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Category : Customer Relationship Management

Customer Relationship Management

How to simplify your eBay customer support process

How to simplify your eBay customer support process - Online Seller UK


Customer service is the lifeblood of any online business.

It can be tricky for growing companies to keep up with customer service, particularly during busy periods like Christmas and summer holidays. This is especially true when it comes to scaling customer support as your eBay sales grow.

For eBay sellers, customer support is the holy grail. Seller metrics – and ultimately sales – depend upon factors such as response and resolution times. The most successful companies’ constantly review their customer service processes, to make life easier for not only buyers, but for staff too.

Here are three steps to reducing the workload of your customer support staff.

Step 1: Map Your Current Process

The first step in streamlining your customer support is to record daily activities.

Recording and analysing your current customer support process is the easiest way of understanding and mapping the key activities within each task and identifying ways to simplify the process, both on a minute and macro level.

Key processes such as returns and refunds should be scrutinised and simplified as much as possible. Sure, it’s great if all a buyer has to do is click a button and a return or refund request is submitted – but is it just as quick and painless for customer service staff to process it? Do they have to process the payment manually? Do they have to use more than one system?

Boiling down common processes into a few simple steps mitigates the amount of work for your support staff, freeing them up to engage with and help your customers in more meaningful ways.

Step 2: Identify Contributing Factors

Once support activities have been recorded and broken down into individual tasks, it’s time to start recording the key metrics within them to further distinguish the most resource-demanding factors.

The quickest way to determine which areas of support need review is to start with your inbox. Recognising which query types account for the biggest percentage of your inbox enables you to classify them and compile a spectrum of most and least frequent queries. For example, if you receive a large number of shipping queries; are these due to reasons such as late deliveries or unclear shipping times being given at checkout? Determining the basis of these issues will enable you to take action to mitigate their likelihood, as well as implementing strategies to deal with situations when they do occur.

It’s essential to involve all CS reps in this process, as they will be able to share which situations and messages take up the most of their day. This step is all about locating the functions which constitute the most workload for the reps and working backwards to determine (and negate) the root cause.

Common problems (and solutions) include:

  • Returns: Record the reason for each return, to deduce the most common causes and establish the driving force behind this.
  • Damaged goods: If there are high rates of goods damaged at arrival, the packaging used should be reviewed.
  • Wrong delivery: A high volume of wrong item deliveries could suggest a problem with pick pack and warehousing.
  • Late delivery: Late deliveries could indicate a problem with your courier.

Product queries are one of the most time-consuming to answer because they require specific answers pertaining to different products, which may require staff to look up the information requested. For this reason they are always worth delving into further. Receiving questions about products is an opportunity to improve and update product descriptions to be more detailed and to clarify any ambiguity for future buyers, thus boosting customer satisfaction, while shrinking product query volumes.

Step 3: Strategic Automation

Once the customer service process has been mapped and the key contributing factors analysed, automation of the most time-consuming tasks can be implemented.

A quick way to get started is by using the data from the inbox analysis, which determined the most common query types, and using it to create a library of template responses for support staff to utilise. The process of crafting good support messages can be somewhat time-consuming, but in the long run will save staff hours typing.

When automating and implementing pre-sale preparation, it’s valuable to remember that many customers prefer to be autonomous and either have easy access to their own self-serve solution or to be able to find the answer without contacting a customer service representative.

For example; including a note and pre-labelled envelope with the company’s address (particularly for items such as clothes, which have a higher margin of returns rates) will save buyers the frustration of contacting customer support to find this information and in turn reduce the potential for negative feedback from an unsatisfactory experience.

Every marketplace seller is conscious of their metrics with regards to customer response and resolution times. The quickest and most effective way of increasing these is by creating auto-responses for periods where there could be a delayed response, for example out of office hours.

Setting up strategic automated messages not only lets your buyers know that their query has been received and will be dealt with swiftly, but also ensures that your response metrics remain high.

Follow these three steps and ensure you raise your customer service game to a new level in 2016.


Author: Josie is Head of Partnerships for XSellco, a Dublin based eCommerce solutions provider specialising inJosie Grant - Xsellco
solutions for multi-channel online vendors. XSellco’s main products are Fusion a HelpDesk tool build to
online retailers, Price Manager an Amazon repricer and High5 a marketplace feedback solicitation tool.

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Customer Relationship Management eCommerce

Increase Your Mailing List with Mailchimp PayPal Addon

Email is a good way to keep in touch with your customers, inform them about their deliveries and keep them aware of any new products or new deals.

It is essential to grow your Mailing Customers List in order to generate add on revenue to your business. One of many effective ways is to gather emails from those who have already purchased from you using PayPal. Since these customers already knows you and know how good your service is, it is more likely for them to buy from you again.

Mailchimp’s, PayPal add-on will help you do this easily. You don’t need any expert and you can DIY. I have put together some slides to walk you through this process. I hope you will find this useful and please do let me know how you get on.


[slideshare id=34022551&sc=no]

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Customer Relationship Management

A Clever Tool “Boomerang for Gmail”

Following this tweet, thought I should let you know “Boomerang” tool is available if you would like to schedule messages rather than sending messages half past five on Friday evening.

Personally, I like doing things as and when it occurs and Boomerang Scheduling function works a treat for me.  I also use its Boomerang feature, to give me a reminder if I don’t get a reply after a certain amount of days. I then react to it by a phone call or send follow up email. Life has become so much easier with this !

Let me  know what you think of this. And Yes, there also Boomerang for Outlook.

