Anyone who is currently in business understands the importance and value of customer service in today’s day and age. Customer service has gradually become as important to consumers as the product itself, it is a commodity onto itself.
The fact of the matter is, if you want to beat your competition in eCommerce in general and on eBay in particular, you not only need to offer the best product out there but also the highest level of customer service which is both quick and efficient.
But how does one do that if they have 2, 7 or even 21 eBay stores?
One person alone cannot handle all the customer queries, cases, tickets and returns multiplied by whatever number of stores you may own. Even if you have a virtual assistant, it is not always enough to be able to properly manage your customer support cycle. Sellers in this case scenario need an eCommerce CRM. But not just any eCommerce CRM – you want a CRM which can also help you grow your business and increase your sales. As a long-time eBay seller, that is what I was initially interested in finding and that is what lead me to look into Subivi as a viable option for my business.
In this article, I will be reviewing Subivi. What follows are my own personal opinions which I formed while using Subivi in the context of my eBay business.
What is Subivi?
Simply put, Subivi is an eCommerce CRM which allows you to manage your entire customer support cycle from one inbox. All queries, returns, and cases can be managed from one digital space which in turn saves you a lot of time and effort in terms of logging in and out of accounts using VPNs, clouds or any other method employed to ‘hide’ your IP address from eBay when opening and managing multiple eBay stores. The basic premise is that good customer support will increase your online sales and help you grow your business both in the long and short term. I personally have found customer support to be the bread and butter of any successful business.
Getting started with Subivi was pretty easy for me. All you need to do is click ‘Get started’ and then link each eBay store individually.
After doing so, Subivi will sync all of your data in just 30 minutes including all your account information for up to two weeks prior to the date on which you signed up. Once you are signed up and your stores are synced you will be directed to your home inbox which contains all messages and activitiy from all your eBay stores. Here is an example of what Subivi’s ‘one inbox’ looks like:
Once you have your eBay stores connected, you probably want to start using as many product features as you can (I know I did). Here are the main features you will have access to as a person who sells using Subivi:
As an active eBay seller, I am sure you are well aware of eBay’s ticketing system which can get pretty exhausting, especially if you manage multiple stores. Subivi spares you the trouble of opening eBay and handling queries, returns and cases manually.
It allows you to manage conversations by giving you direct access to previous customer support interactions with a specific customer so you can answer in the most appropriate way possible without having to waste time searching for previous messages with a specific client.
You are also able to take certain actions such as issuing or declining a refund request directly from your Subivi account.
Each conversation is properly marked so you know which store it originated from, allowing you to keep track of your stores comings and goings.
#2. Templates and Smart-tags
Possibly two of my favourite features since I started using Subivi are the templates and smart tags which help me automate my customer support yet still allow me to add a personal touch to messages. Subivi offers a wide variety of ready-to-use templates which you simply choose from a drop-down menu and send in response to a customer’s question or problem. In the event of a recurring issue you can easily add your own message to the list of readily available templates. This is what a Subivi template looks like in the drop-down menu when directly responding to a customer:
Smart tags, are part and parcel of the above mentioned templates and are demarked with a ‘#’ – there are tens of smart tags to choose from such as a customer’s tracking number, order number, name etc. When a customer initiates a conversation with you, Subivi’s system automatically fills in the relevant information in the message with the customer’s details thereby saving you a lot of time and effort in terms of locating and typing in these necessary details.
#3. Automated Responses
With Subivi you have 2 types of automated responses:
- Out of office – When you click on automation > out of office, you are prompted with a calendar (see below). You choose your office hours – when someone sends you a message outside your pre-defined hours they are sent a message that you write in advance. Typically along the lines of ‘Thanks for reaching out, our business hours are 9-5, we will be happy to assist you over the course of our next business day’. This is crucial as customers today want to get immediate responses and when they do not hear back from a business there is a high probability that they will make a purchase from a different seller. When they receive a message, even an automated message, they are put at ease to an extent and their willingness to wait to buy from you increases.
- Auto-reply – This is very similar to ‘out of office’ but is sent out to customers who contact you during business hours. But as most of us know, we are not always available immediately as we may be currently dealing with another customer. That is why you send them a message saying that their business is important to you and that you typically get back to customers within 20 minutes, for example.
What is good about Subivi is that it is ‘smart’ in the sense that based on your pre-defined business hours it will never send out duplicate messages.
