Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Aug 3 2017 20:32:04

eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service

By: Ina Steiner

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The head of eBay Global Customer Service operations said reps dealing with the company's buyers and sellers have "one hand tied behind their backs." She said eBay gives reps archaic tools and rules, and she called eBay help pages clunky and inconsistent. 

Wendy Jones has been at eBay for 14 years, and she told attendees of last week's seller conference, "Our reality today is that we don't make it easy for our customers. The rules and the systems are too complex, they are at times inconsistent, and in today's digital world of ecommerce, they're too slow." 

Jones then told sellers she is doing something about it.

Her colleague Cathal McCarthy joined her on stage and said eBay was on a "hiring spree" in the US after perhaps having relied too heavily on outside partners when it came to providing customer service. eBay has added 400 "teammates" to its Austin and Salt Lake City customer service locations, and the hiring will continue through the end of the year - "the pace is accelerating," he said.

Here are some of the things you can expect to see.

- eBay will continue to expand a pilot "Concierge" service that gives expedited support to buyers and sellers lucky enough to be part of the program.

- eBay will make the concierge-level service standard in 12 - 18 months.

- Next week, a "service bot" will go live in the UK; it's designed to handle complex use cases, and to start, it will handle claims and returns. It will deploy to eBay.com no later than January or February of next year.

- In October, eBay will launch a re-designed, re-platformed "self service" experience in Australia and plans to fully deploy it in the next 4 - 6 months.

And though it wasn't clear when this would happen or if it had begun, McCarthy said eBay customer service reps would no longer be restricted by "archaic" rules. "If a teammate feels the rule doesn't make sense for you, in the situation you're in, they're going to be empowered to do what's right. And you can't document what's right in the book."

Jones mentioned that about 250 of the 1,500 attendees at eBay Open were part of the Concierge program, and invited all other attendees to join. For everyone else watching the webcast remotely, she said, "Sorry, come next year."

Let us know if and when you see any changes to the level of service you receive when dealing with eBay customer service.

Comments (43) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service   eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service

by: moto-science This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 4 11:22:36 2017

No escaping the harsh fact that Shopify depends on maltreated eBay sellers leaving for Shopify. With less interference and more fair play from the MBA clown car at eBay, this seller would never have opened Amazon, Bonanza and now Shopify.

Perminate Link for eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service   eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service

by: songe-d-automne This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 4 11:34:15 2017

It's a fairly simple fix. Bring back negatives for buyers. Keep an eye on a buyer's account so you can see if they rack up too many complaints, returns, or NPB strikes and look into it and ban then or restrict them as necessary.

They seem to be able to micromanage anything a seller does.

"You shipped this item out 3 milliseconds late and got left a neutral. Even though you had cancer, broke your leg, a flood demolished your house, and an A-bomb dropped on your entire family, even took out the dog, and you have documentation of it all, we cannot have such insolence.

You are...(dramatic music) BELOW STANDARD. Now we shall restrict you to selling 3 items a month so you can never fix your rating and we can have an excuse to ban you. Have a nice day."

Sounds pretty accurate. Except in my case, my husband got deathly ill and was in the hospital for a month, my car died, and I dealt with one too many idiots in a 3 month span, and I got restricted to 13 items. Death knell for that 12 year old account, and no one in CS cared. Life needs to be taken into account in CS. We are not corporations, we are people with families and things happen!

Perminate Link for eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service   eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service

by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 4 11:37:17 2017


just more hot air from fleecebay......

the cheerleaders again waving their pom poms

Perminate Link for eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service   eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 4 12:07:51 2017

eBay reps are so stupid you can tell them of a scam that is going to be pulled in advance which I did, and they still can't do anything about it, I told them a seller made false purchases to leave malicious feedback on my account in advance and why the purchases were made, simply to leave negative feedback, and they did nothing to intervene, nor did they remove the false feedback left after multiple reports.

This goes to show that eBay is highly moronic and that is a reflection on upper management.

Who would pay them for a store with such ineptitude on the part of eBay management?

I refuse to spend money with underperforming idiots running the show.

Perminate Link for eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service   eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Aug 4 13:09:34 2017

Service bot?  Do tell what that is.

Sounds like the automation of something that a human should be taking care of.  My problem with eBay CS over the years is their lack of being informed. Speak to 5 CSRs and they will all tell you something differently, and sometimes tell you exactly what you should not be doing.

If eBay's rules are so convoluted that eBay CSRs can not keep up with them or are overwhelmed by them then simplify the rules.

I do agree with RL 15--when eBay management take to the stage golden honey drips from their mouths.

Perminate Link for eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service   eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 4 13:29:31 2017

hope they teach the newbies NOT to lie to the seller 0r how about follow thru when they say their gonna fix a problem? that would be a good start. Oh here's a good one - appreciate the sellers that keep them employed

Perminate Link for eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service   eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service

by: Bidderboy This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 4 13:42:32 2017

I reported a cut and pasted listing that someone took from me to an agent. They assured me it was a clear violation, thanked me for the report and assured me the copied listing would be removed. Needless to say it was never removed and the copied listing ran its course. The only thing missing from Jones' statement was an apology for the fact that the customer service has been so terrible. She should have been ashamed to have had to make her statement in the first place. If ebay's small sellers ran their businesses like ebay runs itself we would all have been gone long ago.

Perminate Link for eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service   eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Fri Aug 4 16:05:55 2017

@RoKphish Could not agree more! I've been asking eBay for a "Made in America" filter for years.

