The electronics etailer Ebuyer sells itself in great part on competitive prices. Its website claims the company’s “customers know they’re getting the best prices and exclusive offers on a huge range of electricals”. This in itself poses a major challenge. Offering more than 70,000 products and with more than 1.3 million registered customers, it’s a mass-market retailer working at volume at a time when customers increasingly expect personalised service.
How best to meet this challenge? Ebuyer achieved its Leading rating in The Customer Dimension of the IRUK 500 through a combination of site performance and customer service across a variety of channels.
According to Sue Pickering, head of brand and customer experience, site performance is a key consideration for Ebuyer. “It is the backbone of an online company in the same way an aesthetically pleasing, well-staffed store is crucial to high street success,” she says. In keeping with this idea, Ebuyer has “invested heavily in infrastructure over the past two years to improve site load speed” via “a combination of site upgrades, re-writes, software and development”.
Speed and responsiveness, though, are only part of the story here. In addition, the company has worked to improve site navigation as part of improving its customer service. “We have also focused on the technical SEO and content quality on the site so the customer is delivered to the right page quickly with enough information to continue their journey,” says Pickering.
Ebuyer also scored strongly in our research when responding to enquiries. “We have specialist teams to work in different areas of customer support, from call centre operators, business specialists to technical engineers, as well as a dedicated social media team,” says Pickering. Without labouring the point, Ebuyer appears to have learnt from previous customer service problems such as that which befell the company in 2011, when a £1 sale event caused its website to crash.
As for whether it’s more important to get the right technology or the right people when it comes to providing great customer service, Pickering unequivocally emphasises “the right people, with the right attitude, who put the customer first”.
She adds: “The right technology supports and underpin this culture. We also extend this philosophy to our suppliers, looking for those who actively take ownership of resolving problems and identifying issues. It’s vital that our suppliers and our culture match our brand promise.”
Improving customer service, Pickering adds, is an ongoing process. “Based on our most recent customer feedback,” she says, “we’re now looking at our delivery options, improving our mobile capabilities for the growing number of smartphone/tablet users, as well as ongoing development of our website.”