Amazon is fanatical about customer service, which is why it is so great to have them as a partner in business. Since they handle 99% of customer service issues for their FBA sellers, the main issues to track are customer feedback/satisfaction indicators.
In November 2011, Amazon started sending me performance reports as well as having them buried in Seller Central. You can also access this information from your Seller Central account (Seller Central > Reports > Customer Metrics) any time. I thought I’d share mine so you can see why this report is valuable:
RECENT CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE DATA
(12/25 – 01/01)
(12/02 – 01/01)
(10/03 – 01/01)
|Number of orders||69||535||1,408|
|Pre-fulfillment cancel rate||0.00%||0.00%||0.00%|
|Late Shipment Rate||0.00%||0.00%||0.00%|
|Post ship-confirm refund rate||0.00%||1.68%||2.20%|
|09/05/2011 – 12/04/2011|
|Order defect rate||0.26%|
Amazon has specific targets it wants its sellers to achieve and I’m doing fine according to their criteria. They want your defect rate to be less than 1%. Mine is .26%. Order Defect includes negative feedback from your buyers as well as A2Z claims so you can see why it is important to address all negative feedback and all unhappy customers to the best of your ability.
An A2Z claim is different from an exchange or return. It means a customer is seriously unhappy and wants their money back no questions asked, no need to return the product. An A2Z claim is usually a defective product. I had one this week where the customer was livid that the product fell apart on them and took it out on me (it was new). I’ve politely asked them to share their review with potential customers on the product page and not to punish me for selling what I thought was a perfect product. We’ll see.
You’ll notice that defect rate is from 9/5-12/4/2011 while the rest of the report is through January 1, 2012. This is because Amazon gives you time to work out problems and because customers have a certain amount of time to make claims. Including customer data from December would not be accurate (or fair) at this point. As I noted in the previous paragraph, I’m working with my unhappy customers to remove their negative ratings.
If the customer is unhappy about shipping issues, Amazon covers those and they are not counted against you. They are swamped right now as you can imagine, but someone will be looking at your negative feedback and they are good about taking responsibility for their mistakes.
Your pre-fulfillment cancel rates and late shipment rates should be 0% if Amazon is fulfilling all your products. They usually ship so fast there is no chance for a pre-fulfillment cancel and any late shipment issues are their fault and don’t count against you.
Amazon has several other customer experience reports, which I’ll talk about in future posts.