As many brands are aware, Amazon began making changes to its internal response filtering system at the beginning of the year. We believe many of the changes are being made in order to better prevent fraudulent accounts from responding to both reviews and questions, as well as to improve the quality of customer content left in either format. However, these changes have done more harm than good companies with well-designed response programs.
As we addressed in an earlier post, Customer Service teams can no longer leave URLs or email addresses within their review responses or else Amazon will remove them from public view.
The Current Problem
This week, Amazon moved on to updating the Question & Answer part of the Customer Community.
Vendors are now receiving the following warning and being prevented from answering certain questions that do not contain the "Official Comment" badge option.
For certain products in your Amazon catalog, you may be told that you are no longer allowed to respond to the question unless you have previously purchased that product through the account responsible for the responses. For products that are tagged for official contributions, you will still be able to respond to questions with no issues.
At this time the only known solution is to make a "test purchase" of the items where you receive this warning. Also, keep in mind that you may not be able to leave a response until you receive the item. If you have multiple customer service representatives that handle Q&A, you may need to make a test purchase on each person's account or consider funneling all responses through a single "customer care" account moving forward.
In order to help manage through this process, please take advantage of our "Status" and "Topic" features inside of Reviewbox in order to keep track of the questions that have been addressed and those that are waiting for compliance with the purchase requirement.
We will continue to monitor this particular warning and any other changes that Amazon makes regarding response management for vendors. As more information comes out on this problem, we will keep you up to date on potential best practices and solutions. If you have any questions please reach out to us at email@example.com