So yesterday morning eBay and PayPal appear to have gone into meltdown while I was out for the day in meetings (Apologies for not blogging yesterday but by the time I got to read the deluge of emails it was all fixed). However it does tie in nicely with some information we’ve got on what’s happening with account managers and I’m sure yesterday was a day when many of you wanted to find out what was going on.
We’ve had a few people mention that they’re losing their account manager and we wanted to let you know what’s happening according to eBay.
The short answer is that there will be a new structure with three main tiers of account management plus some extra programs:
Merchant Development Account Managers
There are no set rules for which companies qualify for a Merchant Development manager, but the good news is that for those that do there will be stability as it’s a 12 month program. Account managers will be specifically tasked (and remunerated) based on their ability to help these accounts grow and you’ll only likely to be invited to participate in the program if your business has the potential for massive growth and expansion.
The criteria will be based on size, priority of vertical, opportunity and available inventory. This isn’t a program for life, it’s a strategic management program for eBay sellers who can scale very quickly. This program has grown out of the Enterprise Account Management program (eBay Outlets in the main), and it’s being significantly expanded so that it’s not longer just for the elite few.
Top Customer Care
Whilst it’s preferable to build a relationship with a named account manager, the Top Customer Care team is largely made up of the same team. The important thing is that ratios of account managers to sellers has been reduced, so this team will now have more time to dedicate to you when you call in.
This team is based in Dublin, and whilst you may not always speak to the same person everyone you do speak to will be pretty experienced. One question that has been raised is that every time you call in you have to start from scratch on the issue as the customer service agent may not know the history of the issue – eBay are looking at ways to streamline this.
Top Customer Care is for sellers doing significant business and if you’re reading from elsewhere in Europe the foreign language teams you’ll probably speak to are also based in Dublin (with the exception of Germany).
Other things happening are the Seller Protection Program where feedback is automatically removed, the algorithms are kicking up a notch and more feedback and DSRs appear to be being removed than ever before.
General Customer Support
If you’ve only just opened an eBay account or do very low level’s of business you’ll probably be speaking to General Customer Support. However there are still some more programs which you may be a part of whichever level of support is assigned to you.
Strategic Support Programs
There are more short term (and longer term) initiatives running at eBay than ever before. They include the Accelerated Growth Program, the Seller Council, Seller Success Program (targeting specific initiatives) and also many beta test programs (we’re aware of some such as Product Bundles and International Shipping, but there are probably many more that we haven’t heard of). If you’re invited to join any of these programs we’d recommend you jump at the opportunity, as it usually means you’ll get to know whichever senior eBay Business Unit Manager is running the program.
Support is changing (again!) at eBay and as always it’ll suit some sellers and not others. The big question is how does support cope when eBay and PayPal go into melt down as happened yesterday. We know that some sellers had sales paid for but not appearing in My eBay, and other sellers who had multiple payments for a single sale. Has everything been resolved with duplicate payments cancelled and missing orders restored ready for shipping? What was your account management experience like if you spoke to them yesterday (bearing in mind that the tech issues aren’t something an account manager can deal with, but clearing up the aftermath and protection from poor feedback is).