The eBay community has a strong history within eBay. eBay itself is considered a community, but the actual eBay community has been around nearly as long as eBay, 20 years.
Entry submitted by: Doug Smith (Community Tech Manager)
Community: The eBay Community
Lithy category: Social Support Champion
eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) is a global commerce leader including the Marketplace, StubHub and Classifieds platforms. Collectively, we connect millions of buyers and sellers around the world, empowering people and creating opportunity through Connected Commerce. Founded in 1995 in San Jose, Calif., eBay is one of the world's largest and most vibrant marketplaces for discovering great value and unique selection. In 2016, eBay enabled $84 billion of gross merchandise volume. For more information about the company and its global portfolio of online brands, visit www.ebayinc.com.
Lithium powers 14 eBay communities covering 12 countries and 4 continents. Over 10 million registered community members globally contribute 1.5M+ posts a year that need to be moderated, interacted with, and supported. Our primary focus is U.S., but we also assist with management of other worldwide communities as needed.
We have worked to improve our moderation model with Lithium’s help, and hired a new eBay Community team. We have also increased eBay employee engagement and have eBay employees posting in the eBay Community, weekly chats, special event based interaction around events like our Seller Updates.
In the past year, the US Community alone has seen nearly 10 million unique visitors. There have been nearly 70,000 topics posted, with 450,000 replies, 370,000 kudos given, and over 7,000 solutions accepted.
Our online customer service channel integrates directly with the eBay Community. eBay buyers or sellers can ask the eBay Community a question via online customer service tools, which is then posted to our our ‘eBay Community Experts’ board for an answer. In 2017, we began using SMM for Service to make management, engagement, and metrics measurement and reporting more efficient.
Our ‘eBay Community Experts’ program helps empower our most active community members to help with CS call deflection. Potential experts apply to the program and are vetted based on community activity, helpfulness, tone, and willingness to work with the eBay Community management team. In the last year, the Member-to-Member support board has had over 288,000 questions, 261,000 answers, over 83,000 kudos given, over 18,000 solutions accepted, and an average 117 minutes to first solution.
Integrated with the eBay Community in October 2016, our Knowledge Base provides a searchable database of curated answers from our community experts and eBay employees. The Knowledge Base has had more than 46,000 unique visitors, and we have plans to continue to grow the topic and answer selection.
Our single biggest challenge is to boost awareness of the eBay Community as a resource for buyers, sellers, and eBay employees.
We are working to align the eBay community with eBay business objectives that include customer retention, improved sentiment, cost savings, new visitors, and increased buying and selling activity on our marketplace.
We want buyers, sellers and employees to be able to connect via the eBay Community, and feel that it is a place where they can belong. Members can learn about products and ask product questions, and get business best practices. Members can be heard in discussion boards, groups and in blog comments. Members can connect online and meetup offline, and explore like-minded interests in our groups. Members can share their stories – life stories as well as buying and selling stories. Finally, members can be recognized for their participation and contribution to eBay via the eBay Community.
We have worked to welcome back members who have moved on, and improved our sign on process.In 2016, we introduced a ‘recognition program’ (gamification) to our Community. As our Community is 20 years old this wasn’t an easy task, it was one that we had to communicate efficiently to our members to ensure they saw the value & benefits of it. We are working to get more eBay employees involved in the eBay Community, including executives. We are working on improved eBay Community integration with our Meet-up groups, and smoother integration with eBay Radio.
We have hired a new eBay Community team and have a community director, manager, tech lead and three customer service representatives dedicated to eBay community support, enhancement, and growth. We actively participate in the eBay Community, and have content plans including increased blogs, and a video strategy that will incorporate community training and features and feedback on eBay employees and executives.
We are working internally within eBay and with Lithium to develop our metrics around ROI, call deflection, and agent SLA.
Our Community Health score is best in class according to Lithium standards. We regularly score over 800 against the average CHI score of 650 among Lithium e-commerce customers.
Recent eBay community team feedback:
Customer satisfaction is certainly important to us as well. In February 2017, we launched our first community CSAT survey, which has been served over 2 million times, with 63% of respondents ranking their satisfaction with their eBay Community experience as either OK, satisfied or very satisfied.
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