Friday, April 4, 2008

Customer Service

eBay puts a whole new spin on the concept of Customer Service. Most corporations understand that customers will have questions and providing assistance makes everything go more smoothly. Not eBay! At eBay the customers provide the service in more ways than one. For years Buyers and Sellers who had a problem found the best place to get an answer was from the Volunteer Responders in the Answer Center.

Seller "D" says:

Am I the only one who has found the whole ebay experience lacking in customer relations and support? I have had very unsatisfactory experiences with the whole system, particularly with the "Live Help" feature, HAH!

I recently spent 6 hours, with 3 different reps, trying to get a listing removed because their system would not let me provide the shipping services I wanted to offer. The reps would not accept the fact that their system was flawed despite being unable to edit the listing themselves.

I don't know which is worse, having to sit and stare at the screen for 2-3 minutes between responses from the rep, or the obviously scripted responses from them. In almost every case you are sent a link to "report" your concern to a "specialist", who then sends an automated email saying they are looking into your concerns, and you never hear from them again.

My first contact with LIVE, my initial request was to have the listing deleted so I could try to relist it. I did a Yahoo search and found a phone number bay had sent to "select" users, I took a chance and called it. The guy who answered asked for my ID, couldn't find it, but tried to help me anyway. What he evidently did was to create an identical listing, which was also charged to my account.

Now I had a second problem to resolve. The final LIVE rep managed to get me a credit for the dupe listing, but insisted that I had to email another dept to take care of the original problem. I eventually convinced him to delete the original listing by not agreeing to be transferred to another dept or clicking on a link to leave email.

I got the same scripted replies from all that I corresponded with. Line for line, word for word, in the same exact order the conversations progressed. The rep only broke script when I called him on it, he evidently did not have a script for dealing with that response. I kept a text copy of the "chats" for a while, but I eventually deleted it, since the problem was solved.

Besides, what would I do with the text transcripts, send it to ebay?!?!?!?

1 comment:

Brenda Savini said...

I am completely turned off by the lack of real customer service available on Ebay.

If you read through the newest Ebay blog, Ebayink you will find a reponse attributed to Usher Lieberman, an official company spokesman. A segment of his response to previus posts included the following:

" Ebay is not a retailer, but shoppers have an expectation that a branded web site will be a clean and well lit place to shop"

I have found that most branded companies have customer service that is availible to ALL USERS.

Lorrie Norrington has said that phone support is availible to Power sellers ( this was personally told to me during a call in Opportunity. I don't remember if it was the Town Hall or the Ask Griff radio) If you go to the media areas within the guts of the Ebay site you can find webcasts of the Jan., '08 policy change announcements and Part one of the follow-up question and answer session.

Within the Q&A Lorrie Norrington announced that phone support is availible for the best buyers.

Please note that the policy changes were brought about to create a better buyer experiance.
I have also played "Bait the BOT", as a test to see if I would get answers that matched my question.

Branded companies see the importance of customer service. It is a tool that is used to address problems that a CUSTOMER is experiancing.

No business is perfect. Mistakes can happen and problems are opportunites for BRANDED COMPANIES to illustrate the level of professionalism that the given company feels is important.
Problems offer a company an opportunity to listen to a customer and learn new skills that can be applied by the company to improve services for the customer.

I tend to judge a company by the level of responsiveness that is applied to me.


What do you think will stick with me?