For eBay, there is one critical factor for success: the co-creation of value with the customer community to create the future together.
Allowing customers a key role in the development and evolution of the business is the oxygen for eBay’s growth. Listening to customers is what they do at eBay, not an adjunct to business.
Letting customers see other customers’ feedback has been a critical success factor in building a trusted trading platform and in driving quality into the market place. A key element in building the business has been the user feedback mechanism that founder Pierre Omidyar introduced.
A friend and client who runs the largest antique site in the UK told me with pride “Our goal isn’t to be the biggest but to be the best site on eBay. Best is defined by our feedback scores. Our last 15,000 transactions scored great feedback and zero complaints”.
In practice, what eBay has done is to operate a business model in which the customer feedback loop is always closed, rather than needing a process to close the loop. The original processes were designed to be simple from the buyers’ and the sellers’ points of view. As a result of constantly improving and innovating, through acquisition of PayPal for online payments, and Skype for VoIP communication between buyers and sellers, eBay has combined key elements of doing business in a way which is Fast+Simple, for itself and for its customers.
eBay works systematically with its customers. It listens intensely to its customers and it acts on what it hears – this is what makes eBay a great company in its customers’ eyes.
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