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.