Home > Sell On Amazon > Customer Satisfaction (Part 3)

Customer Satisfaction (Part 3)

Buyers want their product quickly and when you promised it.  If it’s late by even a day you can expect negative feedback.

The simplest solution to minimize this is to under promise and over deliver.  If you believe you can ship your product anywhere in the country within 3 days, promise it for 5 day delivery.  Products will sometimes be delayed in transit, this will give you a couple of days of slack without triggering negative feedback.  Of course, how long you are promising for delivery affects a customer’s decision on whether to buy from you or someone else, so don’t be overly pessimistic about delivery date or it will affect your sales.

If you know that for any reason a delivery is going to be later than what you had promised, do contact the buyer and let them know.  They’ll probably be unhappy and send a critical reply, but as an honest retailer you need to proactively keep them informed of any bad news.  From a customer’s perspective having an item they bought silently not show up on the expected delivery date leaves an extremely negative view of the retailer.

Being out of stock on a product is an extreme example of a product not arriving within the specified time – it doesn’t arrive at all.  Whenever you’re out of stock on an item, you need to stop displaying it, or at least put a message on the product page that you’re out of stock and when you expect to be able to ship it again.  Don’t let customers continue to buy a product that you know is out of stock, that’s a sure way to make them extremely unhappy.

Since I recommend new retailers start by selling on Amazon, I’m going to give some Amazon-specific advice here.  Unless you’re using Fulfillment By Amazon, you’ll be responsible for maintaining how many of each item you inventory are available for sale.  When you receive new inventory you have to update your listings to increment the number available, and when one of your products is sold Amazon decrements the number you have available.  When the number of items available for sale gets to zero Amazon stops displaying your product offer.

If you don’t maintain accurate item counts you’ll have to cancel orders for products that are out of stock.  This always makes customers unhappy because you’ve wasted their time.  They went through the whole process of placing their order, and you cancelled it, so they have to do it all again.  Show respect for your customers’ time by maintaining accurate product counts.

I should mention the converse of this problem here too.  If you don’t keep accurate item counts your listing will stop being displayed when Amazon believes you have none left, and you won’t sell any, even if you do in fact have them in stock.

For whatever system you have in mind for maintaining accurate product counts, keep in mind that sales volume is much higher during the Christmas Season than it is at any other time of year.  This is the time of year that accurate product counts are the most important, and also the most difficult to maintain.

If you use Fulfillment By Amazon for your fulfillment service maintaining accurate inventory count isn’t a problem.  Amazon keeps track of how much you actually have in inventory so you never have to update your listings with this information.

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