product altogether. The package may have been damaged or poorly constructed to begin with. The product may be the wrong size or color.
The most exacerbated of these complaints revolve around having to return products or having to address a product issue that requires direct interaction between the customer and the Seller. Again, it is not known if these issues are as bad as they are perceived to be or if the average consumer simply displaces their feelings of frustration towards the seller. In other words, perhaps the blouse ordered was green and the blouse shipped was also green……just not green enough for the customers taste, so a review is posted stating the “wrong color was shipped.”
“The Stars Are In Their Eyes…..”
Any Seller on Amazon will tell you that their future on Amazon “resides in the stars.” When the average customer is searching for a Seller, one of the main things we are told they look for is how many “stars,” a Seller may have in their reviews. As for the average customer, “….stars are in their eyes,” when it comes to how they interpret the likelihood that they will be satisfied with their purchase from any particular Seller. So what can a Seller do to ensure they are being viewed as a credible and respectable company? Well there are several main points they can focus on when it comes to helping to ensure a favorable Customer Service rating.
- Ship on Time. Even if you indicate in your product summary that purchased products may take “up to X number of days or weeks to ship,” build a buffer into that window for yourself. If you plan on shipping products in 3-5 days, and you need 3-5 days to make that happen, state in your summary that “products will ship within 7 days”. If they go out early, you look better for it. If they take an extra day or so over the five days you may need…..you’re covered.
- Take Care With Your Packaging. You can’t control how the shipper will “mangle,” your packages but, you can put extra care in how you tape them closed and provide packaging materials inside the box. Don’t use materials inside the package that may have an odor or are dirty or may rub off on the product inside. Consider putting the product (if it is susceptible to water damage) in a plastic bag inside the box.
- Insert Return or Customer Care Instructions inside the Package. Put a note inside the package with contact information available on it in case the customer needs to contact you regarding a product issue. This makes it much easier for them …..which means they are in a better mood when they do! This “card” should have their order number on it so they can reference it if they need to.
- Limit Online “Up-Sells.” If you choose to do up-sells at the checkout, be respectful and courteous. Don’t “brow-beat,” or attempt to embarrass your customer. Don’t make them rethink why they are doing business with you to begin with.
- Shoot for 100% Customer Satisfaction. We didn’t say be perfect. We said shoot for perfection! Take the time to ensure you are shipping the correct products, to the correct addresses. TRY….. a little harder than your competition and you will be noticed for it.
Mathew Sabia, President of BUYDMI.com once said, “….when we ship products we do so like we are shipping to my Mother-In-Law. It better be perfect with minimal errors……or someone is going to hear about it!” This could be one of the reasons his company is considered one of the best Amazon Sellers available today. Their Customer Service Ratings are consistently among the best available and their bottom line reflects it!
Remember, to be among the elite Sellers of Amazon, price and product performance will get you started……but customer service and “5 Star Ratings,” will drive your rocket-like trajectory for success all the way to the STARS!