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.

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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: Marie

Tue Aug 8 17:41:08 2017

Going on a hiring spree is NOT the place to start IMHO.  First you take your current staff and get them properly trained.

You can hire all the people you want, but if you don't properly train them you are not gaining any ground, just digging a deeper hole.

Granted that wait times are often ridiculously long, but I think most members would be willing to wait if they were confident they would get to a CSR that was actually qualified / trained to actually help.  

If the current CSR staff was properly trained, I think you would see the wait times and the length of phone calls go down.  The CSR would be quicker to understand and quicker to respond to the needs of the member calling.  

So after you get this accomplished, then you start staffing up.  All the staff in the world doesn't help anything if they are not properly trained.  If I were in charge of this, it is how I'd proceed.  All potential CSRs would be required to do some selling and buying for a specific period of time in a test system that Ebay could easily set up.  In this test system as a seller they would get problematic buyers and well as the good ones.  As a buyer they would get problematic sellers as well as the good ones.  Experience is one of the best teachers and will assist CSRs in training to better understand what members go through if the test system is designed correctly.

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: FidoMaster
Web Site

Fri Aug 10 07:50:24 2018

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

Just a quick situation report a year later:

➽ https://t.co/Q4Jfk0SJc8

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: FidoMaster
Web Site

Fri Apr 19 16:41:22 2019

Noteworthy update from the '18 annual eBay shareholder report:

“Ms. Jones received her annual award of $3.0 million…. In addition, as discussed above, she received an $8.0 million retention award on July 15, 2018.”

“In addition to the annual awards…Ms. Jones, received a retention award.

Ms. Jones plays a valuable role within our leadership, and there is considerable competition in the market for her skill set.

The [$8.0 million retention award] was granted in recognition of Ms. Jones’ significant contributions to the Company as well as her key role in the Company’s future.”

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