#4. Built-in translation tool
eBay operates around the world and has 23 sites in different languages including German, French and Spanish. Many sellers (myself included), want to expand their business abroad in order to increase sales and grow their business. But when you only speak one or even two languages, this can prove challenging. That is why Subivi’s built-in translation tool is so handy. It supports 100 different languages and automatically translates messages into both your client’s and your own mother tongue so that all parties can work in the language of their choice. This saves time and effort in terms of using third-party translation tools and allows you to focus on core business growth. Here is an example of the built-in translation tool from French to English:
#5. Automated feedback requests
Subivi has an automated feedback request which I believe is one of Subivi’s most useful features. Buyers tend to leave negative reviews quite often – whether or not it is justified is a different question. The equation is simple though – negative feedback drives away business whereas positive feedback encourages business. Subivi enables sellers to target negative feedback by allowing you to setup product-specific automated messages which help reduce customer friction by addressing recurring issues with a product in order to encourage positive reviews. For example, if you sell an item which is extremely complex to setup and most buyers find this frustrating, this will typically result in negative feedback. I had this exact problem and used Subivi to setup an automated message with a link to a written explanation and video tutorial which helped ease the setup process and only then asked for feedback. The direct result of such pin pointed customer support is typically a steady rise in sales as a result of increased positive feedback which serves as social proof for potential customers. After using this feature, I personally saw a rise in sales! Here is what automated feedback requests look like with Subivi:
#6. Cross- Selling
The cross-selling feature is probably the best part of Subivi for those of you really looking to increase sales. This feature essentially allows you to choose a specific product using said product’s SKU and set up an automated message to be sent out once that product is sold. So let’s say you sell a laptop and every time you sell one, a message is sent out congratulating the buyer on their purchase and offering them a ‘complimentary’ product, say a laptop case. The product would be complimentary in the sense that it is ‘related’ to the primary product being sold, not in the sense of it being free. Though I would recommend offering some sort of incentive to encourage people to take you up on your offer such as free shipping for the combined duo or a serious discount on the second product purchased. What I did was I identified my 10 best-selling items, and then paired those with 10 related items which were not doing so well. The results were fantastic, I was able to get rid of a lot of items which were taking up precious storage space and increase my sales significantly. Here is what a cross-selling message looks like with Subivi:
Subivi currently offers a dynamic pricing model which is comprised of four packages and is based on the number of eBay stores you plan on integrating with the system:
- Starter – $9/month for 1 eBay store.
- Basic – $29/month for 2 eBay stores.
- Premium – $69/month for up to 10 eBay stores.
- Enterprise – $109/month for up to 25 eBay stores.
Do keep in mind that you can sign up for Subivi free of charge for a 7 day period. What is nice is that you do not need to enter your credit card details for the free trial, only once you decide to sign up for one of the above paid packages.
What are the pros of using Subivi eCommerce CRM ?
- One inbox – Which gives you the ability to manage all your eBay stores and customer service in one easy to use and accessible place.
- Saves you time and money – whether you hire a virtual assistant or handle all customer support independently, Subivi will save you time with its ready-to-use templates and smart tags which will make looking for customer and order information superfluous.
- Help you improve your bottom line – Few CRMs go beyond customer support. But with Subivi they actually offer a variety of tools which focus entirely on increasing your revenue. The cross-selling, product-specific feedback and analytics are three prime examples of features which will help your eBay business grow and become more profitable.
- Constantly evolving – Another great thing about Subivi is that they are constantly growing and evolving. I know that they are currently working on an integration for Amazon store owners. Beyond this, they are set to roll out a feature based on the cutting edge of Israeli technology which will set them apart in the world of eCommerce CRM. I believe that any seller who starts using Subivi with its new AI capabilities, will be at a huge advantage when competing against other eCom sellers. Subivi’s system will be able to analyse your listings and identify what actions need to be taken in order to optimize them and ensure they rise to the top of results.
- Pricing – Compared with other CRMs, the pricing is very fair and I think you really do get a lot of value for your money with Subivi.
– Many sellers who have multiple stores with eBay are worried about getting found out and shut down. With Subivi you are 100% safe – the first time you sign up you connect each account individually with a cloud or VPN service and from that point onwards there is no reason to worry about ‘being found out’ by eBay ‘. Here is a print screen of a Subivi client who has over 60 eBay stores and who has been with the company for 2 years undetected. I am mentioning him as I originally was concerned about this but after the support team put me in touch with him to hear about his first-hand experience, I was really put at ease.
What are the cons of using Subivi eCommerce CRM ?
- Amazon – It does not yet integrate with Amazon though as I mentioned earlier that integration is on its way. Sellers who use other marketplaces like Etsy or Walmart will not be able to integrate with Subivi.
- Support – Their support center is located in Israel, 7 hours behind the US which can be a bit inconvenient though I always was able to receive immediate support when I needed it. They do not provide phone support or support via social media but you can send questions in directly through their Chat bot which has a person on the other end – I found this to be very convenient and responsive.
- Restricted access – For those of you who do work with virtual assistants, you may want to restrict access to certain employees in order to protect your business. It is not currently possible to restrict different levels of access for different employees though based on a message I sent in, this feature is under development and will be released shortly.
As an eBay seller who has taken the time out to actually try Subivi in the context of my own business, I would personally recommend Subivi to eBay sellers who really want to offer top of the line customer support especially when you understand the monetary value of customer satisfaction. But again, as I mentioned earlier, beyond the customer service aspect which any CRM can offer, Subivi goes above and beyond your average CRM by offering income generating tools including cross-selling, product-specific feedback, in-app translation tools which help you expand to new markets and analytics which help you define and target a specific audience. I also love that my eCommerce business is powered by technology coming straight out of Israel, the start-up nation and am very excited to be one of the first to test out Subivi’s AI capabilities which I am positive will take my business to new heights. I can only tell you about my personal experiences, now it is up to you to make your own informed decision and choose what is right for the future of your business.
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