For all of eBay's troubles the past yearfrom seller revolts to declining sales figures and investor confidenceonline shoppers still rate the auction giant among the best retailers when it comes to customer service.
eBay placed 14th overall in a survey that asked the open-ended question: "Thinking of all the different retail formats (store, catalog, Internet or home shopping), which retailer delivers the best customer service?" The fourth-annual survey was conducted last September on behalf of the National Retail Federation and American Express and 8,167 consumers were polled.
According to eBay's official blogger, Richard Brewer-Hay, the honor is a tribute to the hard work of the sellers who populate the site.
"I feel it is the individual sellers on the eBay marketplace that should be commended for achieving this award," Brewer-Hay asserts. "After all, they're the ones providing the customer service to consumers on a daily basis."
Though eBay dropped a rank from the 2007 survey, the site bested other Internet stalwarts such as HSN (16), Apple (26) and Dell(43).
"Retailers this past year had the extra challenge of offering their customers great service amid turbulent economic conditions," says NRF Foundation Vice President Kathy Mance. "Any company who secured a spot on the list this year should be commended for stellar customer service and continued level of excellence."
The NRF notes that in the four-year history of the survey, shoppers have increasingly identified Internet-only retailers among those offering the best customer service.
The composition of the Top 10 changed little from 2007, with top honor again going to L.L. Bean. Notable exceptions include Overstock.com, which rose from No. 4 in 2007 to No. 2 in 2008, and Amazon.com, which dropped one rank to place fourth on the 2008 list. Additionally, J.C. Penney and QVC made the leader board for the first time, landing at Nos. 7 and 8, respectively.
A complete list of the winners can be found on the NRF site.
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Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.