While hopefully it’s uncommon, sometimes you may need help with your Amazon Webstore. In situations when there is a problem or technical issue, the best option is to get in touch with Seller Support. You may have done this before, you may not have had the need to do so, or you may never need to contact Seller Support. But should the need arise, here’s some help on how to contact seller Support quickly and efficiently.
The first thing to remember is that unless otherwise stated, our Seller Support team is the best team to contact if you have a problem. They are trained in our various selling programs and have the experience to help quickly identify and help you fix your problem. That said, there also may be specific instances where you should not contact seller support to fix your issue—we’ll get to those in a minute.
What can Seller Support Help me with?
Seller Support exists to help third-party sellers who utilize Amazon Services technology. They can help explain just about any feature or service related to your Amazon Selling account, including programs like Amazon Webstore, Fulfillment by Amazon, and Checkout by Amazon. Keep in mind that while Seller Support is able to offer phone support, not all of teams within Amazon Services can assist you via phone.
What is the best way to contact Seller Support?
The answer to that question really depends on you and the reason you are calling for assistance. Seller Support offers 24-hour email support and phone support between 7am – 8pm CST, 7 days a week. For example, if you have a list of ASINs that you believe have incorrect information, it may be faster to write the issue up in an email. On the other hand,if you’re not sure about why a feature is behaving a certain way, calling our team may be the best option to determine what is going on and ask any follow-up questions you may have. Regardless of the method you choose to contact Seller Support, our team will be here to assist you.
The best place to get started is right here (Seller Central login required):
When should I not contact Seller Support?
If you receive communication from another Amazon team, you can always ask Seller Support questions about the message and why it’s being sent to you. However, Seller Support is not able to assist with all questions. Seller Support can be utilized as an informational resource when other teams are needed to help you, such as giving suggestions on how best to respond to the Amazon team helping you or making sure you are including critical information needed by that team.
Seller Support: A Great Resource
Seller Support can be a great resource to our sellers who are both new and experienced. The team members are eager to assist and may be able to provide valuable insights and solutions to both common and uncommon issues you might come across. Should the need arise, the Seller Support team will work to assist you as quickly and effectively as they can.
Reach Amazon Webstore Seller Support here (Seller Central login required)
Providing good customer service can be key to a successful company’s selling strategy. Self-service solutions, like putting customers in touch with each other in online forums instead of directing them to a staffed customer service department, are becoming prevalent and popular. In this case, giving your customer what they want means helping them to quickly and efficiently find answers.
“The vast majority of survey respondents (75 percent) find self-service is a convenient way to address customer service issues. Additionally, 67 percent of consumers prefer self-service, over speaking to a company representative.” - Nuance Research
Choosing a solution that works for every customer is becoming more and more challenging, both because of the multitude of learning styles and because there are so many different ways to provide service. When looking over the menu of self-serve customer service options you can offer, remember that using the most popular might be more efficient and effective than trying to provide every available option.
Built-in help, like FAQs or help documentation in the product or on your company’s website, is the first place many customers go to find answers. This is the cornerstone of your help options; consider having a goal that most of your customers should be able to find the answers they need in the built-in help. Calling out the help link in your navigation can help make sure users go there first. Creating an FAQ or Top 10 list can float the most common questions and answers to the top. In your help button or menu, provide options such as forums, blogs, YouTube, online service support and a phone number. You could even provide a “rate this page” feature that, over time, would allow you to tailor your support to the needs of your customers.
Forums have become a popular way of providing help to customers. They allow your customer support staff to interact with customers and the public in a non-real-time format that can be easier to staff and maintain. In addition, you may be able to tap your dedicated customer base—which may have significant expertise with your product—to answer questions alongside your official representatives. Your company can run a support forum using a number of free or paid platforms such as vBulletin, phpBB, or getSatisfaction.
Blogging gives your company a voice. Blog entries are often written in a more informal manner than marketing copy or technical documentation, and many companies use a rotating cast of subject matter experts and writers to keep the content fresh and topical. Writing a post for the company blog can bring writers closer to understanding their customers. Managed correctly, a blog can be a win-win for both sides of the table. Like the options in forum software, there are a varieties of blog platforms to choose from (such as WordPress, Blogger, and Typepad) and in many cases the service is provided free of charge.
Finally, using social media platforms to provide support has become de rigueur. Gartner has predicted that by the end of 2012 more than 60% of the Fortune 500 will “actively engage” customers on Facebook, up dramatically from 20% in the fourth quarter of 2011. The statistics on adoption of YouTube and Twitter are similarly impressive—try on these 23 Startling Social Media Statistics provided by Parature.
