eBay survey on customer support contact options

eBay are surveying sellers to ask how they’d like eBay support to be shaped in the future. Questions included how important would 24 hour telephone support be to you and how would you feel if eBay scrapped email support.

The survey also covers topics like better email support so that you could send screen shots instead of purely text based emails. Another option would be a mobile app to allow you to communicate with eBay from your mobile phone – this could be either text based or even an app which initiated a call which would be billed as normal minutes through your network provider.

In the survey eBay invite opinions on wait times for phone calls – would you prefer to go straight through to a customer service rep who might not be best placed to help and have to transfer your call, or is answering some basic automated questions to route your call a better option? Are you happy holding for a customer support rep and would you prefer to be told an expected wait time or perhaps schedule a call back when the rep best placed to help you is available? Are you happy with the current support hours or do you consider it essential to have 24 hour access by telephone?

eBay also asks about Facebook and Twitter – would you like to be able to contact eBay support through social media tools? I have to say I’m ambivalent about this, I’ve seen more companies being proactive to customer complaints on social media platforms than I have seen using social media as first line customer support. After all if you can access Facebook or Twitter surely you could just as easily access eBay or email?

I’ve heard a lot of complaints about eBay customer support over the years, but the complaints have normally centred around inconsistencies between support reps than the manner in which eBay users contact support. Does it really matter whether you can telephone eBay 24/7 or is it more important to route your call to a knowledgeable support rep who can assist you, and regardless of which rep you’re connected that the support and resolutions offered are consistent?

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Comments

It matters little if they state that they are considering 24 hr support, because a 25 minute wait is still a 25 minute wait whatever time of the day you call.

Glenn • 16th October 2011 •

A bit more moaning:- Unfortunately knowledgeable support reps are a very rare breed. I believe that on every single occasion I have contacted CS either on line, by email or telephone I have needed to make at least 1 additional follow up call. There is no point whatsoever extending their hours if they cant get it right 9 – 5

Glenn • 16th October 2011 •

its very important that contact is very quick concerning any account suspension /interfearance, other than that a support rep that has discretion to act and the will to help is most important, I can read the rules I dont need them to be repeated by a human voice

northumbrian • 16th October 2011 •

put simply I would rather deal with someone who has time to help not someone who is trying to douse the flames anyway they can

northumbrian • 16th October 2011 •

we would even pay for fair and sensible support as losing TRS because a rep cant be bothered or does not understand can be very expensive

northumbrian • 16th October 2011 •

eBay need to analyse why contact with customer service is made. This will help them understand where the real issues are with eBay. Address the issues to reduce contact with customer service which then frees up time for staff to be more productive in other areas that are revenue generating for ebay rather than expenditure generating. I suspect eBay had fewer calls from sellers before they introduced TRS and DSR's. Return to the old simple (fairer?) feedback system and calls could drop by 50% overnight!

Gary • 16th October 2011 •

Its all about taking ownership of a problem and seeing it through to an full resolution. However that is done should ultimately be decided by the customer

john pemberton • 17th October 2011 •

It can be quite hard to take hold of a problem when that problem was caused by eBay and CS isn’t interested in resolving it. My recent VeRO took numerous emails back and forth before it was resolved and CS was as useful as a chocolate teapot. All I can say about CS is that Amazon CS make eBay CS look like 3rd rank amateurs. A call to Amazon is answered in seconds and I have always received a full reply. Whereas a call to eBay will probably result in a recorded message “We are currently experiencing a high volume of calls” and a 25 minute wait. When I have spoken to eBay reps I have generally found them to be friendly, but uninformed. Not really very impressive!

Glenn • 17th October 2011 •

I think Glenn is generous with his 3rd rank amateur rating but like him I always found the reps friendly. Gary hit the nail on the head, 'eBay need to analyse why contact with customer service is made' otherwise you are just going around in circles. Hard to run a business when your head is spinning

Henrietta • 17th October 2011 •

I spent many years working in a call centre. Every effort was made to reduce the number of incoming calls. Call centre staff are a companies biggest non productive expense in a world of automation. System developers were advised that their new development project would not be signed off if it resulted in increased call volumes. This is basically where the issue is with eBay. Developements such as TRS and DSR's and all developements that require a buyer to input data about a seller or to respond to a seller result in a proportion of seller calls to their call centre. Do ebay analyse calls per buyer data input to come up with call ratios? eg:- for DSR data 1000 data entries by a buyer results in 20 calls by a seller giving a data input to call ratio of 2%. A management target would be to reduce this to 0%. All it requires is for eBay to list every possible buyer input and then analayse each input for the effect on the seller and whether the effect will result in proportionate number of seller customer service calls. Call centre staff are then asked to classify each call. You can then clearly see which buyer input results in the highest percentage of calls relative to inputs. You then know which areas of the business to focus on to reduce costs. If eBay management were given the right targets and the right incentives and tools and development support for achieving these targets then customer service call volumes could be cut significantly. Trouble is the eBay brains trust keep coming up with ideas that create workload for customer services rather than achieving the opposite!

Gary • 17th October 2011 •

Their sales support lies. They had a glitch in the shipping services (it was just reported today in google news). I have been trying to get a supervisor and they ALWAYS say none is available and take my number saying one will call you within two hours. It never happens. There seems to be systemic lying in their program. I tried to email them and all emails are good. If anyone has an email for ebay please let me know.

Robert Greene • 17th October 2011 •

patronising attitude is their worst fault if they cant help at least treat you as if your not daft

northumbrian • 17th October 2011 •

On occasion I have wanted to send an attachment usually an image in order to expedite resolution of a dispute, eBay's excuse for not receiving attachments has always been fear of malware. This said to me they are incompetent as programmers, they should be able to code to sandbox emails, and that they are not up to date with technology for Macs or Linux on the incoming emails would eliminate the malware threat.

Old Hand • 17th October 2011 •