Customer service is a huge factor in how well you will perform as an Amazon seller, and it’s important for Amazon sellers to have a strategy when it comes to communicating with customers.
There are some simple guidelines that can be followed, as well as some new changes from the Buyer-Seller messaging system. This article will cover how to reply to Amazon Messages and recent changes that have been made to Buyer-Seller messaging.
An Overview On Amazon Messages
One of the main principles that come with e-commerce is customer satisfaction. Amazon has a dedicated space for you to build customer loyalty through the Amazon Message Center.
Here you can respond to customer issues, feedback, and suggestions. You can also be in touch with buyers via encrypted email, but it is much easier as a seller to keep track of messages when the conversations are within Amazon’s dedicated platform.
There are two categories of Buyer-Seller messaging:
Proactive Permitted Messages
Proactive Permitted Messages – messages from a seller to the customer for the following purposes:
- Resolving issues during order fulfillment
- To invoice the buyer
- Start an exchange of messages for a custom order design
- To request the necessary information for processing their order
- To request a product review or seller feedback
- To coordinate Amazon home services
- To coordinate delivery for large items
- To resolve complaints, issues, returns, disputes, and claims
Necessary Permitted Messages
Necessary Permitted Messages – communication exchange that is necessary to fulfill an order:
- To disclose information necessary for order fulfillment
- To inform buyer of issues during order fulfillment
Permitted messages to your buyers must be sent within 30 days of their original order.
How To Reply To Amazon Messages
Firstly, when customers initiate a conversation with a seller, it will be done through a web form that they can access by going to their Orders and clicking Contact Seller. Amazon then forwards the message to the seller’s email.
These are anonymous, encrypted email addresses to protect the identity of both parties. The seller can then respond via email and the exchange can continue from there.
A seller can also initiate a conversation with a buyer after they have ordered through the internal message center which can be accessed through Seller Central.
To do this, ensure that you have the messaging system enabled. It can be turned on in Seller Central through the following steps:
- In your Seller Central settings, select “Fulfillment by Amazon” under the dropdown menu
- Click the “Edit” button underneath Product Support
- Choose “Enable” for the necessary marketplaces where you are selling your products
- Click “Update” to save your changes
You can then access messages by going to your Orders then clicking the buyer’s name in the Contact Buyer section. Amazon will then provide options to choose from to understand why you need to contact the buyer. Reasons such as:
- Request to update negative feedback
- Confirm order details
- Coordinate large or heavy item shipping
- Other (Choose from additional contact reasons)
If necessary, a seller can send a critical message to a buyer.
Amazon’s Buyer-Seller Messaging Guidelines
It is important to know that Amazon has a system to monitor your message exchanges with buyers, and they have recently released new policies and guidelines on appropriate communication with buyers.
Here are some note-worthy guidelines to follow when reaching out to buyers:
- Avoid promoting products, discounts, coupons
- Keep communication at a minimum and stay professional, do not disclose sensitive personal information or message anything unnecessary like “Thank you” or the likes
- Do not send buyers any external links unless absolutely necessary for order completion
- Do not send buyers any attachments that are unrelated to order fulfillment
- Make sure that you enable Vacation Mode when necessary so that your messages won’t pile up, which would then lead to negative feedback
As a seller, you need to be aware of all of Amazon’s policies on Buyer-Seller messages, which we recommend that you read all about.
Best Practices For Managing The Amazon Messaging System
- Respond within a timely manner to customer messages
- Assign Messaging Permissions and share the responsibility of customer service with your teammates
- Create messaging templates for faster communication
- Maintain a good attitude throughout the entire exchange
All in all…
When it comes to customer service on Amazon, the key is making sure that you are quick, professional, and thorough. The point of the messaging system is to make sure that your buyers have a good experience in fulfilling orders with you.
If they are happy with how it goes, positive seller feedback and product reviews will naturally follow! That is why it’s important to follow their guidelines to avoid any possibility of account suspensions or even deletion.
For more tips on how to maximize your Amazon selling experience, read the Sourcing Monster blog especially my post on the complete Amazon FBA guide. You can also enroll in my Amazon FBA course if you’re still not sure where to start.