Today I was the recipient of a great piece of customer service which really made me value the transaction and will ensure that I not only remember who I did business with but that I hold them in high esteem in the future. Stay with me and I’ll tell you all about it and then you can learn how you too can improve your customer service skills by doing what this seller did for me.
Whilst at work today my phone rang, it was an unknown number which is not entirely unusual. More often than not its a recorded PPI message or a telemarketer I usually ignore them but this time I answered the call.
“Hello is that Mark?” A voice with an accent I couldn’t place asked.
“Speaking” I said
“Hello there my names Roger, you bought some Nintendo games from me on Monday.”
To be honest I was taken aback, I’ve never had an eBay seller phone me up. I’ve had couriers call and ask for directions or to see if I had a preference as to where they could leave a package. My first thought was that there was an issue with my payment or I’d somehow messed up my address or something.
It turns out there was an issue with my purchase, I had bought two Nintendo Game and Watch games and a Gameboy SP. I thought I got a good deal as all three were working and in good condition or at least that’s how they were described.
“I’m afraid there’s a bit of a problem with one of the games you bought”
I thought maybe his dog had eaten it or he’d dropped it down the toilet whilst having one last play but that was not the case.
“I’ve just began to pack the games up and noticed that the Donkey Kong game doesn’t close properly, it shuts but doesn’t stay shut, it still works perfectly but I thought I would have to give you a ring to see if you still wanted them?”
“Sure as long as it still works that’s fine, I can always have a tinker with it when it arrives.”
“Good then I will send it tomorrow, I can either send it Royal Mail and you’ll get it the next day or I can send it myHermes and I’ll include the batteries seeing as they don’t restrict sending them, but it will take a little longer to arrive?”
“I’m in no hurry so if you’re happy to include the batteries that’s great!”
“Then I’ll send them tomorrow, thanks for being understanding about the issue.”
“No problem, thanks for calling and letting me know!”
And that’s it, at first I was a bit confused as to why he’d called me instead of sending a message, but then I understood and then I was impressed! Someone had used their initiative to make a call which was a lot more personal and left a lasting impression. Maybe it’s because I’m interested in eBay and it’s inner workings, maybe it’s because he was just a genuinely nice guy but whatever it was he managed to turn a negative thing i.e. The damaged item, into a positive and that may not have translated quite as well in an eBay message.
How can you improve your customer service by calling your customers?
I’m not saying that as soon as you’ve made a sale you should give your customers a ring for a good old chinwag but it’s definitely worth considering when there’s an issue with a transaction.
Consider the following scenarios:
- Your buyer hasn’t paid
- Your buyer has complained that their item hasn’t arrived yet or is damaged
- You’ve noticed a flaw that you didn’t put in the item description
- You’ve sent them the wrong item by mistake
Now think how you would usually try to solve these issues, eBay messaging would be the way 90% of us would go. How effectively can you really communicate through text? Surely a phone call to the buyer proves that not only do you care enough to actually pick up the phone but that you actually want to take steps required to help them. You can also show the buyer that you’re a genuine person and hopefully like my seller get them on your side and solve the problem and maybe even avoid negative feedback!
I think this tactic would also potentially weed out dodgy buyers who claim not to have received items. A personal phone call where your personality is able to come through may make them feel guilty and when put under pressure they may not be able to continue the lie.
How do you find out a buyers phone number?
It’s easy really, you can’t find the phone number on the eBay app, but you can log into your account on a computer or mobile browser, head to your sold items and find the arrow at the far right of the transaction.
Click the arrow and choose “View Sales Record” from the dropdown list.
Simply look at the page and you will see the phone number, if your buyer has entered one onto the system of course!
Do you think calling your customers could help you when there’s been an issue? If so give them a bell and see what happens.
It’s good to talk.