Seller Central Tip #6 – The Magic Words for Communicating with Seller Central

Nothing is more frustrating than trying to get your point across to a Seller Central representative and feeling like you 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.

To open a case, you will need to log in to your 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 browse through the list of issues to find the one that best fits the problem you need assistance with.

When you’re communicating with a Seller Central representative through the “Contact Us” button, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind:

1. Be prepared with the correct info.

You will need to provide the basic information about the specific issue you are having problems with, so it helps to have that information handy before you open your case. If it’s a shipment problem, be sure you know the shipment number. If it’s a problem with a particular product, be sure you know the ASIN or UPC. Any other details you can provide, including screen shots, would be helpful to the representative who assists you.

2. Always start with e-mail.

You will be given the option to have the representative respond to you via e-mail or phone. We recommend always sending an e-mail detailing your issue and requesting an e-mail response. It’s good to have a paper trail proving what happened in the course of your case. You may not need that paper trail in the future, but it’s good to have it just in case. Also, sometimes the representative will call you even if you request an e-mail. Other times they call to tell you they’ve e-mailed you (a bit of overkill, don’t you think?). It’s a good idea to save the Seller Central number in your phone’s contacts so you’ll 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 if you’re answering your third or fourth response in your case, stay polite with the Seller Central representatives. Always thank them for their time and always use the magic word “please.”

4. Use the “magic words.”

Besides the word “please,” Seller Central representatives also respond well when you use a few other magic words. Amazon corporate training emphasizes core concepts that you, too, can emphasize in order to help the Seller Central representative understand your request better:

  • “The customer experience” – You’re likely aware that Amazon desires to be the most customer-centric store on the planet. They want customers to have an amazing experience shopping on their website, in order to keep them as loyal buyers in the future. Seller Central representatives are trained to prioritize the customer experience over other concerns, including your own requests as a third-party seller. 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 using the magic words:

Not so effective: Please help me change the title of this product so that I can 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.

  • “Take ownership” – Amazon trains their representatives to take ownership of problems and work to find the best solution. If you are having problems with getting the run-around on your case and the representative isn’t being helpful, you can gently remind them to take ownership of this issue.

Example: Thank you for continuing to assist me. We have already been working on this problem 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.

4. Be persistent.

Sometimes you won’t get a good answer on your first (or maybe even second) try at communicating with Seller Central. If you know the answer you receive on the first response is not correct, be persistent (but always politely persistent!) and reopen the case. This might be a good time to use the “take ownership” phrase – or you can 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 you below. If you aren’t able to help me get the correct reimbursement, please escalate this case to your supervisor. I appreciate your help!

Hopefully you are able to use the tips in this blog post to learn some ways to more clearly communicate with Seller Central representatives. As Amazon sellers, we always want to keep in mind that there’s a human at the other end of our e-mails to Amazon. Communication can be difficult in any situation, but there are ways to make improvements on our end when it comes to opening cases in Seller Central.

Now, I’d love to hear from you! What “magic” words or strategies have you used in order to effectively communicate with a Seller Central representative? Share your tips in the comments below.


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9 responses to “Seller Central Tip #6 – The Magic Words for Communicating with Seller Central

  1. As you mentioned, being polite is the main key. I’ve worked in sales most of my adult life and customer service is the difference. “Could you help me?”, “could you please explain something to me, you know way more than I do!” Make that rep feel as though they are tops in their field. And I always ask, how do I leave you a very positive feedback?

  2. Oh, Seller Central. The bane of my existence. They are super polite but almost completely ineffective. One time after a particularly frustrating protracted exchange with them I fired off a rant to Jeff Bezos telling him I would take a mean efficient rep over a polite inept one all day long. Insult me all you want, as long as you can actually help me, we’re good. 🙂 The reps tell you what they think you want to hear, give you downright wrong information, fill you with that “not to worry” nonsense, and they are just the most ineffective bunch I’ve ever encountered. I did receive some follow up from my rant, but nothing ever changes. I will try incorporating some of these suggestions to see if that will help. I’ve invoked the customer experience thing before but I’ve never really found anything that helps resolve things in one try. I dream of a day when one-call resolution is the order of the day. But I will try these suggestions. Thanks!

    • I know most of these Seller Support reps are doing the best they can, but unfortunately, they are not well trained – and have a LOT to remember while being under pressure from Amazon to close the cases as fast as they can. But overall, they are doing their best and it’s up to use to help them by communicating clearly and without emotion to help us accomplish the goal of the opened case. Sometimes it takes back and forth to finally find understanding. If that doesn’t work, then I suggest the “escalate” idea. Here’s to better Seller Support conversations in the days ahead!

      • I would disagree that the reps are under pressure to close cases quickly because I’ve currently got around 15 cases that are pending an Amazon response and have been in that state for literally months. Frustration City!!

        • Tony, I talked with a Seller Rep on the phone yesterday and she told me she was in charge of the cases that have been open a long time… and she said some Seller Reps don’t work there anymore and left cases open that she is trying to work on closing. Since the worker is not there anymore, then there is no one pressured to close them. If you have cases in limbo, reply to them once a week to keep reminding someone to act on them.

  3. I’ve called, emailed, even written certified mail and it’s always the same thing. Every now and then.. you get someone who will actually read. I just feel like I’m dealing with robots all the time. Even one time Jeff answered himself and gave no resolution. Amazon is a great platform to sell on but it is very frustrating. Most of the reps can barely do anything which is not their fault but each call always turned into having to email customer support which is annoying spending time on the phone just to have to email for a response that usually does not answer your initial problem or even have do with your problem most of the time.

    • It can be frustrating. I too deal with Seller Reps who just use “cut and paste” responses from time to time – that’s why I use the “escalate” tip from above. I’m just glad that the benefits of Amazon FBA far out-weight the occasional frustrations.

  4. I was fortunate to have 3 of 5 cases that I worked over chat tonight handled in a timely (one call) manner. I was amazed. I did come prepared and had everything they would need to resolve the issue ready to upload into the case as I walked through each issue with the support agent. Sometimes you get a great one and other times.. not so much. Your tips are spot on though.

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