For all marketplace retailers, customer service is a key way of setting yourself apart from the competition, and it’s also integral to maintaining your seller standards. Read on to find out what you need to know about the timeframes and processes for customer service on Amazon - and ensure you avoid selling restrictions or account suspensions.
Amazon’s response time metrics
Amazon expects third party sellers to offer the same level of customer service that Amazon does - a 30 day returns policy, messages responded to within 24 hours, and return requests handled within 48 hours. In your Amazon seller account, there’s a number of metrics you can use to monitor and improve your customer service, including:
- Contact Response Time Metrics
- Customer Service Dissatisfaction Rate
- Returns Dissatisfaction Rate
While the metrics don’t currently affect your Amazon selling privileges, they’re a useful indicator of your customer service standards. Slow response times can result in negative buyer feedback, returns, and Amazon A-to-z guarantee claims, which will affect your selling privileges, and in the worst case scenario lead to an account suspension.
Contact Response Time Metrics
- Late Response Rate: the percentage of messages you didn’t respond to within 24 hours. Subcategories - percentage of messages responded to after 24 hours and percentage of messages received over 24 hours ago and not responded to.
- Contact Response Time: - Average response time
- Response times under 24 hours
Contact time metrics are calculated with weekends and holidays included - even when you set your listings to inactive, Buyer-Seller messaging is still active, and Amazon expects you to maintain a quick response time. When a message doesn’t require a response, you need to mark that in the Reply are of the message thread so it’s excluded from your response time metrics.
Learn more about Amazon’s response time metrics here.
Customer Service Dissatisfaction Rate
Amazon includes a survey with any messages you send a buyer regarding an order: ‘Did this solve your problem’ with a yes or no option.
The Customer Service Dissatisfaction Rate target is less than 25%. And, while currently there’s no penalty for not meeting the performance target, it’s a good indicator of how well you help shoppers, and whether they’re likely to leave positive feedback.
Return Dissatisfaction Rate
Once you’re notified of a return request by email, you’re required to respond within 48 hours - Amazon recommends that you reply within 24 hours. You need to respond to the customer’s request and approve or close it in the Manage Returns page of Seller Central. It’s important to message your customer when you issue a refund so that they’re aware that the problem has been resolved.
For Amazon A-to-z Guarantee claims and chargebacks, you have 3 calendar days to respond.
The Return Dissatisfaction Rate is the percentage of valid return requests that were either not answered within 48 hours, were incorrectly rejected, or received negative customer feedback.
Amazon Customer Service tips:
- Respond to all messages and return requests within 24 hours
- Mark questions that don’t need a response
- Resolve issues quickly, and keep customers informed and happy
- Keep an eye on the relevant metrics for signs that poor customer service will affect selling privileges
Learn more about Amazon Customer metrics here.