Home > Sell On Amazon > Customer Satisfaction (Part 4)

Customer Satisfaction (Part 4)

It’s essential to reply promptly to any email you receive.  Don’t just check for customer email once per day, check it several times per day.  Check it more often than normal when you do receive an email so that if the customer has more questions you can address it quickly, and not make them wait several hours for each of your replies.

If you can’t provide a quick resolution to the customer’s question, answer their email immediately anyway just to acknowledge that you received it and are working on it for them, rather than making them wait a long time in silence while you work on resolving it.  And finally, if it takes several days to resolve the issue send them an update every couple of days so they know the current status and that you haven’t forgotten about them.

When you communicate with a customer, whether on the phone or by email, you have to be completely professional at all times.  This won’t always be easy, much of customer communication occurs when something has gone wrong and the customer is not happy.  Some customers will say things that would naturally evoke a strong reaction on your part.

No matter what the circumstances are, or what the customer says, you must be completely professional and focused on reaching a quick and fair resolution of the problem at all times.  You must never say anything that could escalate the situation.  You cannot allow anything negative to slip into your responses, regardless of how you feel.  This is actually one of the reasons I prefer to use email communication with customers, I have the opportunity to carefully review the contents and make sure it can’t be misinterpreted in a negative way before sending it to the customer.

One of the easiest ways to make your customers unhappy is to sell them products that are fakes.  Especially when you’re starting out, you’ll probably be selling name brand products.  You need to make certain the products you’re selling are legitimate, not fakes.  The way to do this is to contact the brand manufacturer and buy your inventory directly from them, or their authorized distributors.

If you search the internet you’ll find other sources of name brand products, often at a lower cost than what the manufacturer is charging.  Are they legitimate or knock offs?  You don’t know.  But if you sell them as name brand, and they turn out to be imitation, your unlucky customers are going to be beyond irate.  Whatever marketplaces you sell on (Amazon, eBay, etc.) will ban you for selling fakes.

As an honest retailer you have an obligation to your customers to sell them the product you claimed to be selling, don’t buy from unauthorized wholesalers. Selling on established marketplaces is a great opportunity, worth far more than any short term profits you may make by selling merchandise that may not be legitimate.

Random Observations

In keeping with this post’s theme of customer satisfaction, I wanted to mention a recent customer interaction that I haven’t experienced before.  We received an email from a customer who hadn’t received her product yet (ultimately we determined it was lost in transit).  What was unique about this email was that it was in Spanish.

I took Spanish in high school and college many years ago, and between that and the Internet I was able to read the email and send a meaningful reply – with very bad grammar I’m sure, but the communication was effective nonetheless.  If you ever feel that the foreign language you took in school was a waste of time, have heart, you may end up using it sometime in your life after all!

After so many years of selling online it’s a little surprising this is the first time we had a customer who didn’t speak English.  We’re lucky that the language they did speak was Spanish, which I happened to have some background in.  If she had spoken anything other than Spanish or French I would have needed to find someone who spoke her language in a hurry.

When we start selling directly in Canada the two main languages are English and French, and I could probably muddle through emails in French in an emergency.  But I would try to hire someone on retainer who speaks French fluently to handle emails in French for me, good customer communication is essential and my muddling through doesn’t qualify.


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