Delivering good customer service can be both challenging and a risky business. Companies must be available to help their customers across all channels. Those who are most successful are those who do their best to remove obstacles and friction that waste their buyers’ time and try their patience.
Regardless of how you choose to provide customer service, doing it well and making it easy to use is a good start to leaving a positive and lasting impression on your customers. Doing it wrong, creating unnecessary complexity, may result in unforgiving customers. Well-run businesses provide world-class self-support because they focus on the endgame: attracting, engaging and retaining customers.
Image credit: Polycart, “Plastic Self Service Carts Nested” May 6, 2011 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
Using videos to help train sellers and customers is becoming a very popular solution for many businesses. It turns out that short videos perform better in our time-starved eCommerce world. No matter what business you’re in, your customers may already be looking for you on YouTube—so it’s likely in your best interest to be there. Whether the video is about a product or about a way to improve an eCommerce Web site, the increased engagement you get from video is invaluable.
Here are some tips and tricks for making great educational videos.
1. Review the competition. What types of videos are currently being used for businesses like yours? Which videos are capturing the heart and soul of your customers? Decide what you like and what you want to do. Think about using music!
2. Plan or script the video. Don’t try to wing it; your viewers can tell if you weren’t well prepared.
3. Keep it short. Crisp, concise, and interesting is the way to go.
4. Do some test runs. Even with a great script, you might make mistakes. Don’t add to the pressure by thinking you have to do this video in one sitting.
5. Make your title and description compelling and interesting. The title is the first thing your potential viewers will see. Write it around the kernel of truth that everyone is looking for.
6. Link your video to your Website. Make it easy for a potential customer to find your Website after viewing the video. A great video is a perfect way to draw the customer in.
7. Use keywords. YouTube allows you to specify keywords. Set search terms that will help customers find the video. Use the keyword in its singular form. A search for “sale” might not find a video that uses “sales” as a keyword, but a search for “sales” will always find a video that includes the keyword “sale.”
8. Market your video. If this is the first of many videos to come, start the buzz. Use social media sites like Facebook, blogs, and such. Talk about the video in the forums.
Recently, the Amazon Webstore team has ramped up its production of short instructional videos. We found that presenting a few concepts in a short, well-executed video could immediately have a positive impact on our customers. Watch one of our latest videos here, about customizing the search attributes on your Webstore.
Having completed your first educational video, you will want to end with a call to action. If you have followed these tips and tricks, you will be in a good position to start building a relationship with your customers and community. Now go out there and do great things. Roll cameras! Action!
Image credit: jsawkins, “Camera operator setting up the video camera” December 21, 2009 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)
It’s no wonder that bad customer service offline is driving people to shop online.
For example, I went to the bank the other day. I’m a loyal customer at this bank, but my visit there made me realize that my bank does way, way too much customer service.
Let me clarify.
When I go to the bank, it’s always during my lunch hour. I intend to spend as few seconds as possible in the bank, and yet the bank’s efforts at customer service all keep me there longer. The chatty teller does not make my stay better; he makes it longer. And on this particular visit, the greeter asked me if I’d like a bottle of water or a cup of coffee—apparently unaware that I have no plans to stay at the bank long enough that I will require a beverage.
The best customer service that can be provided online, then, is to grease the buyer’s experience so that they can make their transaction as quickly as possible. In eCommerce, it’s likely that buyers have used sources other than your site to make their buying decision—and after that your checkout process only has the power to dissuade users from buying, not to persuade them to buy. The less you get in their way, the better.
Consider this elegant solution to my bank problem—one bank has introduced a system where you can deposit a check right from your couch by taking a photo of it with your phone.
As business owners and eCommerce professionals, we should get out of our customers’ way. Here are a few things that have helped businesses using Amazon Webstore:
- Make sure customers know their way back. If customers research a product somewhere else, make sure they know where to find you to buy it. That may be through a memorable brand experience while visiting your site, top rankings in search engines, or a timely email campaign.
- Keep your site simple and clear. Don’t clutter things up. You may offer content to educate visitors on your products and your brand, but don’t let it get in the way. Make sure that buying is always one obvious click away.
- Give buyers multiple checkout options. Let customers use a branded checkout, like Checkout by Amazon, to make their purchase. You’ll gain credibility by associating with a big brand, and the technology is reliable.
What have you done to simplify your buying process and make it easier for customers? Have you seen success because of it? Leave your experiences in the comments below.
And for me? I’m changing to a bank that doesn’t make me leave my couch.