Build Sales with Customer Service

“Always do more than what is required of you.” 

George S. Patton.  

 

There are thousands of ebay buyers.

In fact, it’s hard to find an adult who hasn’t purchased something from ebay at least once in their life.  Many of these buyers are repeat customers who have found shopping on ebay a way to save money and find exactly what they want.  You’ll notice them, they have hundreds or even thousands of feedback but they aren’t selling anything.  They always pay and very rarely cause problems.

There are thousands of ebay sellers.

I just did a search for ‘Banana Republic Shirt’ in the men’s casual shirt category and there are 7,326 choices.  SEVEN THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED & TWENTY SIX.  What sets you apart?  Why choose you?  This is the question you want to be asking yourself.

The Goal.

Your goal should be to find the ‘strong buyers’ and when opportunity knocks make their experience an excellent one.  Most of the ‘strong buyers’ on ebay have their go to list aka favorite, saved sellers.   This is a good list to be on.

Excellent Customer Service.

“Customers may forget what you said but they’ll never forget how you made them feel. “

Unknown

 

The reality is that every step in your ebay business matters but customer service can be the one thing that sets you apart.  Here are a few different ideas that can help win new customers and keep them for life.

MESSAGES:

Communication with the buyer is an important step at building trust.  If you do it properly you’ll be on your way to a sale or multiple future sales.  Here are a few strategies that we use in our business.

Answer Messages Promptly

Whether the message is good or bad we get it answered as quickly as we can.  If we are away from our office and are using our mobile phones, we will often send a quick reply letting them know we got their message and will answer it when we get back to our office.  

Verbiage is Critical

Which sounds better…

Potential customer:  What is the chest measurement of this blouse?  Thanks!

Answer from Seller A:  22”.

Answer from Seller B:  It’s already posted on the listing under measurements.

Answer from Seller C:  Hey there!  The chest measurement is 22”.  Thanks for asking and please let us know if you have any other questions.  By the way – love the color of this blouse!

Hopefully you see the difference between these answers.  

Seller A did nothing wrong by answering the question the way they did but didn’t add value or trust.  (Lost Opportunity)

Seller B probably needs to take a chill pill.  Yes, it’s listed under the measurements but some people just miss it.  (Good luck Seller B)

Seller C made it personal, inviting and added a positive opinion about the item that is being considered for purchase.  Odds are in their favor that they will get the sale.

When a customer has a concern or problem be professional.  As an example, “Hey there – we are really sorry the item didn’t work out, please let us know how we can make it right for you.”  Obviously each situation is different but if you handle a concern in a professional manner the customer will TRUST you in the future because they know you’ll make it right and treat them with respect.

RESPONDING TO NEGATIVE OR NEUTRAL FEEDBACK:

What’s the first thing someone does when looking at feedback?  They read the negative and neutral.  We feel that it’s important to protect your negative feedback by replying to each one.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen too many people respond to negative feedback in a way that turns potential customers off.  No matter how frustrated or wrong the person is who left the negative feedback you have to respond professionally.

Bad replies to negative feedback:

“This customer is a LIAR.  We did everything properly.”

“This person is an idiot, we would never sell a used item.”

Good replies to negative feedback:

“Unfortunately customer had unrealistic demands, tried to rectify fairly.”

“Issue was addressed promptly and customer was refunded in full.”

The point is, you look professional and trustworthy or you look like someone who let’s people get under their skin.  I KNOW there are liars and idiots out there but you have to rise above them and take the high road.

SEND THANK YOU NOTES:

We make sure that every package we send out has a thank you note.  We don’t stop there because we feel this is another opportunity to continue to build trust and invite them to follow us on ebay.

Our thank you note changes from time to time but generally reads like this:

Thank You!!

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns by reaching us through the ebay messaging system.  Your satisfaction is important to us.

We encourage you to follow us on ebay as we list TONS of new items monthly and strive to find high end and unique pieces.

We appreciate positive feedback from you.  Thanks and have a great day!!

 

There are a lot of different ways to write a good thank you note.  The one that we have written is not the standard by any means but it accomplishes our goal of trying to find repeat buyers.

  1. It thanks them.
  2. If they have a problem, we’ve already addressed it by asking them to contact us.
  3. We’ve asked them to follow / like us as sellers and given them a reason why.
  4. We’ve asked them for positive feedback.

This may sound very simple but not sending a thank you note is cold.  Even sending an invoice only is cold.  Don’t let something as simple as a pre-printed noted keep you from future sales.

Coming Up Next!

We will discuss how to tackle problem customers and returns.  Please let us know if you have anything you would like to hear about.  Thanks a ton for reading!

Jesse

4 thoughts on “Build Sales with Customer Service

  1. The idea present here can’t be overstated enough.

    Of course, a lot of these types of inquiries, etc. depend on the type of items you sell, in many (perhaps most) categories on eBay, there are lots and lots of sellers who compete against each other for buyers. As such, every opportunity to get the potential buyer to reach for their wallet is key.

    When you get a buyer to check out your listing, you’ve accomplished way more than most right off the get go. Don’t push them out the door by a cold response, 2 days after the fact. You won’t make a sale, 99% of the time. Timely, concise and friendly responses are your best bet!

    Like

  2. Thanks for sharing Matt! I think at some point down the road I want to look at some key strategies for getting a buyer to check out your listing. Some are fairly obvious but the one thing that intrigues me is newly listed and ending soonest. Is there really a strategy to shorter listing time frames to increase sales? Besides just doing it, is there any way you can think of how to test it? Let me know because I’d like to experiment with it.

    Like

    • I think your answer is shrouded in mystery, since eBay provides all that information about how to build a Cassini-optimized listing, right ;).

      The first thing is that I think it does depend on what category and type of product you’re selling. I know the type of thing you sell tends toward the unique & one-of-a-kind, so perhaps this strategy wouldn’t work as well for you. Since I’m selling mostly mall brands that are, typically very saturated categories, I think it can help.

      Although there isn’t any data on this (at least as far as I can tell), test it out. Search for Brooks Brothers Blazer or any other common item that there’s bound to be several thousand listed. Scroll through the listings and, although no hard-and-fast rules, you can see trends in the listings that are at the top. Almost always, auctions with multiple bids will be highest. Auctions ending soon also seem to be close to the top. Fixed price listings that are newly listed or ending soon seem to be next, with the stale 30 and GTC listings typically coming in the later pages.

      Like

  3. Pingback: Buy it Now versus Auction | The ebay edge

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s