Customer Service by Amazon (CSBA) Web App Improvements
Customer Pain Points
3rd Party Sellers struggle to delight customers, there are two main reasons that drove the customer frustration. First, Seller-provided Customer Service suffers from compromised service. (“Amazon can provide 24/7 customer service in local languages via phone calls and live chats. As much as I want to improve customer experience, I won’t be able to do that myself”). Second, Sellers negotiate with customers to avoid returns despite the standard Amazon policy (“would you like to keep the item if I offer you a 40% refund”). This issue is more acute for out-of-country Sellers when Sellers’ Language of Preference, culture, and time zone are different from those of customers (Even though we hire bilingual staff to answer customer contacts, we do not have the expertise to handle complex issues such as returns/refund” – China Seller).
As a result, customers initiated 31.6MM contacts to Amazon Customer Service (17.2% of MFN total, +29.6% year over year vs. +1.4% for Business Service Model channel), out of which 83.2% were originated from unresolved BSM contacts. Not authorized to issue an MFN refund, Customer Service Agents have limited options other than filing an A-Z claim on customer’s behalf (“Seller not responding to Customers is the top complaint we received from Customers. We could only help them send an email to the Seller, but it is not any different from what Customers could do. We need better communication between Amazon CS and Sellers.”).
Our vision is to improve the customer experience and Seller growth by allowing all 3rd Party Sellers to delegate customer service to Amazon. By doing so, customers will have access to their trusted Amazon Customer Service for Merchant Fulfillment Network orders, based on the standard Amazon policy. CSBA is a paid service that provides Customer Service support via 24/7 phone calls, live chats, and emails with local language capability, enabling Sellers to improve customer satisfaction and expand their business globally. We aspire to provide a complete CS solution to cover both pre-order and post-order contacts for MFN offers. In addition, we will further strengthen the value of CSBA by building CX analytics reports and a customer-facing identifier, driving a stronger connection between improved CX and Seller gross merchant sales impact.
The CSBA product roadmap consists of the following components: 1) Seller Adoption, which enables Seller opt-in and opt-out; 2) CS Optimization, which directs CSBA contacts and enables refund capability to drive CX parity with AFN; 3) Paid Service, which enables Seller payment and tax by Marketplace; 4) Performance Analytics report, which summarizes customer satisfaction performance and improvement areas; and 5) Customer-facing identifier, which helps customers identify trusted Sellers and improves page conversion.
The proposed experience will iterate in two phases – In phase 1, we will remove the launch blockers and deliver the basic working functions of CSBA including a) Seller opt-in/opt-out, b) CS routing & operations experience for post-order contacts, and c) paid 35 service. In phase 2, we will continue to roll out the full scope of our minimum lovable product, including pre-order coverage, analytics reports, and the CSBA identifier on product detail page. Both phases have been prioritized on tech roadmap as P0 completion by 12/31/2020. Beyond 2020, we will further enhance the CSBA adoption by 1) driving Seller opt-in from homepage cards, 2) building CX gamification and reward mechanisms, 3) improving conversion and down-stream impact of CSBA listings.