Amazon Seller Messages: Tips for Better Buyer-Seller Communication

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Want help with your bookkeeping? We make it easy. Get started, Speak w/ a Founder, or Schedule a Callback

A woman typing on a laptop sending Amazon seller messages.

 

Superior Amazon seller messages are vital to any seller’s customer satisfaction score. In this post, we’ll go over some tips to level up with buyer-seller messaging. This starts with how to set up the messaging system on your end. Then we’ll go into the tips and strategies that will help you serve customers better. We’ll include some information about the Amazon seller tools that you can use, too. On Amazon, we know that happy customers means better success for you!

 

What Are Amazon Seller Messages?

 

For the purposes of this post, we define Amazon seller messages as any and all communications between sellers and customers. Per Amazon’s rules, all such communications must go through their Buyer-Seller Messaging Service. According to Amazon, this system makes communications simpler and provides protection for both parties at the same time. Of course, the focus is on protecting their customers. However, sellers can take advantage of the system, too.

 

Buyer-Seller Messaging opens a clear line of communication between sellers and customers. When someone buys from you, they always know where they can contact you. It’s one of many standards on the Amazon marketplace that they can depend on. This immediately lowers their stress levels when they need to ask you a question about your product. This is especially helpful when they want to report a problem with their purchase. 

 

The system is also a safe space within which you can talk about any issues with an item. If the customer applies for a return or a refund, all the communication and documentation is nicely organized in one place. Customers who try to have their cake and eat it too will not get away with it.

 

Setting Up Buyer-Seller Messaging on Amazon

 

Here’s a simplified, step-by-step guide to enabling Buyer-Seller Messaging in your Amazon Seller Central settings:

 

First, log in to your Seller Central account. Use a computer if you can, since this will be much easier. Once you are logged in, near the top right area of the page, you will see a gear icon. This is the Settings that you will clock on to open a drop down menu. On the Settings dropdown, select the item that says, “Notification Preferences”. Navigate to “Messaging” and select the “Edit” option. Then make sure that the box next to “Buyer Messages” has a check mark in it. 

 

Next, enter the email you want buyers to send messages to. This will give you a copy of all messages straight to your inbox. Of course, this does not bypass the system, but simply makes it more convenient for you. Finally. Don’t forget to save these settings before you close that page. 

 

A woman wearing a mustard yellow sweater typing Amazon seller messages on a laptop.

 

Accessing the Buyer-Seller Messaging Service

 

As soon as you enable buyer-seller messaging, you can access the Amazon Message Center within your account. While logged in, navigate to “Your Account” in Seller Central. You can find it when you click on your seller name at the top right of the page. Your account page will show you a list of options. Scroll past Orders, Prime, etc., and click on “Your Messages”. This will open the Amazon Message Center. Once loaded, you will see an inbox that will populate with all your messages to and from buyers. 

 

If you want to sort these messages, you can click on “Sent Messages” to see your messages to customers. You can also choose  “Buyer/Seller Messages” to exclude automated messages from Amazon, like order and shipping confirmations. Don’t simply ignore all of these altogether, though. Amazon sends some important messages that you need to read.

 

If you get into the system and your inbox is empty, this probably means that you have buyer-seller messages disabled. Go over the steps above and make sure you save your changes. If you still have issues after you know you should have something in there, contact Amazon. Note that some Amazon customers don’t like receiving messages. If any buyers opted out, you will get a notification after messaging them that your message is undeliverable. 

 

Updating Messaging Notification Preferences 

 

For efficient communication, you need to make sure you get notified of every incoming message. Of course, if you hired a VA, you don’t need to track messages that closely. Just make sure that you are getting notifications when they are not working. This means days off, extra hours during peak seasons, and the like. 

 

Buyer-Seller Messaging gives you flexibility in terms of how you want to be notified. This applies to buyer messages and alerts about your Amazon Seller account, too. If you like, you can even set different notification types to go to different email addresses. This can be very useful if you are divvying up responsibilities with a business partner. If you would rather check in via Seller Central for certain concerns, you can disable those notification types. 

