Fixing eBay? Old World CRM Still Rules…

I keep reading a lot about how eBay is looking to clean up its act. And with a new chief, there is a lot to do. The New York Times plots out eBay’s many issues here.

One of the things that amazes me most is how eBay was one of the creators of the web 2.0 experience, yet is suffering the most from it. But…with soooo many buyers and sellers, bad apples will pop up and the old rules of CRM (hey eBay, SugarCRM is always ready to help) show that a few angry customers can be more costly than hundreds of happy ones. This edict is multiplied on the web.

So…how can eBay right its ships? I don’t know exactly how, but a little more structured CRM initiatives and a little less mob rule might help.

For example, I recently had an issue with PayPal, I was unaware that I couldn’t access my account to pay for a winning Ebay bid. It took a few days for me to right the situation. Meanwhile, I received the expected “Hey man, pay for your item!” email from the seller, which increased in volume and vitriol every few hours. I only received one email from eBay reminding me to pay.

The whole experience was annoying, and noted that there is a huge level of distrust among buyers and sellers in this broken system. I ended up not actually buying the item, and found the same item for about the same price, brand new, online as well.

I don’t think eBay is doomed necessarily. But e-commerce and other outlets have caught up to it. Strong, consistent, customer service and an ecosystem that rewards honesty needs to be in place for this once groundbreaking social network to buzz again.