Breaking news: Amazon requires Sellers to respond to customers within 12 hours during the holidays

Amazon has some pretty strict rules for Sellers around customer service metrics. How long it takes you to ship orders, customers' satisfaction with the returns process, and other metrics are yardsticks that Amazon uses to measure your trustworthiness as a seller.

Failing to adhere to these metrics causes your Seller Rating to fall, something which might affect the ranking of your products in the search algorithm, and at worst, cause Amazon to suspend your product listings or even your account.   

A key metric is responsiveness to customer messages: you must respond to questions from customers within 24 hours (yes, even over the weekends). 

Today, Amazon announced an even more drastic update to this 24-Hour Rule: during the holiday period, Sellers must respond to customer questions within 12 hours

Dear Seller,

During the holidays, we are especially mindful of the time sensitivity of customer service, and Amazon makes every effort to respond to customer questions within hours if not minutes.

As customers complete their holiday gift shopping on, sellers should similarly respond quickly to customers’ order questions and provide swift resolution to issues they encounter. Our research shows that customers who receive responses to their questions within 12 hours are generally more satisfied than those who receive responses between 12 – 24 hours. This can mean fewer claims and less negative feedback.

Accordingly, for the month of December, we ask that you to respond to all buyer messages within 12 hours, instead of the normal 24 hours we require today.

Please join us in providing delightful customer service this holiday season.

Thank you for selling with Amazon,
Amazon Buyer-Seller Messaging Team

Clearly the Holidays are a season when Sellers are not exactly falling asleep at the wheel; however this kind of requirement does add an additional burden to the management of your Amazon account.

To support our clients, we just updated our "Daily Review" process to be conducted twice a day. If you're managing your own Seller account, make sure you're prepared!