eBay Rethinks Customer Service In EuropeBy: Doug Caverly - October 1, 2009
eBay’s approach to customer service in Europe is about to change in a big way. eBay announced today that it will eliminate a full 400 positions in Germany, while at the same time, the company intends to hire 100 new employees in Ireland and establish what it calls a "European Centre of Excellence."
This move will leave about 600 people working in eBay’s German offices, so it doesn’t count as a complete gutting. The fire vs. hire numbers add up to an obvious decrease in the total number of employees, however, so there’s no chance that everyone’s just getting transferred. And that’s certain to create doubt about whether or not eBay’s customer service will actually improve.
But Deborah Davis, eBay’s vice president of customer service, defended the shift by claiming in a statement, "Creating a Centre of Excellence in Dublin mirrors the approach we are taking worldwide to focus customer support in key operational hubs. Our goal is to improve service levels and responsiveness by better leveraging our expertise and knowledge."
eBay might be onto something, too. Although there was some hubbub when the company chose to close a Vancouver customer service center in May and focus on a Salt Lake City facility, instead, we haven’t heard reports about anything catastrophic (or even unusually annoying) happening since.
It should be interesting to see how this turns out, then. Shareholders should at least approve of the development as a cost-cutting measure.