Attention Deficit in Affiliate Networks’ Customer Service

Posted on3 CommentsCategoriesAffiliate Program Management, General Discussion

The Need for Customer Service Attention deficit is a serious problem in itself, but all the more so when you observe it in people whose primary role is in providing you with customer service.

Both for the sake of notifying the affiliate network, and to find out what their recommendation would be, we reported the application receipt from the suspicious affiliate to the Google Affiliate Network. The text of our message read:

We have received an application from Affiliate Name (affiliate ID), which is suspicious according to the following Google Safe Browsing Diagnostic report report. Could you please advise what to do?

Today we have received the following reply from them:

Since we do not collect consumer data such as credit cards or customer names/addresses, we do not know when an order is fraud since we do not have insight into this data and we request that our clients report fraud when it occurs. If you can confirm fraud leads from an affiliate, please feel free to report these to:

http://www.google.com/support/affiliatenetwork/bin/request.py?contact_type=policy_violation&Action.Search=Continue

and to cancel the sales and deactivate the affiliate from your program as soon as possible.

Has our message even been read by the affiliate network’s employee who responded to us? And if so, how attentive was he/she to our concern? The answers seem to be obvious.

Sadly, this is not a unique situation.

Ten days ago, after registering the fact that two sales in a row haven’t tracked with one particular affiliate, we wrote to another major affiliate network:

We have a problem. It has come to our attention that a publisher has sent in two sales, which have come through the publisher’s internal system, and ours, but they did not track in the CJ system, and the publisher got no commission for them. Here’s the publisher’s email on the subject:

[text of the email with affiliate links clicked, transaction IDs, dates, order amounts, etc.]

When I look up their account I see the following stats:

  • Sales: 0
  • Leads: 0
  • Clicks: 20
  • Imps: 4,112

So, while impressions and clicks tracks, sales do not. Could you please get back with me on this a.s.a.p., cc-ing the publisher at [affiliate’s email address]

On the next day we received the following reply:

Thank you for your recent inquiry regarding manual transactions. Advertisers can enter a “Manual Transaction” for a particular publisher at their discretion. Most often this is done when a publisher contacts an advertiser with proof (a receipt or some other documentation) that a sale or lead was generated, but for some reason this sale or lead was not tracked. In order to accomplish this log-in to your CJ Account Managerâ„¢ to and go to the Reporting tab. Click on the Transaction Reports sub-tab. Within this page you will see a hyper-link to [rest of instructions on how to manually credit an affiliate account].

Again, the question was missed in its entirety. Interestingly enough, the response was also preceded with a blanket “We will assume your issue has been resolved if we do not hear from you within 72 hours” notification.

I have talked about it in this blog post (see the “Customer service and technical support” paragraph), but I feel like I need to reemphasize: affiliate marketing is in desperate need of quality customer service. How can we move forward when we are not even hearing each other? The quality of such components as customer service and technical support is far too often the key determinant of success (or failure) of an affiliate program. I cannot stress this enough, and I hope more and more affiliate networks will hear this, and take heed.

3 thoughts on “Attention Deficit in Affiliate Networks’ Customer Service

  1. I cannot tell you how many times that I have seen this myself. As a program manager, I have received the runaround so many times and it is so frustrating because I start to feel like it’s a waste of my time to communicate back and forth five times just so that you can answer my question that was very clear in my first communication. Good post because I bet there are many others out there who have experienced the same issues.

  2. Compare and contrast the CS from some of the “smaller” networks. Usually personal and addresses the issue at SAS and AvantLink. It is never going to be 100% anywhere, but it certainly makes a difference in choosing who you prefer to work with.

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