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

by: onlinecommerce1 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Aug 3 21:32:23 2017

Wait times were starting to get high again the last month....this needed to be done.

That being said, the anchor store CS has been EXCELLENT. Ebay has completely changed their customer service attitude over the last 1-2 years or so versus what it used to be. You have to give kudos where it's due here.

If there is a feedback that qualifies for removal, they do it. If a case needs to be closed, etc...they do it. You frequently get a lot of the same CS reps (we have a big account and have to call a lot) and so you kind of get a gauge on who knows their stuff. They actually look into things and don't just press to get you off the phone. Yes, you actually get an English speaking person in the US who has a degree and will actually look into your issue and actually try to resolve it. Yeah, you get the occasional person who is clueless....but that's par for anywhere. Dare I say that Ebay CS is actually FAIR. I no longer feel like they work under the automatic assumption that the seller is at fault.

I'm not a huge fan of whatever these service bots might end up being......especially if the Amazon bots are any indication of how accurate they are going to be.

It's quite ironic....Amazon is the opposite here. They have about the worst seller customer service there is. No one speaks English....no one there can keep their email threads straight...they don't follow their own crystal clear policies...and you can't talk to anyone on the phone. Need to talk to someone about feedback? Can't, have to email. Need to talk to seller performance? Can't...need to email....and their backlog is THOUSANDS of emails I hear (after all, it's only peoples' livelihoods). Sure, you can call in to seller support....but they can't actually do anything. They basically are message takers....they take your message and route it to someone else .

It's not just sellers, either. Their buyer CS is not much better. I don't call throwing refunds at customers who complain good customer service except for those customers only. VERY common for buyer support reps to open ridiculously bad A to z claims against sellers for false reasons....and again, these affect your metrics a ton. Reps will open claims instead of initiating a return request (and how to initiate a return request has to be one of the first very basic things they are taught). It's just support reps being inept....buyer and seller. NO EXCUSE for that from a company like Amazon.  

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.

Thu Aug 3 23:48:04 2017

Wendy, if you're reading this, may I suggest ...you follow the lead from (sigh) Amazon.  

Amazon recruits and hires US small sellers to answer customer service questions, issues and problems - a few months back they advertised to fill a huge amount of at-home based seasonal CS hires for the upcoming holiday season.  They even had a timed online test for all applicants - Amazon is so on top of their game - they have been doing this for at least 2,years if not longer.  at any rate ...

I, a 16 year seller on eBay - would love to be considered a remote US CS Call rep for eBay.  Speaking for others on this site,  I'm sure you would find ready, qualified and very capable recruits,within the community.  Please no more off-shore new hires - it would be refreshing to hire and support US recruits.  


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

Thu Aug 3 23:52:04 2017

Just my personal opinion but it's not customer service that is the problem! @pace306 has outlined the myriad problems of eBay. I have scant confidence those issues will ever get addressed.  

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

by: Jester This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 4 00:03:14 2017

There are many disgruntled sellers here who have lost hope with empty promises or no promises at all for a long time. You have a lot to over come. Seeing change will be a good start. I am an eternal optimist so I know that some good will come from eBay's renewed efforts. Wishing us all the best finish to 2017 than we have had in a long time! Now lets get at it!

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

by: whipnet This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 4 00:13:08 2017

I guess those H-1B's aren't working out too well for them.  Maybe soon they'll hire Americans to fix the site.

*

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: DeathFromAbove

Fri Aug 4 00:16:41 2017

Another lovely face to hate.

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

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 4 00:17:13 2017

'' Head of eBay Global Customer Service operations for 14 years''

Sorry but IMO ,

coming out and now saying your short staffed Sounds like just a big excuse, for  incompetence, I think a pink slip would have been a much better solution.


 

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: eXtinctBay

Fri Aug 4 01:19:38 2017

They can hire anyone they want, Americans, Filipinos, or all the ''Peggys'' in Russia, but one problem remains:

If the rules that are written as eBay policy cannot be applied when EITHER a buyer or seller runs afoul of them, then it will be business as usual.

Liar buyers will continue to do their work without any fear of punishment, and continue to needlessly cost sellers money.

The time is now for eBay to walk the walk and not be afraid to punish a buyer when there is a violation. They will just come back as zero feedback users with their new identity anyway.

Then eBay can show Wall Street that they have an increase in new users. Who know the second time around that there are rules that need to be followed, and scammers will not be tolerated on the site.

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

by: Paul W This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 4 01:50:09 2017

I agree with the fist poster that Anchor Store CS is quite good.  On the few occasions I have called I always got problems resolved to my satisfaction.

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

by: RoKphish This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 4 01:52:54 2017

"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. "

They are just realizing that what we've been telling them for YEARS is actually THE TRUTH?

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.

Play the patriotic card, eBay. Don't "get on" the bandwagon for a change ... BUILD the bandwagon.

