Back to blog

Learn with Threecolts

Small group workshops to help you learn, optimize, and grow.

Learn About Coaching

What Amazon FBA Customer Service Covers (and What It Doesn’t)

Threecolts
Dave Consolazio
Published
October 17, 2023
Modified
May 7, 2024
Damaged box with fragile sticker and packing peanuts slipping out

Amazon’s Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) program plays a large role in what makes Amazon the biggest e-commerce site in the United States and one of the biggest online retailers in the world. By giving third-party sellers access to Amazon FBA customer service and logistics, Amazon makes it easy for thousands of sellers worldwide to run an online business that they may not otherwise have had the resources to operate.

While the customer service provided by FBA is an excellent resource for Amazon sellers, it is not all-encompassing. There are still elements of customer service that the seller is directly responsible for, including pre-purchase and product-related questions. Think of it like FBA shipping; Amazon takes care of most of the shipping process, but sellers are still responsible for labeling and shipping boxes to the warehouse.

So, what aspects of FBA customer service are sellers responsible for? We’ll cover everything you need to know about customer service as well as some important tips on how to optimize the process.

What Is and Isn’t Covered by Amazon FBA Customer Service

One person handing packages to another

Once you have shipped your products off to an Amazon warehouse, the FBA team begins taking care of business. Here’s a closer look at what parts of the customer service process are covered by FBA, and perhaps more importantly the things that aren’t, which Amazon sellers need to be aware of.

Covered: Delivery Questions and Return Requests

  • Shipment Questions – Customers who have questions about their shipment will be directed to the FBA customer service team.
  • Refunds and Returns – If a customer is unsatisfied with their purchase, Amazon handles the return/refund process. The product will be returned to your inventory if it is still in sellable condition.

Not Covered: Product-Related Questions and More

  • Product Inquiries – As stated in this Amazon Seller Central article, "For FBA orders, the Buyer-Seller Messages service is for product inquiries only. Any customer service inquiries should be directed to Amazon customer service." This means that while shipping and delivery logistics questions are covered by the Amazon FBA customer support team, questions about the product itself are the seller’s responsibility.
  • Manufacturer Issues – Defective item claims and requests for replacement parts are not handled by Amazon. If you are the manufacturer of the product as a private-label seller, you will need to address these requests and concerns.
  • Return Inventory Management – In a perfect world, all products returned in sellable condition would be returned to your sellable inventory, and damaged returns would be accounted for as well. But it’s common for Amazon to make mistakes, which sometimes leaves the task of accounting for inventory up to the seller.

Handling What Isn’t Covered by Amazon FBA Customer Support

Tired customer service worker

Addressing all the buyer-seller messages that you receive in a prompt and courteous manner is essential to keeping your Amazon account in good standing and maintaining a positive reputation for your brand. So is it worth it to enlist a third-party service to help you stay on top of your FBA customer service responsibilities, or should you save money by taking care of it yourself?

Smaller Businesses Can Usually Handle Their Own Customer Service

If you have a small storefront on Amazon or if your products don’t receive too many inquiries, there’s a good chance that you can address customer service requests on your own.

Buyer-seller messages are delivered directly to your phone when you are using the Amazon Seller app or forwarded to your email address, so seeing them when they come in shouldn’t be an issue. For sellers that only get a few non-shipping/non-delivery inquiries a day, taking a few moments to respond won’t be too big of an undertaking.

Amazon Customer Service Assistance Becomes More Valuable as You Grow

The tides turn, however, as your business grows, or if you sell complicated products that require additional explanations on a regular basis. If you sell internationally or acquire other Amazon sellers, you’re especially likely to get overwhelmed by messages even if you always use FBA.

Time is an extremely valuable resource for Amazon sellers. The time you spend dealing with customer service issues is time you aren’t addressing the many other things your business needs to run successfully.

Onsite Support integrates with all your Amazon accounts and provides 24/7 tools that can make life much easier for both you and your customers. You will still be responsible for answering questions that come in, but Onsite helps by, for example, putting additional help resources like articles and videos in front of your Amazon customers before they try to contact you. This will weed out many of the simpler issues that customers can easily resolve on their own.

Screenshot of Goli's Onsite Support help center
Goli's Amazon-compatible help site, built with Onsite Support.

If you are spending an hour or more a day on customer service messages, the cost of a service like Onsite Support will provide excellent value in the form of the time you’ll get back.

How to Deal with Leftover Amazon FBA Customer Service

Now that we’ve covered what elements of the FBA customer service process you will be responsible for and discussed the potential value of enlisting a third-party service for help, let’s dive deeper into what Amazon expects from its sellers.

Amazon’s FBA Customer Service Requirements

Per Amazon’s Account Health Rating program policy, maintaining a healthy account is essential to continuing to do business on Amazon. Customer service plays a big role in how your account health is calculated, with negative feedback rates and A-to-z Guarantee claim rates factored into the equation.

The importance of account health cannot be overstated. It is recommended that all messages from customers are responded to within 24 hours, even on holidays. Customers accustomed to Amazon’s lightning-fast customer service will be expecting a response much quicker than a full day later, too, and slow responses could make receiving negative feedback more likely.

Leveling Up Your Amazon Customer Service

If you reach a point where your support volume gets too high or you are receiving negative reviews on your account or products, you should strongly consider enlisting the help of Onsite Support.

Onsite Support delivers an Amazon-compatible help portal specifically designed for FBA integration. It connects directly with Amazon Product Lifecycle Support (PLS) to create a “Get product support” button on Amazon’s return pages. So instead of defaulting to returning their product, customers will have a clear and concise way to get helpful support instead.

GIF of the Amazon Get Product Support button taking the user to Finer Form's Onsite Support help center
Customers looking for the return option will find the "Get product support" button, directing them to your Onsite help center.

This system has done wonders for Amazon sellers. A case study revealed that Onsite helped reduce negative reviews by 20% and returns by 40% for sellers that used the service.

You may have heard of other platforms like eDesk, but only Onsite will help you get the powerful "Get product support" button displayed on Amazon. If you are willing to sacrifice this button in favor of a more affordable helpdesk alternative to Onsite, we recommend other eDesk alternatives such as Zendesk or Gorgias.

Addressing Negative Reviews

Even with a powerful tool like Onsite Support on your side, negative reviews are unfortunately an unavoidable part of doing business on Amazon. With that said, there are ways that you can combat negative reviews and potentially turn them around with great customer service.

An Amazon listing monitoring tool like FeedbackWhiz Emails & Alerts can give you notifications immediately when you receive a negative product review. Reaching out to the customer to address the issue and offer solutions right away is a great way to potentially turn their negative experience (and review) into a positive one.

Simplifying Support Allows You to Use Your Time Elsewhere

Entrepreneur leading an engaging brainstorming session

There are multiple advantages to bolstering your customer service efficiency with a platform like Onsite. Not only will it improve customer satisfaction by getting them to exactly where they need to go, including detailed product guides and videos, but it will also free up your valuable time.

This means more time that you can spend optimizing your product listings and ad campaigns. Brainstorming new social media strategies. Or even trying out new advanced tactics like reverse sourcing wholesale products to expand your inventory. The sky is the limit.

Browse through and read our other blog posts that are data-driven insights with our very own proprietary data and learn more on Mother's Day trends and best practices, Easter sales, price elasticity of demand, Amazon FBA fee changes, Amazon product title optimization, winter seasonal products, Amazon end of year sales, Valentine’s Day trends and best Amazon fulfillment centers by location and throughput.

Learn with Threecolts

Small group workshops to help you learn, optimize, and grow.