 

Note that the options you have available depend on your selling plan. You can check what options you can use by visiting your Notification Preferences. Some of the available notifications types include:

 

  • Order notifications for each order placed. 
    • Separate FBA order and inbound shipment notifications.
  • Notifications for each return request under seller-fulfilled orders.
  • Notifications for each instance when a buyer disputes a charge.
  • Tips and alerts from Amazon about new features, issues with your account, schedule changes, outages, etc.
  • Emergency notifications about possible impacts of large-scale events, such as delayed shipments during Black Friday. 

 

Note: Make sure Amazon can contact you easily through your Emergency Contact phone number! The contacts tab on your account shows the Merchant Default Contact information you have set. Only primary account users in Seller Central can make changes to the email address there.

 

Types of Amazon Seller Messages

 

Smiling happy young Asian woman entrepreneur receiving phone call for new sales order among boxes of product with laptop computer. Success online business and eCommerce concept.

 

Necessary Permitted Messages

 

Sellers must send certain messages to customers from time to time. These messages are those that Amazon considers essential to completing transactions on the marketplace. They include responding to all customer service inquiries. These are limited to replies to customers who first contacted you about a product you sell or that they bought from you on Amazon. 

 

Proactive Amazon Messages

 

Usually, sellers respond to buyer messages. They don’t often initiate contact. However, Amazon does allow sellers to proactively message buyers under certain conditions. These are called Proactive Permitted Messages. Sellers can initiate these messages via email and using the templates that Amazon provides. You can find these in the “Contact Buyer” or “Request a Review” page in Seller Central. 

 

Amazon allows sellers to message buyers to resolve issues with how their order will be fulfilled. This means reaching out to the buyer before they message with a complaint. For example, if a seller sees that Amazon will be late with the delivery, they can send an email. This way, you can get ahead of the situation to help customers understand what’s happening. Benign proactive in this way saves you a lot of possible trouble with angry buyers. 

 

If you need additional information to complete a order so a buyer can receive their purchase, you can ask them. This also applies to customization details, delivery scheduling, returns, invoicing, scheduling a Home Services appointment, and the like. You can also request a product review and seller feedback. Make sure that you know what the specific rules are for these first, though, and follow them carefully.

 

Note that you can only send proactive permitted messages within 30 days of order completion. Each message must have the unique 17-digit order ID and you must use the buyer’s preferred language. Amazon recommends using their templates, third-party applications or APIs, which automatically includes the order ID. This helps you stay compliant. However, a little personalization can go a very long way to showing your buyers that you care.

 

Customer Service Messages

 

Outside of the strict Amazon rules for customer messaging are the underlying basics. The bottom line requirement is to take care of customers. If you honestly care about them, you will naturally want to do that. Not every step is intuitive, however. 

 

Customer service representatives get specific training in how to care for customers. This involves the practicals of serving them to the highest level, depending on specific needs. This includes the particulars of the Amazon marketplace, the products they’re dealing with, and other specific concerns. If you don’t know their needs, you can’t serve them even if you care deeply. Learning about them or hiring someone who knows the basics help you cater to them as Amazon demands. Then you can keep them happy, which boosts your scores and builds loyalty, which propels you towards success. And we don’t have to remind you that success on a marketplace like Amazon is a great achievement. Once you’ve made it there, you can put that on your resume, and make it anywhere.

 

Using Buyer-Seller Messages Effectively

 

A man typing on a laptop

 

Every seller needs strategies for how to solve problems that can negatively impact customer satisfaction. This is because unhappy customers tend to leave bad reviews. This is doubly troubling because happy customers are far less likely to leave good reviews. This makes you look disproportionately bad in the eyes of prospective buyers. 

 

If you haven’t yet, check out our post on tips to get Amazon seller reviews. Of course, you need to know how to take good care of buyers first. This way, you can be sure they’ll rate you five stars, an maybe four on an off day. Below are some tips around how to use messaging to keep customers happy.

 

Timely Responses

 

You must take steps to ensure that you can always respond to customers within the time Amazon allows. This is not simply an Amazon rule, although that is vital to your performance metrics. Amazon creates these rules based on what customers want. And because Amazon guarantees it, they expect it. Note that Amazon includes holidays and weekends when they calculate your message response times.

