Most pro sellers spend every day trying to boost eBay sales and profit margins. They hunt down new products, negotiate with suppliers and tweak their pricing. But many miss a fast and easy way to make more money: providing better customer service.

Great service makes a big difference in every industry. But on eBay, even a small improvement has a colossal impact. This infographic shows how:

How Does Better Customer Service Boost eBay Sales?

Every customer service interaction on eBay launches a chain reaction. Let’s look at two scenarios: one where service gets worse, and one where it gets better.

Negative Scenario: Customer Service Slowdown

Robin has sold hundreds of items over the holidays, and her eBay inbox is flooded. As she’s struggling to catch up while still shipping new orders on time, some messages wind up sitting unanswered for a full business day or longer.

That doesn’t sit well with customers. As shown in the infographic, over 60% expect a response in 24 hours or less. Some get impatient and revolt.

Negative Feedback starts coming in. Buyers leave one- and two-star detailed seller ratings for communication. Some who’ve waited especially long open Resolution Center cases against Robin. Both issues cause her Best Match search ranking to slip.

New customers who check out her Feedback score see a rash of recent negative reviews. They decide to buy from her competitors instead. This not only hurts her sales, but boosts engagement on competing listings, sending her rivals higher in Best Match searches.

In a matter of days, Robin’s listings have fallen off the first page of Best Match results, and her sales have dwindled. She has no choice but to cut prices to stay competitive.

That’s a pretty grim example, but it can happen all too easily. All it takes is a sudden spike in messages that you aren’t prepared for, or one lazy day with an it-can-wait mentality.

Luckily, the reverse is also true. Even the slightest improvement in your customer service can send your sales and profits through the roof. Here’s an example:

Positive Scenario: Customer Service Improvement

Every day, Tim gets questions he can’t answer about the power tools he sells. He loses hours looking up the info they need and still gets the answers wrong sometimes, costing him sales or leading to returns and money-back guarantee claims. Customers often buy from competitors while waiting for a response and occasionally leave negative Feedback about him misinforming them.

Realizing what this is costing him, Tim studies up on the tools he sells. He gets a set for himself and reads the handbooks cover to cover. Then he tackles the home improvement projects he’s had piling up to gain firsthand experience.

With all that knowledge, Tim can provide his customers with faster and better answers. His Feedback improves. This results in more sales. It also increases engagement, improving his Best Match rankings and resulting in even more sales.

At the same time, the claims against him fall and detailed seller ratings for communication improve. His Best Match rankings climb higher and boost eBay sales even further. His improved metrics qualify him for Top Rated Seller status, and now he gets a 10% discount on his final value fees.

Finally, some of his listings reach #1 in Best Match. This also causes them to top Grouped Listings searches and appear as “our pick”—the eBay equivalent of Amazon’s Buy Box. Tim now gets the lion’s share of eBay sales for those products.

Not bad returns for a small investment in customer service!

How to Improve Your eBay Customer Service

Knowing that you have to improve your customer service efforts is a start, but how do you actually do it?

Here are a few ways to rapidly improve your sales and support efforts on eBay:

  • Study your products (or train your agents) so you can quickly answer even tough questions.
  • Familiarize yourself with the offerings, capabilities, and policies of your couriers.
  • Learn what eBay will and will not allow so you can better manage weird requests.
  • Improve your communication skills to reduce misunderstandings.
  • Integrate eBay with a helpdesk to get powerful customer service tools.
  • Increase your support hours so customers have shorter waits for replies.
  • Hire new staff to help answer customers faster.

Don’t be afraid to invest time and money into your customer service. On eBay, customer service is not only your support and sales departments, it’s also a significant portion of your marketing thanks to how deeply it affects search. Budget accordingly.

Even Small Improvements Boost eBay Sales

Customer service has a profound butterfly effect on eBay. Every interaction sends ripples throughout eBay’s algorithms and impacts the purchase decisions of your potential customers. If you make even a small improvement to your service, you’ll almost certainly see your eBay sales climb.

What would be your best tip on boosting your eBay sales? Share it with us below in the comments or Tweet us!