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Amazon Explains New Seller Performance Metrics

Amazon sellers noticed new performance metrics in their dashboards that showed up with no warning or explanation, which you can read about in a post on Saturday’s EcommerceBytes Blog.

The “Negative Return Feedback Rate” was particularly upsetting to readers, as we reported in Monday’s Newsflash. That metric measures the percentage of valid return requests that have negative buyer feedback. For every return request, Amazon asks the buyer if their return was resolved. If they indicate that the return was not resolved, the return request is considered to have a negative feedback.

A reader forwarded a copy of an email the company sent days after they appeared in his dashboard. “Customers are never happy about returns and will use feedback as a way to vent when they have to pay for return shipping,” he wrote. “But the real problem is the math: if you get two returns in a week (like us) and one person is unhappy (like us) then your stat is 50% DSAT. Is this helpful? No.

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“The same type of issue exists with the customer service rating. If you are trading emails with a customer to help them then they’ll respond “no” to the survey about whether their problem was resolved. Does this mean they are unhappy? No. Not all problems can be solved in one email.”

Here’s a copy of the email he received from Amazon over the weekend:

Dear Amazon Seller,
On November 2, 2015, we introduced two new metrics in Seller Central:

  • Return Dissatisfaction Rate
  • Customer Service Dissatisfaction Rate

Return Dissatisfaction Rate
Return Dissatisfaction Rate measures customer satisfaction with requests you receive for returns. We consider a return to be unsatisfactory if any of the following applies:

  • The customer does not receive a response to their return request within 48 hours.
  • The customer leaves negative feedback about the return.
  • The item is eligible for return but the return request is rejected and the customer is not refunded.

If a customer leaves negative feedback about a return, but you address the issue and the customer reverses their feedback, we will no longer count the return as unsatisfactory. The metric is described in more detail on the Return Dissatisfaction Rate Metric help page.

Customer Service Dissatisfaction Rate
Customer Service Dissatisfaction Rate measures customer satisfaction with your responses to communications through Amazon’s Buyer-Seller Messaging service. When you respond to a buyer message about an order, we include a question for the buyer immediately below your response asking “Did this solve your problem?” Buyers can respond “Yes” or “No.” Customer Service Dissatisfaction Rate is the percentage of customers who respond “No.” The metric is described in more detail on the Customer Service Dissatisfaction Rate help page.

Customers who are not satisfied with returns and your response to Buyer-Seller Messages are more likely to respond with negative feedback and A-to-z Claims.

At this time, there are no penalties for not meeting the performance targets for either of these metrics. However, these metrics can help you understand possible issues that may lead to a claim or negative feedback. We will give you advanced notice if the performance targets become a requirement.

Thank you for selling with Amazon,
Amazon

The EcommerceBytes reader said Amazon usually does a good job in finding useful measurements for performance, “but these really feel half-baked not only in the way they were messaged but also in the questionable methodologies that generate stats with little real-world value.”

Comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

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Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. Send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.


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