Few topics are given as underserved amount of attention as customer service when it comes to thriving as an Amazon seller.
Why? Well because it can be boring, reactive, or, sometimes, just plain annoying. Some customers will never be satisfied, so why try? We’ve heard dozens of sellers tell us that.
But customer service and customer experience go far beyond that one customer. It goes to all of your customers—past, present, and future.
And it’s time you started investing your attention, time, or delegated superpowers into your customer service, which you should include into your Amazon business strategies toolbox.
What Does Good Customer Service Mean & Why Is It Important?
- 1Costumer Service = Sales
- 2Customer Service = Marketing
- 3Customer Service = Brand Equity
Let’s break those down a bit.
Amazon Seller Customer Service = Sales
In the post-modern world, where experience is the driver of our truth and perception, we love a good recommendation. Why? Because it means someone we trust had an experience worthwhile, and we want to have the same.
Guess how people react to good customer experience.
Right. They love it.
Take it from Harvard Business Review research which says that engaged customers are:
That’s four very, very good reasons to work to provide a positive and engaging experience for your customer. We’ll discuss HOW to create these below and in our ‘application’ post. For now, remember that what you create for your customers—before, during, and after sales—is going to have an impact on your bottom line.
But what about when things don’t go so well? What about the times when a customer—for reasons known or unknown—receives a poor customer experience.
That’s okay! In some cases, negative reviews can actually boost sales.Yes, you read that right—and Harvard Business Review did the research.
Customer Service = Marketing
You can spend a fortune on marketing. You can build a funnel driving thousands to your pages and get an early boost in sales.
But if you’re selling something that your customers don’t LOVE, the tide is going to turn. It will. People will see negative reviews and be turned off. And if you’re selling on Amazon, your history is public. You can’t hide from your customer experiences.
So part of your marketing strategy should be driving great customer service and experience.
Encourage happy users to leave good reviews, but be specific. A generally good review loses its legs pretty quickly. A specific one really helps drive sales, especially if the specific benefit speaks to a potential customer’s pain.
But getting good reviews is the easy part. What about negative reviews?
Here’s the truth. You must respond to negative reviews. Don’t be afraid, no matter how bad it is. Remember that this is part of the “marketing” process for your product and your brand.
Here’s why it’s vital.
Most customers WILL read reviews before making a purchase. So you’ll need to monitor what’s being said on there. One untouched negative review could derail your sales and slow momentum.
If people see that you’ve responded to negative feedback, that’s a huge step forward.
But you’ll want to respond in the right way.
First rule on this: don’t fight with the customer. Their experience is their experience, even if they’re being petty about something.
Customer Service = Brand Equity
Brand equity is the value of your brand name. It’s actually a quantifiable thing—sort of. If one company is going to acquire another company, there are analysts who work to figure out the dollar value of the soon-to-be-acquired brand.
Like if Nike were going to buy FILA, for instance, they would look at revenue, profit margin, logistics costs and all of those numbers. Bmost trustworthy brandsut they’d also have to pay for the value of the FILA brand—for those that like that logo and that aesthetic on their shoes and clothing.
Your brand has a value too. It might be low now but eventually it could be worth something and, as we said earlier, it could be a crucial park of marketing.
A study done recently in the restaurant industry showed, “empirical evidence that customer service has a significant positive effect on all of the dimensions of brand equity.”
Or take it from this FORBES article titled ‘Customer Service is The New Brand’ — Today, 89% of companies compete primarily on the basis of customer experience – up from just 36% in 2010.”
It’s becoming a vital part of your brand’s identity to be obsessed with the experience of your customers.
So how do you make sure your brand is identified with a stellar customer experience? Or maybe one that’s better than your competitors.
Well you practice great customer service. One example of doing that is understanding Service Recovery Paradox and how you can use it.
Service Recovery Paradox
What is Service Recovery Paradox?
It’s the paradox that after a bad customer service experience, a customer can actually come away with a higher opinion of that brand.
Well that’s the recovery part. See, if you find that a customer of yours has experienced something negative and you’re able to respond positively. You can boost their satisfaction rating above where it started.
It’s true! A bad experience mixed with the right customer service response can recover satisfaction ratings above where they began.
Here’s a graph showing that:
Image source: pivotpointsolutions.net
Why does this work the way it does? The answer is one word: trust.
By making a service recovery, you’re instilling trust in your customer. And trust is an enormous part of business. So important that one of the most respected business writers of all time wrote a whole book about the effect of trust in business.
And not just any book. A book that was voted the #1 Boot To Read by 100 CEOs of some of the world’s biggest companies.
There’s a ton of wisdom in the book but much boils down to the fact that consumers love to buy from brands they trust. That’s a huge part of the value of your brand equity.
Want proof? Take a look at this list of the world’s best global brands in 2018. And then look at this list of the most trustworthy brands. See a lot of overlap. Almost every single company on the 30 most trustworthy is listed on the “best” as well.
And you can say, “well these are the biggest companies”. But we don’t always trust big companies. There are many that are very big but not trusted. Some oil and gas companies make it in that list.
Either way, the brand equity of these huge multinationals is boosted by their brand being trusted. It adds value to more concrete measurements like revenue and profit.
As an Amazon seller, you’re providing customers with products that you want them to love. In doing so, you’re also building a brand.
Every part of the customer experience will be part of what that brand becomes. This includes the sale, as well as pre-sale and post-sale.
Your goal is to serve your customers in a way that they love the experience beyond the product. That’s great customer service and as we looked at above, that’s what helps bring in Sales, scale your Marketing efforts, and build better Brand Equity.
In this article, we’ve explored some characteristics of good customer service, as well as all the benefits it can bring your Amazon FBA business.
If you're having trouble providing good customer service to your customers, don't hesitate to contact us, as the SellerPlex team would be more than happy to help!
And, of course, tell us: what does good customer service mean to you?