Amazon Germany has different demands and customer behaviours. Today’s episode equips us to manage our approach to our German customers.
Customer service in Germany and English customer service.
Keep the customers happy so you will be too.
Some at the very beginning because they’re not doing well at it.
Others are big. They realise that if they employed a VA, that person might get sick and been on holiday.
They are there 24/7 even Xmas.
Top sellers don’t want to work on Xmas in Amazon Germany.
Usually, they go up from Oct to Jan; Summer is usually lower.
Sellers set things up in summer for Q4.
They have a system in place so even if the seller takes a whole day off. The guarantee is to always cover the service.
Germany is a big market – Germans don’t like mistakes.
If you had a German native speaker who translates the templates, but they have different questions than English customers!
There is a great danger of not answering the question in Amazon Germany.
This can increase the danger of negative reviews.
Before you could send an invoice email and ask if the product turned up okay.
If the customer responded, there was a point of contact.
That has just gone – Amazon is changing the system so the customer can download the invoice directly.
That means that customer emails are even more important than they were!
For example, you sent a new product, you can follow up on the following week.
German customer service normally doesn’t do follow up.
If you make a special effort, you can steer people in the right direction.
Write Customer Service templates (40 pages) for individual sellers
– need to understand German if you do that.
You can’t save templates at the moment!
You can also use Evernote – use tags
Someone in the USA sends a short email saying “did it arrive okay?”
Now in Amazon Germany, you have to get creative.
If a customer is fed up with a company and they pull it around, that makes a huge difference emotionally to the customer.
The world is changing – robots probably can’t help! It’s frustrating!
Making the customer happy – this is a luxury.
“Kill them with kindness” Turn frustration around into something they can’t possibly be mad at!
I’m very very sorry – send out a new product – maybe put a cheap product in with it to make an impression. And maybe a note.
It’s critical to move them out of frustration.
Most customer service in Germany is pretty terrible. So when consumers email, they have a poor expectation.
Email them after things are sorted – “That’s great. If you could share your experience with other customers, that would really help.”
A client sold inflatable swimming mats. Make yourself more human.
The more human you are, the more people will like you.
You can’t do this all the time – you have to train to someone in the fine balance.
USA, France, Italy, Spain, Germany UK in English or German
They do work in English – but every week there is Quality Assurance – Nadine is involved but does not speak Italian, Spanish or French.
One Canadian! Not Mexico. Not China, India, Japan.
How to address customers in general
– Friendly not too “professional” a tone
It’s small scale.
Formal versus informal “you”.
There are two types of ways of addressing the customer “Sie” (formal) and “Du” (informal).
For example, with medical products, you would never address someone casually.
You’d have to have a more professional tone in your email.
Many sellers sell very professional type products and also family products.
You’ll need to distinguish this with different templates.
Every time they accept a client, they look at the shops and decide on the formality level.
If you set up templates because you don’t want to employ German-speaking customer service, you’ll need to have different versions.
A lot of sellers who comment on negative reviews just copy and paste. It’s very important when customers browse negative reviews that they see comments are taken care of. And 1 version looks bad. 3-4 versions are better.
Non-public customer service can use the same email.
Because of GDPR, you have to be very careful – you need to educate yourself about what is and is not allowed.
If you have a more formal product, you need to separate male and female (Mr or Mrs) and last name. It has to be very altered to your customer base.
Germans are not fans of being complimented a lot in return for a review – it sounds fake!
Amazon has now removed the possibility of invoice emails in Germany.
Some emails are automatically set up to send to customers who refund.
“This package has been opened before” – upset
If that happens then just send something out – doesn’t work because needs to go to Amazon to get money back. “But keep in touch with us”
You can run software to get money back from Amazon which is only triggered when a customer complains.
It’s so important to know what the customer is experiencing – you need to know about product issues.
It can potentially have huge consequences.
Make sure your VA makes you a highlight report of what the Customer Service noticed about products.
Eg there’s this issue with the backpack handle, material here rips.
Customer service feels annoying but it is actually a very important precious contact.
Do ask people to send reports.
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We have other interviews about Amazon Germany and Building an E-Commerce team with Nadine Eich