Guest post by Justin Golschneider from ChannelReply
Positive customer service can set Amazon sellers apart from the competition and maximize their chances of winning the Buy Box. Here are seven ways to wow your customers without breaking Amazon communication policies.
1. Phrase Positively
Poor phrasing can instantly destroy a customer relationship. Here’s how to spot negative statements and transform them into positive ones:
Remove the word “you” from sentences that describe a problem; otherwise, it will sound like you’re blaming the customer.
- Bad: “We’re sorry you couldn’t figure out how to use the product.”
- Good: “We’re sorry our instructions were unclear.”
Avoid negative words like “don’t,” “can’t,” and “never.” Replace them with positive statements.
- Bad: “I don’t know the answer. I’ll have to call the manufacturer.”
- Good: “Good question! I will ask the manufacturer and get back in touch as soon as I hear from them.”
If the customer is being difficult or you’re having a bad day, reread the message before sending and make sure your reply doesn’t sound angry.
Keep your tone positive and more of your customers will stay positive as well. It’s an easy way to avoid altercations and low seller ratings.
2. Kill Repetitive Tasks
Repetitive tasks are mentally and physically debilitating. A study of Swiss workers found that repetitive tasks resulted in qualitative role underload, reduced ability to process info, and physical problems like eyestrain.
The last thing you want is a customer service department driven nuts by repetitive tasks. If you or your people are bored, in pain, and unable to think clearly, you’ll have a very difficult time providing positive customer service.
Let’s look at one example and how to solve it.
Answering the same questions over and over again is one of the most mind-numbing tasks in customer service. Luckily, Amazon has a solution: email templates.
Email templates (a.k.a. canned replies) allow you to save answers to common questions and insert them into responses. You’ll still have to manually enter details like the user’s name and the product ordered, but you’ll avoid a huge amount of repetitive typing.
Of course, spending all day just typing in names of people and products is even more repetitive.
You can avoid that monotony by connecting Amazon to a helpdesk like Zendesk, Freshdesk or Desk.com using ChannelReply. With an integrated helpdesk, you can create canned replies that automatically enter details about the customer and their order—no typing required!
With auto-customized canned replies, you can avoid boatloads of repetitive work. That means your customer service team will be better able to think clearly and answer tough questions. Plus, they’ll get the same work done way faster.
3. Be Enthusiastic!
Thank the customer for contacting you, tell them you’re happy to help, and ask if they need anything else. Make them feel like helping them was the best part of your day—even if you would have preferred a root canal.
4. Lower Anxiety with an Autoresponder
Automated replies have a bad rap among Amazon sellers. This is likely because Amazon does not count automated responses as replies, which leads many to believe they are totally useless. But used well, they can reduce customer anxiety.
With no confirmation, customers are left in a vacuum. Did the message go through? Did it reach the right company? When will they get an answer?
For a customer who’s already upset about an order gone wrong, this anxiety can push them over the edge. A simple email stating that your company has received the message and will respond within X hours can help them cope with the wait time.
Systems for setting up automatic responses range from simple Amazon email forwarding systems to advanced integrations like using Zendesk as an eBay/Amazon autoresponder. Remember, these won’t mark messages as answered. Focus on using them to improve the customer experience.
5. Smile on the Phone
Not every Amazon seller offers phone support. But for those that do, the top best practice of positive customer service is to smile during calls.
People can hear whether you’re smiling. And that can have a huge effect—smiling can boost customer satisfaction and improve brand perception. Everyone responds better to a cheerful greeting than a dour response.
6. Be Empathetic and Sincere
Show the customer that you feel their pain. A simple “That’s awful!” or “You’re absolutely right” can go a long way to making the customer see you as their friend, not their enemy.
If the problem is your fault, apologize sincerely. It’s crucial to follow the phrasing guidelines from tip 1. Here are some common mistakes, with what the reader will infer in parentheses:
- “I’m sorry you feel that way (because your feelings are the problem).”
- “I’m sorry we didn’t meet your (absurdly high) standards.”
- “I’m sorry you aren’t happy with the product (though you’re the only one who isn’t, weirdo).”
Instead, try things like “I’m so sorry our product didn’t perform as expected. How can we make this right?”
As knowledge workers, customer service agents need to avoid excessive distraction to reflect on and improve their performance. That can be a challenge.
Agents often deal with a barrage of input. In ecommerce, that barrage is different for every company, but one of the most common problems is input from half a dozen channels or more.
A single agent might have windows open for Amazon, eBay, email, Facebook, Twitter, and a live chat system, each pinging her with notifications. Meanwhile, her supervisor is trying to connect her with a high-value customer, a coworker needs help, and the phone is ringing.
Conditions like these stunt improvement and lead to rushed answers. It’s no wonder, then, that 27% of customer service emails give the wrong answer.
About Channel Reply
Multichannel customer service integration can solve these problems. Helpdesks like Zendesk and Freshdesk can bring in messages from email, social media, store builders like Shopify, and live chat, and organize them all on a single screen. They can even manage phone support.
Normally, these helpdesks integrate poorly with Amazon messaging, but ChannelReply fixes that. It ensures smooth messaging and allows helpdesks to use customer and order info in powerful tools like canned replies. It also lets you connect eBay messaging, which is normally impossible.
Helpdesks aid management and communication as well. Rather than having to flag down their coworkers, agents can simply pass tickets back and forth and discuss them in private messages. Supervisors can also assign tickets to a certain person or group and provide instructions through the same messaging system.
Suddenly, rather than trying to keep up with six screens, two people in the office, and a phone call, the agent only has to worry about one screen and the phone—and even follow-up for the phone call is managed on the same screen.
No more barrage of input. No more constantly switching gears. Without constant distraction, agents can focus on delivering effective and positive customer service.
Make a Difference with Positive Customer Service
If you want to win the Buy Box, especially if you’re not using FBA, you need to provide an exceptional customer experience. Positive customer service is one of the biggest pieces of that puzzle, along with effective Amazon pricing. Teach your agents to have positive interactions and you’ll have won half the battle—and all your customers’ hearts.