AS 87: How I will save $40,000+/year by automating my customer service on Amazon, ebay, Walmart Jet and beyond.
16 May 2017
How I will save 40,000, by automating my customer service on Amazon, ebay, Walmart Jet and beyond.
What’s up guys, today’s episode, episode 87, is on How I will save $40,000+ by automating the customer Service in my Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Jet, and website support tickets. Today’s episode brings a huge golden nugget so stay in.
One of the hardest parts of running an e-commerce business is the customer support side. It’s not just a lot of work providing the best customer service possible, it takes a lot of the founders time, all the meanwhile you have to add more products, scale the marketing and grow to the moon.
I believe, if it wasn’t for the AmzSecrets show, I wouldn’t have gone this far to force myself out of the trouble that I was in. I would wake up each day, spend 1-3 hours checking eBay, checking Amazon, checking facebook channel, and then checking my email inbox for my website.
WHEW. It was a huge time waster in terms of founder energy. Every few months I would post in our facebook group, AmzSecrets.com/fb, how is everyone doing their customer support? And some people would say outsource, but not really go into detail.
The problem with spending even 1 hour per day on customer service is you really don’t know how those hours would be spent differently if you otherwise had them. Before this episode, I had hot-keyed customer responses directly into my keyboard. It was pretty awesome. It saved 10 minutes per response, and gave the perfect response. It was pretty optimized, it was cool.
And then recently I spoke to John Jonas, who has outsourced every task to 17 different virtual assistants, in episode 86.
This really changed my perspective and evolved my business a major step further. I probably wouldn’t be spending time doing this podcast right now, if I hadn’t built out my customer support. I’d be answering tickets, and closing out those spam ticket responses.
I started looking at FreshDesk…
I created an account, setup my email forwarding, It was very solid, however I realized it still had one major issue:
How do I have customer support answer questions everyday without giving them access to my account’s sensitive data?
Now that is a golden question. And it took me over 10 months to figure out.
Freshdesk was great, because it offered centralized support tickets. I could thus forward emails all to one spot, and freshdesk would create support tickets out of each one.
The problem however was freshdesk was too general. It didn’t pull order information from Amazon or eBay. So I canceled my free trial of freshdesk and when onto querying e-commerce support desks, which led me to xSellco. And no this is not a promotion of xSellco, or affiliated to them in any way.
XSellco is pretty awesome, it pulls e-commerce data from both the e-commerce channels and aggregates them all into one spot. It’s like a freshdesk or helpdesk but for e-commerce.
Now that I have pulled the order # per email coming in, and the customer address, I can now get a virtual assistant to assist per customer order.
Now this led to the next part, and I really owe thanks and gratitude to John Jonas from episode 86, who mentioned to “create videos step by step on how you currently do customer service.”
It takes a lot of upfront work, but after that it gets easier.
Yes that is really time consuming. And a pain in the butt. But once you get it done, you have opened 2-3 hours per day every day. You have also untied yourself from the desk of the computer to do the brain thinking part of your business.
Once I had xSellco, driving support tickets from multiple channels, all in one spot, I knew I could automate the whole entire shindig.
This first process took about a week to feel comfortable with support tickets going all into one spot. I had to check to ensure that they were correctly being loaded, the data was accurate from the respective channels, including my websites channels.
Next I wanted to give my customers the same kind of customer support that I offered them, when I was giving customer support. I wanted to deliver the same experience, high quality experience. I converted the hot-key coined responses, made by me, and put them into templates specifying each customer response.
Create a master customer service sheet.
I then charted all my products, associated issues, and how to respond to each issue with the respective template. So basically all the virtual assistant would have to do is find a related keyword associated to the SKU, and select the template to use, specified in the master excel sheet of customer service.
Once that was set in stone, I waited for 10 tickets to come in. I then turned on a screen recorder, and recorded my screen and my voice into videos, going into each customer support ticket, showing exactly what I did for the virtual assistant to replicate.
I showed him how to refer to the master customer service sheet, and how to respond with which related template.
Then I also showed him how to create shipping labels using shipstation. This allows me to view all new outgoing shipments of replacements and print them all in one go each morning for shipment.
In addition to that I have setup USPS to do daily pickups, which is free, for anyone who did not know that. It is like having a USPS office at your house. You can set that USPS pickup to come daily for the next 3-4 months.
The cool thing here, not only is he helping me out tremendously, he is also responding to customers faster than me, by checking it more than 3x a day.
I am currently paying him $330/month, which in Bangladesh goes a long way. One cool thing about this is he is full time at $330/month. So he is not only helping me out with customer service, but other tasks around the businesses as well.
By the end of it, it probably took me about another week to finalize my customer support and make it very easy with 3 videos for my virtual assistant to learn fully how to do customer service for my current line of products, and easily adjust to new products as well.
Now, lets take a step back for a second. If your competitor goes down the route of hiring a full time employee to do this in the United States, it will cost them maybe $40,000 a year. Also keep in mind the office location, health insurance, and all the other headaches with having employees.
That’s a major advantage in scaling your e-commerce company.
The major lesson and golden nugget here is break down big problems into multiple small ones so that they become manageable.
There was one major problem: How do I not do customer service anymore and I broke it into two smaller problems:
- How to have a virtual assistant do customer service for Amazon and beyond without access?
- And then – how to teach customer service to a virtual assistant for many e-commerce products?
So, after all is said and done, I currently think this has been a huge game changer in terms of scaling my business. I can easily train more virtual assistants with the 3 videos I have, the master excel sheet matching skus to product complaints, and template responses.
It’s only been a few days since It’s been fully executed and I feel I have a lot more time on my hands to do more important things in my business such as:
- Scaling facebook ad campaigns
- Scaling amazon ad campaigns
- Add more products to the product line
- Focus more on scaling, rather than repetitive tasks.
Lastly, this allows me to not be constrained to my desk responding to support tickets every day within 24 hours.
Has this experiment worked. Yes, and by far.
Amazon news flash : Amazon is now worth 2 walmarts
So what does this all mean David?
I like this article a lot. It doesn’t say the most important thing. Although it says it took Amazon 20 years to double Walmart, it doesn’t say why. Jeff Bezos stuck in it for 20 years. He survived the tech bubble in the 2000s, and had 20 years of near zero profitability while scaling his company. The real golden nugget is, it takes time to build very successful companies. As much as we all want to build epic businesses, we need to acknowledge that it takes many years of Persistence and brilliant executions.
That’s all for now guys, David Aladdin out.
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