The positives and negatives of Amazon’s reintroduced ‘customer phone number’ feature

By Sharon Fussell, November 17, 2016


Have you noticed a new feature on Amazon where you now get access to customer telephone numbers?

If not you should find the numbers at the bottom of the address form on their order.

Many years ago Amazon used to present phone numbers when orders came in, but this ended. Perhaps it was perceived sellers were dealing with customers outside of Amazon and bypassing paying fees?

Some sellers might have done this, but I think Amazon would get a little suspicious if a seller consistently had orders cancelled and take appropriate disciplinary action.

So why have Amazon reintroduced this feature?

I believe Amazon’s customer services may be inundated with requests from sellers to intervene when customers do not respond to emails. Especially when so many Amazon emails go missing in cyberspace.

However the telephone number inclusion feature could be considered a double-edged sword. Let’s look at some of the positives and negatives right now…

Firstly, the cons

– Customers do not always pick up the phone – people are very used to screening, and even ignoring, calls

– Similarly, when answerphone messages are left, there is no guarantee they will be listened to or acted on

– Some customers do not always put correct phone numbers

– It means dealing direct with customers, which may not necessarily be a seller’s strong point

– It can be time-consuming to ring customers

– Depending on your phone or mobile tariff, lots of phone calls could add significantly to your costs

– You may be at risk of annoying customers who feel a phone call is intrusive.

And then, the pros

– When buyers prove elusive or don’t respond to emails, you can ring them

– You get to sort out issues directly and swiftly

– You can always text a message if it is a mobile number that has been provided

– And yes, you could subsequently text customers offering more products!

– Contacting customers to sort product issues may save on cancelled orders which can damage your seller matrix ratings

Experience to date shows that ringing customers to sort out order issues has had a good friendly response from buyers.

From my experience…

Although I rang one customer to explain the book I was sending had a different picture on the cover than she had ordered, her husband answered the phone.

I explained the issue and suddenly thought it may have been a secret gift and I had spoiled the surprise!

Always send an email before the call and after the call, just to qualify the fact you tried all other means possible to reach them regarding any issues on orders.

Ultimately, I believe Amazon including customer phone numbers on orders enables sellers every opportunity to reach customers – and communication is always key for your business. It also ensures transactions proceed as smoothly as possible, providing the very best customer experience for buyers.

What do you think?


One Comment

  1. David says:

    A good idea as some couriers require a mobile phone number when deliveries are booked.

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