Customer service & buyer expectations for eBay Sellers


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If you're an eBay seller, or thinking about starting a business on eBay, make sure you get the fundamentals right from the start. There is a knife-edge difference between getting it right and getting it horribly wrong. Success in retail depends on many factors, and none more important that the customer experience you deliver. It starts before a sale is even made. Learn how to set winning customer expectations, and the importance of delivering a consistently positive experience for your customers, even when something goes wrong. Often it's what you do when something goes wrong that will determine whether your customer thinks well of you or not.

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Customer service & buyer expectations for eBay Sellers

  2. 2. THROUGH THE BUYER‟S EYES Buyers won‟t ordinarily think like a seller, so it‟s your job to think like a buyer and see yourself through their eyes.
  3. 3. CUSTOMER SERVICE & BUYER EXPECTATIONS 3 WHAT DO YOUR CUSTOMERS EXPECT? Past experiences… Other eBay sellers Other websites Bricks‟n‟mortar shops Friends‟ stories Dealings with you What they are told to expect… What you say about yourself Competitor advertising Media stories What you say about yourself Dealings with you Customer expectations are influenced by… As a seller, you can only affect 2 of these!
  4. 4. CUSTOMER SERVICE & BUYER EXPECTATIONS 4 You only get chance at a st impression ?Are you making customers feel welcome, or inadvertently encouraging them to go elsewhere?
  5. 5. CUSTOMER SERVICE & BUYER EXPECTATIONS 5 WHO ARE YOU APPEALING TO? Looking at these two photos, ask yourself what expectations you would have about each retailer in terms of price, availability of sizes, customer assistance and returns. What a customer sees in your listings will influence their expectations of what the their customer experience will be, regardless of any claims you make about yourself. Be careful what expectations you are creating.
  6. 6. CUSTOMER SERVICE & BUYER EXPECTATIONS 6 THE CUSTOMER SENTIMENT JOURNEY (a.k.a. the „Feedback Worm‟) RecoveringTestingWaitingShopping Customers have feelings, and their feelings at each stage of the shopping process will dictate the feedback they leave for you. Think about your own shopping experiences. Uncertainty, confusion, fear of being ripped off, nervousness, worrying the seller is dodgy, elation at receiving the item, and dejection to discover it is not what you expected, or worse that it is damaged or faulty. As a seller, you need to do your best to anticipate how buyers might be feeling at each stage and keep them in the positive zone through honesty, transparency, constant communication, reassurance and empathy.
  7. 7. BUYER SNAPSHOT What do I know about my buyers? What do they expect? How can I influence them? What will make them happy?
  8. 8. Customers are ordinary people too, just like you. They have all the same feelings, pressures and reactions as you do. The best sellers get into their customers‟ mindset and tailor their customer experience to keep everything comfortable and positive all the way. PROFILE OF A CUSTOMER CUSTOMER SERVICE & BUYER EXPECTATIONS 8 dreams hope fear insecurity self-image doubt uncertainty excitement anticipation health stress family work bills housework time money happiness appearance friends relaxation leisure holidays CUSTOMER PERSON
  9. 9. GET YOUR CUSTOMERS IN THE (RIGHT) MOOD • Make it easy • Make it quick • Make it look good • Make it interesting • Make it feel great • Make it personal • Keep it fresh CUSTOMER SERVICE & BUYER EXPECTATIONS 9 As an online retailer, you have control over what you do with the pixels on your customers‟ computer screens. Engage prospective customers from the first contact with your business through simple and compelling content and top quality images. Good design is not an accident. Invest the time and energy needed to give your customers great expectations which you can deliver every time. Then follow through and deliver consistently.
  10. 10. WHAT EXPECTATIONS SHOULD YOUR BUYERS HAVE? CUSTOMER SERVICE & BUYER EXPECTATIONS 10 • Quick response to questions • Courtesy & professionalism • Accurate product description • Competitive postage • Order dispatched quickly • Order delivered in time • Products delivered in condition advertised • Product functions as meant to • Fair & competitive returns policy/process Best practice: • Phone or 1-2 hours email • Non-defensive, objective • Free postage • 0-1 day handling • Express postage option • 30 days Providing you are a Top Rated Seller, the blue standards will qualify your listings as Top Rated Plus
  11. 11. FOLLOW THROUGH Making a sale is not the end game. The objective is to gain a customer who will not only come back, but will bring others with them.
  12. 12. Buyer Protection RETURNS POLICY 12 DOA Transit damage Change of mind Life of the product Seller‟s responsibility 30 days for TRP CUSTOMER SERVICE & BUYER EXPECTATIONS You can set the terms of your Change Of Mind policy, but keep it competitive. Put yourself in the buyer‟s shoes and consider what you would reasonably expect from a retailer in the event you received a faulty or damaged product, or if you changed your mind. Would you gladly pay for a faulty or damaged item to be returned to the retailer? No? Then don‟t expect your customers to do it either. As a business, it is your responsibility to be familiar with Australian Consumer Law and honour it.
  13. 13. WARRANTIES 13CUSTOMER SERVICE & BUYER EXPECTATIONS Communication 90 days 12 months LifetimeDuration Geographic Servicing Wear & tearConditions Reply paid Buyer pays Drop-offReturn shipping cost Manufacturer Distributor SellerProvided by Automatic Extra cost Time limitedExtended warranty Repair Replace RefundTreatment Warranties are far more complex that simply saying “you‟re covered”. Make sure you explain every aspect of warranties so customers know exactly what to expect and what to do if they need it. Take time to become familiar with Australian Consumer Law to make sure you are not breaking it by what you say or do. Being transparent and reassuring will win you more customers.
  14. 14. THE BUYER EXPERIENCE 14CUSTOMER SERVICE & BUYER EXPECTATIONS Customer Product Delivery Packaging Service Content Only two elements are online:  Content (including images)  Communication Each element either sets or satisfies the customer‟s expectations If any one element fails:  The buyer may have a bad experience  Your reputation may be tarnished The full customer experience extends well beyond your eBay store and listings Communication
  15. 15. Your one-stop resource for selling on eBay: