When it comes to being a successful seller on Amazon, fast customer support is vital. An efficient strategy can help reduce the number of returns, improve your team’s overall performance and even increase a customer’s lifetime value.
xSellco joined with Chad Rubin, founder of Skubana, to put together a list of customer support hacks to increase your Amazon sales.
You can watch the webinar here or read the transcript below.
Here’s what you will learn.
The value of speed and how to improve your response time
How to boost sales with an effective support strategy
How to create effective support templates
xSellco: Hello everyone! Welcome to another xSellco webinar, co-hosted today with our friend Chad Rubin from Skubana, and we’re going to discuss the need for speed when it comes to customer service on Amazon. We’ll be going over five tried-and-true tactics that will not only boost your efficiency on Amazon but also your sales.
Since we’re talking about the need for speed in customer service, I’d like to start off today with a question.
We’ll be covering three main areas today. After we give you a brief background on xSellco and Skubana, we’ll look at some key metrics around customer service on Amazon, before moving on to five simple solutions that will speed up your response times and Chad will also talk us through six customer support templates that actually get results. We’ll also talk a little bit about xSellco’s integration with Skubana and how that kind of connectivity and automation can really improve your operations.
And the answer is A, 12 hours. This stat comes from a 2018 study from SuperOffice, which found that a majority of companies are failing to meet customer expectations when it comes to how quickly they respond to messages from customers. And that’s a problem because consumers today are so connected that 64 percent of them expect companies to respond to and interact with them in real time.
Amazon sellers especially need to be on top of their support game. As I’m sure you’re aware, Amazon is a customer-centric company and providing a great customer experience is hugely important to Amazon’s performance metrics and to winning the Buy Box.
First up, meeting Amazon’s target response time. As we already said, Amazon requires sellers to respond to 90% of buyer messages within 24 hours—even on weekends and holidays. And generally, customers who receive responses within 12 hours are more satisfied with their support experience.
xSellco: One way to improve your response times on Amazon is to invest in an e-commerce help desk that gives you a 360-degree view of every customer’s transaction. When you can see product and order details, delivery information and any previous communication right there within each message, you don’t have to waste any time digging for that information and can respond faster.
Repetitive customer questions can also affect your efficiency on Amazon. They’re a common problem for customer support teams and anyone asked the same question over and over will eventually respond impatiently—or not at all. According to our data here at xSellco, the most common tickets our clients receive are product questions and delivery questions.
But just because you receive the same question over and over doesn’t mean you have to type out the reply over and over. You can use saved replies or templates to help speed up your response time. Here at xSellco, we’ve found that when our clients use at least five templates, they cut their response times in half.
I’m now going to pass it over to Chad who’s going to talk us through some templates and auto-replies that he uses and has seen great success with.
Same thing for “How do I return my order?” We actually have an automated return process. We’ll always return people’s money, no matter what. Amazon is so customer-focused, they are always going to side with the customer. So you’re better off just accepting the return straight away.
This is where you go in, enter your email address and go through the return process. We have Pay On Use return labels, which by the way you can do on Skubana, which means you only pay for the return label once it enters the postage system. There’s a lot of return fraud that happens, where someone says “This didn’t fit, please give me a refund and I’ll send it back” and then they never send it back to you. In Skubana, there’s a whole operational process of accountability where you can track those returns. You only pay for the label when someone gets up and returns it.
Chad: Another template here. Again, this is a question that is constantly coming up. We personalize it, we automate it. If you think about it, every tab you have open, with every keystroke your employee makes, it’s costing you money. So, how can you speed things up? Automate it and have your team working on other high-value activities.
These are all very standard. If you perchance oversold something, if you’re selling thousands of it a day. That won’t happen if you have Skubana, but if it does this is the kind of template you can use.
This one is in response to people asking for a lower price. It’s a standard question that comes up for us. We can actually go back into Skubana to see the lifetime value of that customer. You can see who is your biggest FBA customer and see who’s spending the money with you on FBA. And sometimes we actually do offer a discounted price, so it just depends on the person, how many purchases they’ve made, is it a person or is it a business or a not-for-profit?
This was something I actually read in a book called “Tools of Titans” by Tim Ferris. It was an interview with a guy from CD Baby. He started a used CD company. He’s actually a really good speaker. This is his confirmation email for purchases and it went viral. People love it. It’s creating that humanized element that I think is missing in a lot of these interactions. It curates a really good response and it resonates well with you. If you can just add some personality to your follow-up emails and your emails, in general, it will go a really long way.
What Skubana does and what xSellco does, combined, is create that experience after the checkout to ensure you’re delighting the customer. Something to keep in mind as we continue this webinar.
xSellco: Especially as order confirmation emails can be so bland and robotic. Adding some personality, like CD Baby did, people are going to remember that.
We have some questions Chad, and maybe you’ll be able to answer them. One asks, “If a buyer files a return request with return reason ‘inaccurate description’ but the description is accurate, should we send them a message and ask them to tell us what is the inaccurate part of our listing”?
Chad: Yeah, I would. Get to the root issue of what about it is inaccurate. And you should create a template for that, just asking “Hey, what’s inaccurate?” If you’re getting that all the time, I recommend you go ahead and try to fix it.
xSellco: Someone else says “There are times when tracking numbers show packages as delivered before they actually arrive. When customers message you about this, how do you answer them and do you have a sample template for this?”
