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Expert Planet and eBay Case Study

Expert Planet, teleservices provider to eBay and PayPal, uses West cloud contact center technology to solve a 21st Century customer service conundrum.

Background

Expert Planet is a leading tele-services provider with a large base of over 5000 agents, both in the office and remote, throughout the US. The company has a strong track record in using technology to deploy innovative customer communications strategies on behalf of clients, which include online auction site eBay.

Challenge

As one of the original online businesses, eBay presents a particularly 21st century customer service conundrum. Unlike a more traditional retailer, eBay’s customers are both those who buy and those who sell. It has a huge and active community of online sellers, many of whom make a living purely through the site as well as thousands of retailer businesses who sell through the site.

The company’s VIP customers are known as “PowerSellers” – those who have sold over a set volume through the site. As eBay’s revenue comes from its commission on sales through the site, PowerSellers essentially run the business; almost part customer, part employee, and part stakeholder.

For this reason, it is imperative for eBay’s business model that PowerSellers truly do get VIP level customer service. But these customer/employee/stakeholders do not sit in one location; they are all over the world and the only unifier between them is the internet and eBay. These VIPs have a high level of knowledge and expertise, but also equally high demands for good service.

Solution

Ebay outsources its customer communications to Expert Planet, with the teleservices provider employing a network of eBay customer service agents. Like the PowerSellers, Expert Planet’s agents are not based in one location. In fact, they are all PowerSellers themselves, which means they have all the expertise required to communicate with eBay’s most valued customers.

A significant part of what Expert Planet is required to do for eBay is communicating new features to PowerSellers. Expert Planet uses West Cloud Contact Pro’s advanced Contact Flow Editor to intelligently plan and schedule communications for its dispersed network of sellers and agents.

The intelligent call scripting feature creates a dynamic, personalized script for each outbound call based on the history, the responses of the PowerSeller being contacted, and the message that’s being communicated.

Because Cloud Contact Pro is a cloud-based contact center solution, these home-based workers are able to connect to the platform from wherever they reside.

The Benefits

One example of an update that needed to be communicated to PowerSellers was the launch of global shipping, which offered sellers the ability to send items globally via a US based shipping center.

Initially the new feature was communicated via the eBay site and in an email, at which point opt-in for the service was under ten percent. Expert Planet conducted a campaign to PowerSellers explaining the new service, resulting in 70 percent plus adoption rate.

The key to campaign effectiveness is personalization. While the key messages are the same, dynamic call scripting in combination with the ability to use a workforce of homeworking experts has allowed Expert Planet to communicate messages on a personal level to a community that are both demanding customers and experts in their own right.

“Our vision has always been to offer unique teleservices solutions through technology. When addressing the complexity of eBay’s customer communications, we looked for best in class technology that could help solve that problem. We challenged the team at West to customize its advanced call flow and dynamic call scripting tools to help us, and they rose to that challenge by delivering technology that allows us to deploy a completely flexible, personalized customer experience with the most qualified agents for the job regardless of their location.”
– Ghen Sugimoto, Chief Marketing Officer, Expert Planet

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