Today we’ve got Nadine Eich from Germany. Nadine runs a virtual assistant agency for Amazon sellers called Enida and she’s here to share her tips for selling and Amazon Germany customer service.
Nadine originally studied psychology and worked at a big international online store during her studies. When she finished her studies, like so many of us, she thought ‘this can’t be it’. She wanted to be free and work whenever and wherever she wanted. However, unlike those of us who take years to leave the corporate world, Nadine became a virtual assistant very soon after finishing her studies. She also quit her job at the online retailer to pursue freelance work.
After meeting a German Amazon seller who hired her and then began recommending her to other Amazon sellers, Nadine soon found she had too much work for just her. So she teamed up with some other VAs and began running Enida, providing virtual assistant services for Amazon sellers since September 2016. The name of the company actually means ‘you don’t have to be there at any time.’ As an Amazon seller, the message is that you don’t need to be at your business because Nadine and her team are taking care of it for you.
Everybody talks about how Europe is the big opportunity for U.S. sellers but Germany specifically is important in Amazon terms because it’s the 2nd biggest Amazon marketplace. It has 134 million visitors in a month, which is just behind the U.S.
However, the customers are really different. American customers are very kind, they leave reviews and reach out if there’s something wrong. They want to communicate with you and they’re quite informal.
In contrast, German customers are more blunt and much less communicative. They are used to the ‘seller is always right’ style of customer service that is common in Germany. They don’t expect anyone to reply if they do reach out. Thus they are much more likely to leave a bad review because they think it’s the only way to get a response.
The main challenge of Amazon Germany customer service, as Nadine sees it, is that difficulty of the German customers. However, another big challenge is that German law actively forbids you from doing anything that might increase your revenue.
In Germany, it is illegal to send out email sequences. So communicating with the German customers is a big challenge. It’s difficult to let them know that they can reach out to the seller if there is a problem and it will be fixed and that they don’t have to leave a bad review.
One possible way around this law is to use the invoice email to communicate with the customer. You can send them an invoice and leave a message there. It’s unlikely that a customer would sue for leaving a message along with the invoice. Nadine doesn’t recommend it, however, it is something frequently requested by her clients. Enida does offer the service of writing these emails and inputting them into the systems for the client.
Another challenge of Amazon Germany customer service is that sellers are not allowed to ask for feedback. Anything that may increase your revenue as a seller is considered spam advertising. The solution to this that is to print something on the packaging of the product or include a flyer with the product. She says it’s really unlikely that someone would sue you for that!
This is a way of bypassing email because as discussed it’s a risky channel. However, it also adds value to the customer rather than just asking for something (a review). Listeners to Amazing FBA can get a 10% discount by going to Enida, and mention the code “ENIDAMAZING”.
Even though Germans are difficult and complain a lot, you can really stand out and strike through with kindness. The usual kind of communication in Germany from businesses is cold and formal. So Enida makes a point to write casually and with kindness. Then people actually read it and reply, because they’re surprised by great customer service. Having good Amazon Germany customer service will set you apart from the competition.
If you’re from the U.K. or the U.S. you have an advantage. You are used to more naturally providing that kind of customer service. Americans tend to be quite charming and customer centric as a nation relative to the Brits and Germans. If you’re giving a refund, be gracious, bend over backward.
u do get a complaint or refund request, you can still use the kindness strategy. Even when giving a refund, include a link (an affiliate link if you’ve got one!) to an alternative product or suggest a solution for the customer. Again, this is about adding value and being surprising them with kindness.
Nadine advises not to take customer rudeness personally. She suggests that if somebody’s rude to you, be twice as nice. Many times, a customer may be very angry about something. That will lead them to be very rude because they don’t think anyone will reply. But if you reply with kindness, in her experience they suddenly calm down and respond better.
If you are interested in selling on the Amazon Germany marketplace, and why wouldn’t you be? Get the help you need from Enida and mention the code ENIDAMAZING for 10% off!