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

by: donald This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 4 02:53:17 2017



I hope is true but I won't believe it till I experience it.


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

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 4 05:18:49 2017

Just another contribution to the hot air claim. Ebay just added another degree higher.

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

by: Simplyselling This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 4 07:24:56 2017

I have noticed eBay seems a little better lately. My biggest problem is definitely Amazon. Horrendous seller support. Recently got screwed out of two back to back AZ claims from same buyer out of three orders for non delivery even though they were clearly delivered. Same buyer running scam with post office box. Even had proof from the post master and tracking proof. They refused to hear me. I'm pretty sure it was a language barrier. It was complicated and they just decided they weren't going to hear me. I'm an excellent seller perfect feedback and six figure per year. Never had happened before. I'm worried that their customer service is getting worse. They are just too big.  

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

by: Frank Abagnale This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 4 07:54:53 2017

Wendy forgot to say why she waited this long to do anything about it.  

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

by: lisapar This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 4 08:38:25 2017

Call me simple, but I kinda think they're doing this all backwards.  Fix the ISSUES with Ebay, and CS won't need to get into the weeds.  Don't get me wrong...a shopping platform will always need CS, but the "war" between Buyer/Seller (that Ebay has initiated) is the main reason most people call CS.  

As a seller, I consistently have buyers opening up returns as SNAD...then they'll write a comment like "item didn't match colors in my room".  Make the return REASON code more simple.  The first reason code should always be "changed mind (didn't fit / didn't like color / didn't need anymore).  The cases are the reason I have to dial-up CS for help.  But need I drone on....bc it appears Ebay has changes coming regarding returns where I (the seller), will have to pay return shipping...THEN dispute the cost if the wrong reason was selected. ugh.

Someone said it above:  Ebay is trying to be Amazon, but they're going about it in a backwards sort of way.

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.

Fri Aug 4 09:30:03 2017

14 YEARS? "dude! what have you been doing all that time until now?"

The answer to all this of course lies at eBays feet - where ALL issues stem from. Wendy said it HERSELF (so the tools here cant say its the eBay bashers fault) "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."

So if you know its your fault and the rules are archaic and not followed - why not take some time of your day AND FIX THEM?

Why have rules if they arent followed? Why have eBay "blues" pop into eBay forums and tell you that there are SECRET rules they cant tell you about? Is THAT good customer service? Imagine going into Macys and having THEM tell you that crap.

Worse, the Blues pop in and tell you that eBay has MAGICALLY EXPANDED the rules to mean new things - and the "answer" to the posters question is "drop dead, we make the rules - too bad if it means YOU lost money".

Selling on Amazon is %100 DIFFERENT. 1) you dont SELL on Amazon - you full fill THEIR sales and 2) their sandbox, their rules . The rules BITE, but since the game is theirs - theres not much choice. As apposed to eBay who SAYS the opposite and tells you its YOUR buyer but its not your rules - when THEY decide they arent "your partners" anymore.

In some cases, eBays rules ARE better then Amazon - and they get a nod of credit for that.

While it seems that I personally "look for the day of eBays demise", thats NOT true.

It wouldnt bother me in the slightest if eBay  became the biggest platform in the world and dethroned Bezos. All I ask for is fairness and honesty.

If its "buyers win %99 of the time" then JUST TELL ME SO. Dont lie about "Seller Protection" when I follow YOUR RULES - and then BS me about why you cant follow YOUR OWN RULES.

Work with me, help me help you. Every sale I make on eBay takes one away from Amazon (not 100% true but in theory anyway) so why not HELP ME make more sales? Why fight me tooth and nail and try to find ways to HIDE me or steal from me?

Im glad Wendy "woke up" and realized theres a problem. At least %50-75 of my issues would be gone if there was normal CS. I ship same/next day, new items in the condition described - I don have alot of the issues tha plague others.

BUT WHEN A LIAR BUYER COMES MY WAY - and tries to rip me off - an english speaking, educated, rule understanding, FACTS understanding CS agent - would make it all go away EASILY.

I dont care what gender the agents are, I dont care what country they live it, come from, if they are gay or straight, Jewish, Catholic or Muslim or Flying Spaghetti Monster - just help me deal with the wackos and make the issues go away .

Now lets see what Wendy will actually do!

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

by: RAOTFLMAO This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 4 10:26:20 2017

To late.  They have lost all the good sellers.  Chinese don't need CS reps.

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

by: RAOTFLMAO This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 4 10:31:18 2017

I should say "they have driven away all the good sellers"

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: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Aug 4 10:34:02 2017

I agree with others who ask what took them so long to realize there was a problem with their CSRs. I just hope Wendy is being honest, and not just reciting more hollow platitudes that eBay is known for, such as "reconnecting with small sellers."

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

by: Frank Abagnale This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 4 10:48:42 2017

Pretty soon Ebay will announce that seller's listings are being hidden.

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