Thursday, October 30, 2008

Improve Your Customer Service this Holiday Season!

I'm mainly speaking to eBay sellers with this post, though website and other marketplace sellers have some of the same issues. 

With all of the changes happening at eBay and the impact of DSR's on your search standing/exposure, it is imperative that you don't drop the customer service and delivery ball this holiday season.

Veteran eBay sellers know their feedback scores can take a major pounding at this time of year. Q4 2008, that is even more likely, because it is the first Christmas of one-sided feedback and the dreaded DSR's (last Christmas DSR's didn't affect your standing in search). If you don't watch your inventory levels and double-up your efforts in customer service, you may find you won't show-up in search come January.

Answering the incessant emails from eBay buyers can become overwhelming, especially during this time of year. I would encourage you to add extra help if your budget can afford it, because falling behind on customer service this Christmas could be detrimental to your business.

Also, watch your inventory. Our biggest problem at Glacier Bay (during the holidays) was running out of stock on something that we had actually sold. The extra effort spent to find it from another source and deliver it in time for Christmas was overwhelming and made the deal unprofitable, I would have been much better off not selling the item than jumping through all of those hoops. Customers just don't care why you ran out of their product they just want the product they paid for and they want it to arrive when in time. Manage your inventory and your listings so you can deliver everything that is ordered in time.

This is going to be a strange holiday shopping season, especially on eBay, so do your best to keep inventory and customer service issues to a minimum. 

What I'm doing:

This is a major reason, I've chosen to use Amazon's FBA service. I can't sell an item I do not have in stock and Amazon handles all of my customer service. I can also offer buyers, gift wrapping services and next day delivery up to the 23rd of Dec. I'm looking at a 400% increase in sales Y/Y this Q4 and my only real concern will be getting product to Amazon by the 18th of Dec. so I have enough product to sell through the 23rd.

Just my 15%

3 comments:

David said...

Last year during Christmas I purposely got on a schedule where I'd work from 11:00 in the evening and work until 7:00 in the morning.

Sounds crazy, but the idea was that this was the time where there would be the least amount of distractions and therefore I'd be the most productive.

BMX said...

I have 4.9's across the board for now so unless something major changes I think I should be able to maintain that level.

Used to think it was impossible but if you bow into some of ebays BS on the shipping and get creative you can do it too.

Now since I am a super star seller, where are all my mega profits ebay??

Randy Smythe said...

BMX,

As they told me; "my overhead was too much" that's why I wasn't profitable.