Chad: I would come up with a sample template for this. As it’s a living thing, as people respond to it, you’re going to want to improve it and build on it.
And if your multichannel customer service strategy isn’t up to scratch, you might have to juggle multiple accounts and logins to keep track of tickets on every channel, which is not only time-consuming, it can also impact your response times.
On top of that, messages are more likely to slip through the cracks when support agents are overwhelmed.
Our integration with Skubana actually kicks that efficiency up a notch. By connecting your Helpdesk and Skubana accounts, you can quickly find an order ID, order details or access a specific product invoice in your xSellco dashboard. The example seen here was attached to a support ticket that one of our shared clients recently received from a customer who wanted to know when his order would be delivered. As you can see, all the necessary information the support team needed to send a reply was at their fingertips.
Chad: I want to point out that the integration between xSellco and Skubana is completely free. And another thing, is the more information your customer support team has at their disposal, the fewer clicks, the fewer tabs open, the more efficient they can be. For the first time, every piece of information you could possibly want is on one page, including the tracking number.
xSellco: Exactly. You receive a query, you open it up and if the issue is “Where’s my order” you can see straight away when the order was sent, payment received, delivery method, when it’s expected to arrive, even the shipping fee, it’s all right there. It’s so quick and easy for your support agents to respond.
xSellco: Chad is going to talk us through the next couple of slides and what he discovered.
Chad: Amazon actually expects your customer support team to respond in the native language. Here’s a performance violation from Amazon Italy. We didn’t have standard operating processes around this, that when you get an email from someone in another country you have to respond back in their own language. It was something we had neglected.
If you look at the next slide, you’ll see we translated it and number one, we needed to comply. Number two, it’s so time-consuming to go to Google Translate. One of the reasons I love xSellco is that it unifies everything, you don’t need to have more and more tabs open.
xSellco: Thanks Chad. So while you could hire a bunch of multilingual support agents, there is an easier way. Many sellers handle language requirements through a mix of Amazon’s translation support and external translation providers. Here at xSellco, our Helpdesk software has a built-in auto-translation feature. So if you receive a message from a customer in, say, Germany, but you don’t speak German, xSellco will translate that incoming message into the language that you speak so you can understand and respond to your customer’s query and your response will then be translated into the customer’s language before it’s sent. That way you’re fulfilling Amazon’s requirement to provide support in a marketplace’s local language.
We’ve already discussed automated and saved replies and how useful they can be in speeding up your responses, but meeting your target response times is useless if you’re not fulfilling your customer’s expectations around the support experience.
Yes, they want instant answers, especially for time-sensitive issues, but they also want to be treated like a human being. And auto-replies, when used incorrectly, can end up sounding cold, robotic and unfriendly. Like you’re just another number in a queue.
Look at this email that I received. You think “Oh great, they’ve gotten back to me so fast” and then you see it’s an auto-response and they’re not actually going to respond for another few days.
This is unfortunate because personalized emails actually deliver 6 times higher transaction rates than generic ones.
But of course, it’s not possible to write a personalized reply to every message because that’s time-consuming. And if you’re receiving a large volume of messages and trying to type out a reply to each and every one, you run the risk of rushing those responses and making mistakes.
So if you want to increase customer satisfaction, you should be addressing your customers by name. Most email marketing software offers you the ability to insert your customer’s first name but it’s worth taking the time to insert as many custom variables as you can in order to make sure the email comes across as personalized as possible. If you’re using help desk software like xSellco Helpdesk you can even insert certain details pertaining to that customer’s order, such as their delivery address and their expected delivery date. You can set as many conditions as you need to make the template appropriate to certain common queries.
Chad: What other variables can you use with xSellco?
xSellco: There’s a number of ones that are pre-built and included straightaway, like name order date and so on. But you can also create your own custom variables, depending on what your business is and what you sell and to what extent you want to personalize those emails. It’s up to you. Sizes, languages, currency. All those things you can add in. You can set the conditions to make the template as appropriate as you need.
And that brings us to the end of our presentation. Just to quickly recap, we explained how to prioritize tickets based on urgency, how to shorten your response times with saved replies, why you should invest in software that streamlines your operations if you’re a multichannel seller, how auto-translate can help you speak any customer’s language and lastly, how personalizing customer communication will increase loyalty.
Chad: I think we covered it, but this whole presentation us about how you can be more efficient with your processes, how can you automate mundane and repetitive tasks with the click of a button? And how can you wow customers so they go above and beyond for you.
xSellco: All right, I’d like to open it up to questions from the floor for the rest of the time that we have today. “Chad, does responding to feedback help your score on Amazon? Sometimes there is an explanation for a customer’s comments. We respond in public so that other customers can see the reason behind our decisions. Does Amazon consider this at all”?
Chad: Great question. First of all, if you’re going through a dispute on Amazon it’s good to have all that as proof. It helps to document the situation. As regards the question, if you’re a re-seller and you’re competing for the Buy Box, I would say that [responding to feedback] helps you because Amazon can see that you’re responding and that you have policies in place. Amazon is going to reward you with the Buy Box. So, for sure, it can’t hurt you. And again, I’m all about going above and beyond. If you’re doing that and others aren’t, I would consider that a competitive advantage.
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