 

We recommend that you check new messages from buyers twice a day. Ideally, however, you should answer these messages immediately. That’s what gets you top ratings and top customer satisfaction scores. If you have a large enough store with a high volume of sales, this can be challenging to do on your own. Your best bet to handling these messages with excellence is to hire a customer support virtual assistant

 

These VAs are trained in handling customers with care. You can even find assistants with Amazon experience, so they will know the requirements and the system. This way, you can make sure to consistently deliver quality service in a timely manner. As the assistant learns more about your business, they will improve. The goal is for them to be able to represent your brand well and build trust with buyers. When Amazon customers see you as reliable and trustworthy, Amazon sees you as a successful store that they will promote. 

 

If you fail to respond to customer messages in a timely manner, it will be counted against you. This is why you must make sure to always click “no response needed” if the customer just sent a “thank you”, for example. If you are consistently bad at customer communication, Amazon can go as far as suspend your selling privileges or even cancel your seller account.

 

Leveraging Autoresponders 

 

You can set certain automatic responses in the Amazon messaging system. Amazon does not count these messages as replies, though. The messaging system only counts actual replies made by a human in their calculation of response scores. This means that you can’t use it to get positive seller response ratings.

 

We still recommend using automated replies because it lets customers know that you got their message. If you have a customer service agent on duty, and they can answer messages within the hour, you don’t need these automations. They just crowds a buyer’s inbox and can confuse them. If it’s off hours, though, you can send an automation that tells them you’ll get back to them when you’re back online.

 

If you’re interested, you can check out autoresponders like FeedbackFive or SellerLabs. If you choose to use one of these Amazon seller tools, just make sure you set it up properly and still follow Amazon’s guidelines. 

 

Compliance for Amazon Seller Messages

 

Failure to adhere to Amazon’s communication guidelines could result in the loss of proactive messaging privileges. Policy violations also lead to a lowered AHR (Account Heath Rating). Low account health can lead to account suspension or even termination if violations remain unresolved. We highly recommend that you:

 

  • Stay informed and keep updated on new and developing Amazon policies related to their Communication Guidelines. 
  • Use the Request a Review feature.
  • Use trusted third-party software to help create and automate compliant messages.

 

 

What Is EcomBalance? 

 

 

EcomBalance is a monthly bookkeeping service specialized for eCommerce companies selling on Amazon, Shopify, Ebay, Etsy, WooCommerce, & other eCommerce channels.

 

We take monthly bookkeeping off your plate and deliver you your financial statements by the 15th or 20th of each month.

 

You’ll have your Profit and Loss Statement, Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow Statement ready for analysis each month so you and your business partners can make better business decisions.

 

Interested in learning more? Schedule a call with our CEO, Nathan Hirsch.

 

And here’s some free resources:

 

 

Conclusion

 

Amazon sellers don’t get to communicate with customers any old way they choose. Amazon has a very specific messaging platform where sellers can contact buyers. More than that, the marketplace has very strict rules in place for what sellers can and cannot communicate about. This makes the quality of your messaging to customers all the more important. We hope that this helped you understand how you can start building better buyer-seller communication.

 

Want bookkeeping off your plate? We’ve got you! Get started, Speak w/ a Founder, or Schedule a Callback

Recent Posts

Picture of Julia Valdez

Julia Valdez

Julia Valdez is Freelance Writer and Agency Owner. She regularly writes on topics related to Business Finances, Growth, Hiring, Entrepreneurship, and more.

Avoid the Most Common Ecommerce Bookkeeping Mistakes

Get step-by-step processes to avoid 10 common eCommerce bookkeeping mistakes.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Exclusive finance guide

Want better bookkeeping?

It's possible! Subscribe below & we'll send you our Bookkeeping Packet. A pack of resources to teach you about bookkeeping.

You’ll get our Ecommerce Bookkeeping Guide, The 10 Ecommerce Bookkeeping Mistakes Ebook, our Monthly Finance Meeting Agenda, & a few surprises!