"Get rid of ALL foreign customer service. Hire all USA based reps and then advertise the hell out of it. Build some respect for keeping jobs on American soil. And then open an entirely NEW category for Made In the USA items, whether they be vintage, manufactured or handmade. And differentiate those items with an American Flag icon in the search results and in the listing."

Perminate Link for eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service   eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Fri Aug 4 19:02:14 2017

Still not enough to get me to return to Ebay. It's just no good any more.

Perminate Link for eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service   eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service

by: Stig of the Dump This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 4 19:12:33 2017

Crap! Fix the essentials! Giving us this sort of stuff is insulting to our intelligence -- you are in fact telling us between the lines that NOTHING HAS CHANGED -- you are still treating us like easily-duped fools.

Perminate Link for eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service   eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service

by: Trying-My-Best This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 4 19:39:09 2017

Here is what Wenig said, last August, 2016 - found on eBay announcement of Wendy Jines promotion;

''eBay believes
that every decision the company makes should help deliver for, serve and delight our customers.

Our brand promise is
to help every person find their version of perfect, and

the effectiveness of our customer service operations is
an integral component of delivering on that promise for our customers''

eBay ''customers'' are only Buyers.  CS is NOT for sellers, ...it is all about  Buyers
This explains why all our posts on the abysmal support sellers receive on eBay will never, ever change.  

Now, WhY  eBay needs to be on a hiring spree - for CS to its branded mission iBuyers ...is beyond reason,  I mean, how many reps does it take to tap a ''Refund in Full''  keystroke?  

We're not eBay ''customers'' though we certainly contribute to their revenue base with. Fees, paying them 10% surcharge on all postage.

It is pathetic that Ms. Jones has been at eBay for 14 or do years - and now, has come to realization that CS never had the support or tools needed to do much of anything.  It's 2017 - for goodness sake.  

Perminate Link for eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service   eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 4 21:20:43 2017

Sellers are eBay's biggest buyers, one day eBay management will figure that out.

Perminate Link for eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service   eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 4 22:04:48 2017

It's been said, but if Ms Jones (eBay) is really serious about making any meaningful actual improvements, it needs to start with an Apology.  That's with a capital A.

For outsourcing their CS in the first place, at a point in time of the highest unemployment, and for their only purpose of enhancing revenue.  And for all that, allowing them to measure their 'success' based on the number of calls they could record as completed, rather than the number of issues they could actually address and resolve.  

For employing those folks who were in the US, who made promises of action, callbacks, and corrections, repeatedly unkept, with no accountability.

For their abysmal internal communication of information that rendered every attempt to receive clarification, from the ONLY source made available - IF they answered at all - a crap-shoot which made every contact result in a different answer - IF they condescended to give one, or were even able to.

For their total hypocracy in 'grading' a seller's CS 'capability', while simultaneously maintaining a level themselves that was wholly less than 'stellar'.  And in so doing, having that serve to deny otherwise earned discount, or in too many cases, decimation of otherwise perfectly legitimate livelihood.

That's something that won't take six more months.  Indeed, is way overdue.  Years.  

And, if you want to be truly innovative, get RID of the phone furbling.  Set a precident.  Doesn't matter how 'simple' a given query might be.  'De-bot' yourselves.  You can afford it.

REALLY do someone a service.  For a 'change'.

Perminate Link for eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service   eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service

by: strife This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 4 23:03:44 2017

Even if it was true and not complete BS which I highly doubt, Too Little Too Late. Ebay is done!

Perminate Link for eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service   eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Sat Aug 5 01:07:01 2017

Donahoe doomed eBay years ago, most likely the worst CEO in the history of the tech business other than Marissa Mayer who ruined Yahoo with her kooky ideas, Donahoe was just a Wall Street crook.

Perminate Link for eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service   eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service

by: Russ This user has validated their user name.

Sat Aug 5 07:52:39 2017

Consider the venue where these comments were made...the eBay conference...just like the old days of eBay Live!  Those on stage would blow smoke in the most unusual of places --- the backsides of the attendees and usually to uproarious applause!!

Then, down the road, all things remained the same.

At least then they fixed fewer unbroken things, allowing for the natural flow of trade between seller and buyer with credence in most transactions...you know, ''just a venue.''

Oh, the somewhat good ol' days!  Better than today, for sure.

Perminate Link for eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service   eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sat Aug 5 17:05:35 2017

NO BOTS!!

Hire human beings who can speak American English and who have common sense.

NO BOTS!!!

Perminate Link for eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service   eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service

by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Sat Aug 5 21:45:13 2017

IMHO, Wendy Jones can only do as much as the higher ups allow her to do. I'm all for supporting her in this - for all we know, she may have been yelling her head off for years that this is NOT the way to run CS.  She looks remarkably well for having what is probably a thankless job.

Anyway, I'll stay tuned. I don't sell on Amazon - they're too skeery.  

Perminate Link for eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service   eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service

by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 6 10:11:24 2017

Bienvenido al departamento de servicio al cliente de eBay USA. ¿Algún problema con los listados chinos?

Perminate Link for eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service   eBay Goes on Hiring Spree to Fix Customer Service

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 6 18:31:26 2017

After reading her drivel - this came to mind ....

Me and Mrs. Jones
We got a thing goin'on
We both know that it's wrong
But it's much too strong
To let it go now

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