Amazon ask sellers to respond within 12 hours

Amazon are asking sellers to join them “in providing delightful customer service this holiday season” by responding to all buyer messages within 12 hours, instead of the normal 24 hours.

Amazon say that “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“.

They also said that Amazon themselves makes every effort to respond to customer questions within hours if not minutes.

Whilst Amazon haven’t mandated the increase in customer service and said that your metrics will be marked down if you’re tardy in responding, they do have a point. If you shut your office and get a customer enquiry in the evening, it’s likely that they may well have purchased elsewhere (or took a gamble and purchased from you anyway), if they don’t hear from you until after 9am the next day when you’re back at work.

Having been a full time seller myself, I know how busy it is this time of year though. Do you think it’s reasonable to respond within 12 hours (including weekends), or is this one bit of advice from Amazon that you’ll be ignoring?