Monday, January 28, 2013

How To Increase Amazon Response Ratings

Maintaining high response rates with Amazon customers can be a daunting task, especially when dealing with a significant volume of email. Drop below a certain threshold and Amazon begins to penalize you. To help, we've put together some tips on how ReplyManager can be used to efficiently and quickly respond to customer emails.

The Amazon Buyer-Seller messaging system allows communication between buyers and sellers in the Amazon Marketplace via email addresses masked to the users. Sellers have access to this email via the Amazon Seller account and/or from their company's own email system (POP3 or IMAP) or third party client such as ReplyManager.

Amazon measures Contact Response Time by looking at all messages sent between a seller and buyer, both before and after an order is placed, and measures by the percentage of customer-initiated messages that you respond to within 24 hours.  Slow response times can lead to negative feedback and claims which can impact your selling privileges with Amazon. Below are tips on how ReplyManager can help you to maintain prompt response times in your Amazon accounts.

Diagnose Average Response Times
Once you are set up, go to Maintenance > Reports and run the Average Response Time report for the Amazon folder (make sure you use the same date range that Amazon uses) to see what your numbers are saying.  The average needs to be as low and positive as possible to survive the weekends and holidays.

Create Auto-Responders
When a reply is sent from ReplyManager to buyers' messages, Amazon moves that email from "messages in queue" to the "messages sent" area. Creating auto-responders and rules within ReplyManager for when you are closed or your staff is out keeps your Amazon response rating on track. When you return, those messages that need attention are still visible to ReplyManager users in the Amazon folder as UNREAD email.  Auto-responders are not meant to replace a response, but are used to "enhance the customer service experience."

Deal with No Reply Emails Quickly
Don't forget about the "No Reply Required" emails which are also included in the metrics. The best way to handle these is to create a Standard Reply for fast responses. Here's how:

  1. Create a standard reply (in the maintenance area) for a “No Reply Required” email (e.g. Thank you for your response). 
  2. Responding One Email at a Time: Open the email from the buyer, select the "No Reply Required" from the standard reply drop down and click Send and Close. 
  3. Responding in Bulk: You can also send replies in bulk when viewing a list of emails. To do so, select the checkbox next to emails that need a response. Click on the Reply button (at the bottom of the email list). Select the "No Reply Required" standard reply. Click Send and Close.

Amazon will see that the buyer email received a reply and will move the buyer email to your "messages sent" area.

Identify Messages That Require a Response
ReplyManager’s customized rules management helps filter out system notifications, making it easier to identify and respond to buyer questions. Below is the RM rule setup (your system may already be setup with the rule) to filter out those system notifications:

You might be interested in:

Setting Up Weekend Auto-Responders
Setting Up After-Hour Auto-Responders
Setting Up Auto-Responders for US Holidays
UK Auto-Responders for Christmas, Boxing Day & New Year

by Dale Gaines
Customer Care