Amazon Seller Central was designed to help brands and merchants effectively manage all parts of their Amazon business. But trying to communicate with Amazon Seller Central can be frustrating for merchants who feel like they are continually being misunderstood.
In previous blog posts, we have covered ways to handle different glitches within the Amazon inventory system – some of which require opening a case and sending a written message to ask for an investigation, a reimbursement, or some other type of assistance. Here, we outline the process to help merchants better manage their activity in Seller Central for optimal results.
To open a case, the merchant will need to log in to their Amazon seller account and click on “Help” in the top right corner of the screen.
A box will pop up where you can click “Contact Us” at the bottom.
Next, you will see the question, “What service can we help you with?” You’ll want to click “Selling on Amazon,” which will bring up a list of options for the type of issue you are having.
You can then browse through the list of topics to find the one that best fits the problem you need assistance with.
When communicating with a Seller Central representative through the “Contact Us” button, there are five things that are important for a merchant to keep in mind. Here they are.
1. Be prepared with the correct info before you communicate with Amazon
To communicate with Amazon Seller Central you will need to provide the basic information about the specific issue they are having problems with, so it helps to have that information handy before opening a case. For example, if experiencing a shipment problem, be sure to know the shipment number. If it’s a problem with a particular product, be sure to have the ASIN or UPC on hand. Any other details that can be provided, including screenshots, are helpful to the representative assisting the case.
2. Always start with email
Merchants are given the option to have the representative respond to them via email or phone. We recommend always sending an email detailing your issue and requesting an email response. It’s good to have a paper trail proving what happened throughout each case. While the paper trail may not be needed in the future, it’s best practice to have it just in case.
Sometimes the representative will call even if the merchant has requested an email. They may also call to inform the merchant that they’ve emailed them (a bit of overkill, perhaps?). Because of this, it’s recommended that merchants save the Seller Central phone number in their phone’s contacts, so they’ll always know Amazon is on the line the next time they call.
3. Be polite
Your mom was right: Politeness goes a long way in this world. So be polite! Even when answering a third or fourth response within a case, it’s always advantageous for solution-oriented merchants to stay polite with the Seller Central representatives. Make sure to thank them for their time and always use the magic word “please”.
4. Use the “magic words” when you communicate with Amazon
Besides the word “please,” Seller Central representatives also respond well to several other “magic words”. Amazon corporate training emphasises core concepts that each merchant can likewise emphasise to help the Seller Central representative understand their request better:
The customer experience
It’s well known that Amazon desires to be the most customer-centric marketplace on the planet. It’s their aim for customers to have a fantastic experience shopping on their website, to keep them as loyal buyers in the future. Seller Central representatives are trained to prioritise the customer experience over other concerns, including merchants’ own requests as third-party sellers. If you can find a way to tell the representative how your problem is affecting the customer experience, you are much more likely to get a positive response.
Here’s an example of writing the same request two different ways, one which uses the magic words, and one which does not:
- Not so effective: Please help me change the title of this product to get more sales. The current title is wrong, and I can’t get my product on the first search page.
- More effective: The current title of this product is affecting the customer experience because customers cannot easily find it in a search using the correct title. Please change the title of the product to improve the customer experience.
Can you notice the difference in the effectiveness of each sentence?
Take ownership: Amazon trains their representatives to take ownership of problems and find the best solution. In situations where a merchant is experiencing issues and getting the run-around on their case from a representative isn’t being helpful, the best course of action is for the merchant to gently remind the representative to take ownership of this issue.
- Example: Thank you for continuing to assist me. We have been working on this issue for over a week now, and we still haven’t solved the problem. Please take ownership of this issue and help me investigate the best solution.
5. Be persistent
Unfortunately, it does happen that a merchant fails to get a satisfactory answer when they try to communicate with Amazon Seller Central. If the answer received in the first response is incorrect or doesn’t fully resolve the situation, it’s best to be politely persistent and reopen the case. This might be a good time to use the “take ownership” phrase – or to try another magic word: escalate.
- Example: Thank you for continuing to assist me on this issue. The reimbursement amount I received is unfair. Please refer to the numbers I have provided below. If you cannot help me get the correct reimbursement, please escalate this case to your supervisor. I appreciate your help!
Bonus Tips To Communicate With Amazon
These three bonus tips are courtesy of our friends at Skubana. The aim is to get a higher quality level of support.
- Call Amazon Seller Support, ask for the Captive FBA team, or request to speak with an FBA Captive Associate. This can help with potential language barrier issues (since Captives are based in the United States or Costa Rica) and will ensure that the agent has a high level of expertise and knowledge. Captives are trained to handle the most challenging problems faced by Amazon sellers.
- Use the TAX question section when contacting Amazon Support. This signals to those in charge of support that the question is urgent and needs immediate assistance. It also helps guarantee that the issue is resolved by a highly experienced agent.
- Be mindful of time differences when calling Amazon. Indian Standard Time is 9 hours and 30 minutes ahead of Eastern. So, calling at 5:51 PM EST / 3:21 AM IST would guarantee being able to reach an agent in the US or South America.
We hope that the tips shared in this blog post help you to better communicate with Amazon Seller Central. As Amazon sellers, it’s essential to keep a high standard of conduct, which means keeping in mind that there’s a human at the other end of our emails to Amazon. Communication can be difficult in any situation – especially when needing to resolve complex issues – but there are ways to optimise communication to generate better outcomes when opening cases in Seller Central.
Guest post by Stephen Smotherman, Full-Time FBA updated for 2022