A Relentless Focus on Customer Experience

The New York Times has an article about eBay’s struggle to reinvigorate their stock price. They focus on John Donahoe, president of one of eBay’s most important divisions, and gives a sampling of what an online company needs to do move the needle. It involves a relentless focus on customer experience. An interesting example:

He accompanied two members of eBay’s research group to the San Jose apartment of Kanvasi Tejasen, a 30-year-old Lockheed Martin engineer who had agreed to have her online buying habits studied by the company in exchange for $200. With Mr. Donahoe (who makes $800,000 a year and has received around $10 million worth of eBay stock) sitting on her sofa taking notes, Ms. Tejasen shopped for a TV tuner and visited rival sites like Amazon and Google. In one crucial moment, she plugged the term “4G iPod Nano” into the eBay search engine and received 1,700 results, which she said she found confusing. That set Mr. Donahoe scribbling furiously. “We have to do a better job getting her what she wants,” he said afterward. “If we improve search efficiency even 1 percent, it’s worth hundreds of millions of dollars.”

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