What To Do When eBay Sales Are Down
Nothing feels worse than watching something take your eBay sales down. One month you’re planning a big vacation, and the next, you’re dipping into savings just to cover the bills.
A million problems can cripple your eBay sales. New competitors, algorithm changes, or evolving trends can all cause trouble. But one course of action will almost always turn your sales around.
The Shortcut to Faster Sales
If your eBay sales are down, there’s one solution that will get them climbing faster than any other. One thing that has been a constant in eBay’s Best Match algorithms and buyer preferences. That thing is… (drumroll…) providing better customer service!
I can hear the crickets applauding.
I know, it’s not very sexy. But even a small improvement in response time or quality can have a HUGE effect on your sales. Most sellers have no idea what a difference it makes. Customer service is a match, and eBay’s algorithms are dynamite just waiting to be set off.
This infographic illustrates what I’m talking about:
It’s like riding a bike down a hill. Sure, you might have to work hard to get up there. But once you start down the slope, you just keep picking up speed!
A Massive Impact
Even a slight uptick in DSRs or Feedback can create a virtuous cycle. They simultaneously boost Best Match rankings and engagement. Due to eBay’s algorithms and the human tendency to click the first thing we see, that boosts your Best Match rankings and therefore your engagement.
You can’t beat this kind of chain reaction. Your visibility and sales will continue to improve even after you reach maximum performance in customer service… and achieving that takes quite a lot!
In addition, good customer service cuts costs: you get fewer eBay Money Back Guarantee claims, fewer chargebacks, and, if you take advantage of Top Rated Plus, lower fees. It pays for a lot more than itself!
As G.I. Joe tells us, knowing is half the battle. But only half of it. Here are actions you can take to get your customer service in shape:
Lightning-fast answers are paramount in sales. As the above infographic shows, 45% of customers will abandon a purchase if not answered quickly. If you take hours to reply to a pre-purchase question—or even a few minutes too many—someone who was one message away from making a purchase could buy from your competitor instead.
Speed matters just as much in support. 3% of customers expect email replies from customer service in just 10 minutes, 10% expect them in one hour, and another 50% within 24 hours. The longer it takes, the angrier customers get, and the more likely they are to leave negative Feedback and low DSRs. If you need any tips, here are a few on the best way to handle negative eBay feedback.
So, how do you provide faster responses?
Answer Messages off eBay
eBay’s messaging system has next to nothing in the way of customer service tools. Canned replies, automatic responses, support for multiple agents, and all the other tools that are essential for a growing business are unavailable on eBay. Unfortunately, it’s normally impossible to reply to eBay messages from outside the site.
ChannelReply fixes this. It lets you manage eBay and Amazon messaging from within Zendesk, Freshdesk or Desk.com. These professional helpdesks have all the tools mentioned above—and a lot more! Using ChannelReply can cut your response times down tremendously and help automate repetitive, time-consuming tasks.
Looking for a basic eBay messaging solution? We’ve recently released one on our app store that allows customers to receive and respond to eBay messages within the ecomdash platform.
If you work alone, you can’t be blamed for only offering eight hours of support a day and taking some time to respond. But larger operations can easily do better. Here are a few options:
Expand Your Hours
Rather than having complete overlap for everyone on your team, have some members start early and others end late. Or better yet, hire night owls or agents on the opposite side of the globe to work while most people sleep. The more of the clock you cover, the fewer the customers who have to wait hours to get a response.
Expand Your Team
If you have too many messages to handle, connecting eBay to a helpdesk with a solution like ChannelReply will make a huge difference. But even the best tools can’t answer every question on their own! If messages regularly pile up while your team is actively answering them, it’s time to hire more agents.
Train Your Team
An agent who has to look up answers or ask others what to do is inefficient. One who provides inaccurate answers is a liability.
Train your team so they know how to handle every situation in advance, and it will pay off in rapid, high-quality replies. Also, if they provide the right answer the first time, they won’t need to deal with follow-up emails from angry and confused customers.
Use an Ounce of Prevention
Look for your most common causes of negative Feedback and other customer service disasters. Then, ask yourself how you can prevent them.
One of the most common—and worst—problems for multichannel sellers is running out of stock, then having someone place an order on eBay before anyone can update the quantity on the listing. This forces the seller to cancel the sale and counts as a defective transaction. It can cost you Top Rated Seller status or have even graver consequences.
The best solution is to use eBay inventory management software to automatically track and update inventory levels across eBay and all your other sales channels and warehouses. That way, you’ll never have to cancel eBay orders due to an out-of-stock mix-up again.
eBay Sales Down No More!
After you’ve suffered from something taking your eBay sales down, providing better customer service is the fastest way to ratchet them back up. Combine better training and availability with high-ROI software like ChannelReply and Ecomdash, and you’ll see results in no time!
Have you had issues with eBay sales plummeting? What did you do to build them back up? Let us know in the comments.