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Customer Relationship Management

Hassel Free Return By Bluebyte Amazon Seller

Hassel Free Return By Bluebyte Amazon Seller

I would like to look at things in a positive way. I am sorry for the circumstances mentioned below and it is only a constructive feedback for online sellers.

I have come across a situation of returns with my purchase from Amazon. Please note this is with a third party seller within Amazon.

Ordered Item:

1 of TeckNet® X340 Mini Bluetooth Wireless Handheld Keyboard with Touchpad Mouse and LED for Mac / New iPad / Google Android TV / PC / iPhone / Android 3.0 [ASIN: B00FF9V9QA]

Seller:  Bluebyte

I was not satisfied with this product and requested a full refund on December 21, 2013 with a reason “No longer needed/wanted”. I got a response immediately which I was very happy with:

“Dear BlueByte Ltd and Prabhat Shah,

This email is being sent to you by Amazon as notification and confirmation that a return authorisation has been requested for the item(s) listed below.

BlueByte Ltd, please take action on this return request in the Manage Returns section of your seller account. You can also respond to the buyer by replying to this email.

Prabhat Shah, the information below confirms that you have requested authorisation to return the items below to BlueByte Ltd. No additional action is required from you at this time.”

I got another response from the third party seller on Tue, 24 Dec 2013. I was pleased that seller made an effort to respond my case and promised for a full refund. Here’s their response-

“Dear Customer:

We are sorry about this problem. Please send the item back to the following address with your Amazon order ID number.


PO BOX 122


L9 7WQ

We will fully refund the payment back to you

We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused. If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.


BlueByte Limited”

The item was returned on 27th December 2013 and got a refund and response from the seller on the 31st December 2013.

“Dear customer,

We have received the keyboard and we give you the refund of this order. Thanks for shopping with us.

 with regards,


I was quite happy with the customer support from Bluebyte and I will definitely order again from this seller in future. I had a hassle-free return within a week and this is why I shop on Amazon. Just to summarise:

Return Request: December 21, 2013

Seller Response: 24th Dec 2013

Returned item: 27th December 2013

Refund Received: 31st December 2013

If you are a third party seller on Amazon or on eBay, are you providing same level of customer service?

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Customer Relationship Management

An Unhappy Customer Over Christmas

I hope you all had good Christmas. Over this holiday period I came across a tweet from a good friend of mine who was furious with a gift delivered. Here’s the tweet

It is absolutely wrong to send damaged Children’s gift for Christmas. They wait for this moment for a long time and to see this spoilt is not acceptable. Additionally, it was really annoying to have a response like this –

No one can deny that online sales has grown over the past few years as we started build trust on online sellers. We know now our transactions are secure, delivery time is good and there is no hassle return should we change our mind. However, circumstances like this discourage customers to buy online.

If I had ended up in this situation I would expect a quick apology and a full refund. What about you  ?

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Customer Relationship Management eCommerce

GROW your business with Email Marketing

This was our First FREE Digital Marketing Event. We have series of planned Digital Marketing events that will take your business to the next level of Web Presence. You will find presentation slides at the end of this post.

Thursday, 13th June 2013 at 6pm – 8pm

Location: Unit 16, Torfaen Business Centre Panteg Way, New Inn NP4 0LS

Our Digital events aims to help you setting strategy to drive traffic, optimise website, and ultimately build this fledgling function into a key part of the digital strategy. Participating on these events means you will learn to set a clearly defined digital marketing strategy and work to deliver this in tandem with traditional marketing activity. You will explore all things digital, from mobile and social media, through to SEO, Email Campaigns and PPC strategies.

This Email Marketing event covered:

  • Does Email Marketing work?
  • How to Get Email Subscribers ?
  • Planning & Delivering Email Campaigns
  • The Science of Email Marketing
  • Integrating Email + Twitter + Facebook
  • How to Set Up Campaigns ?
  • Legal Considerations

Excellent – learned a great deal. Dennis Rickett (Spectrum Positive)

Great Friendly useful session, lot of insight –  Tom Bond ( PHP Genie) 

Good pace, was able to keep up ! Good interaction with the group – Chris Thomas ( Vintage Vision)

A very information & interesting session. Well structured, taking home new information. Viv Leach (Vitality for Life)

Very informative – thank you ! Would recommend. Great knowledge ! – Laura Walker ( Boulders Climbing Centre)

Great service, very informative. Would recommend. – Peter Mullen (Full Circle Waster Services)

Excellent. Superb. Very informative – Steve  (Allsorts Training)
[slideshare id=22955119&style=border: 1px solid #CCC; border-width: 1px 1px 0; margin-bottom: 5px;&sc=no]


Creating Email Campaigns with Mailchimp: Torfaen Business Centre
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Customer Relationship Management

Recycled Packaging, Is this any good ?

Sense of recycling is increasing. With reduced polythene bags being given out from Super Market shows companies are actually helping to reduce the waste. Why not take advantage of this thought and recycle the packaging to complete the online orders ?

You can easily source the cardboards from your local businesses alike Cash & Carry and don’t forget McDonand’s. Most of businesses are happy to get rid of their recyclable waste for nothing. One thing I got to admit that their Fries Boxes are the strongest among all. What about “bubble wraps” ? These can be replaced with shredded paper or used shrink wraps. The main aim is to secure the Packaging and job is done without spending a penny !

How would customer take this ? Like I mentioned earlier most of the customers have sense of reducing waste. But DO REMEMBER to pack gift items like Fragrances in a best packaging available. At Concord Extra we have used this method from past three years and haven’t had any complaints.

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