Etsy News Blog

About Us: Community and Support Operations

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heatherj1

Etsy community — I’d like to officially introduce myself. I’m Heather Jassy, and I’m Director of Community and Support Operations at Etsy. I work with the Admin teams that directly support you (Support, Forums, Seller Education, Seller Events and Teams). For the last eight months, I’ve been lurking in the Forums, talking to sellers, and reading your emails to support in an effort to understand what we can do to better provide you with the service you need to run your business or to shop on Etsy.  I want to tell you a bit about our team and give you some updates on our progress.

I feel honored to work for my favorite website, and to work on behalf of our incredible community. I’ve been self-employed for the vast majority of my adult life (I owned an independent bookstore, and, later, was a therapist with a coaching focus on entrepeneurs launching creative businesses). To say that I believe deeply in what our community is doing and what Etsy is building is a drastic understatement.

One of the most difficult things about entrepreneurship was, for me, the isolation. It’s so awesome to be completely on your own, free to define your own path. But the “completely on your own” part can be tough when it comes to getting help, or sparking ideas when you’re stuck or uninspired. That’s what’s so amazing about Etsy. I love the way that members of the Etsy community mentor and teach one another, share tips, and provide support in Teams or in the Forums. Claire, an Etsy Admin who plans community events, got this feedback from a Craft Party facilitator, and it really describes the spirit of support we are lucky enough to witness on a daily basis:

“I was really moved to see so many people being kind and nice to one another and helping total strangers. The amount of trust and compassion I saw that night was probably greater then any type of meditation retreat or any other so-called spiritual event I’ve ever attended. I know the word ‘community’ is being tossed around these days anytime people speak about a group of people. But with the Craft Party, I really felt so fortunate to be a part of the craft community.” — Aya Rosen of Louche Lab

Any, one of our Forums moderators, sees this happen in the Forums as well:

“I get to watch support systems be born from connections made around a common craft, common talents, and the common goal of building an independent creative business. This one time, a seller posted in the Forums about her difficulty finding supplies for her craft in the area where she lived. Several other sellers offered to check their local craft stores, and within a few hours they were making arrangements to buy the supplies and mail them to her. “

JonPaul Douglass

Brooklyn Supporters Amy and Nicole.

Chris, a Supporter in our Hudson office, describes it this way:

“The people are the best part of my job. I’ve never worked with a more inspiring group of people, both Etsy members and employees.  Everyone has the bigger picture in mind and they have so many things they are doing to try and make a difference in their own lives and the lives of others. It’s great to be a part of the Etsy community, it’s the absolute best perk of this job.”

Our Support and Community Ops Admin — many sellers themselves — seek to be another source of support for our community: answering questions via email, Twitter, or in the Forums, solving problems, meeting you at events, writing educational articles, facilitating educational events online and offline, supporting teams, and bringing community voices and concerns to everything we do as a company.

Michelle, one of our Brooklyn Supporters, says this:

“Having been unexpectedly laid off from my previous position at a large financial institution, I was able to turn my love of vintage into a full-time gig on Etsy. I’m one of those Etsy-changed-my-life sellers, so when I moved to NY from LA three years ago I knew I had to work for Etsy and give back to the community. What I love most about my job is being able to connect with sellers on the same level — I was once a new seller who struggled with establishing a brand, I know firsthand how much hard work is put into running a shop, and I can empathize with sellers complaining of new changes. When I’m not working at Etsy I’m working on my shop — I can’t imagine not doing this and not helping others do the same. “

Ami Lahoff

Hudson Supporters at work.

I want to update you on some improvements we’re making in Community and Support Ops at Etsy — while acknowledging that we still have a long way to go. This year, we’ve added support for payments and shipping, and we’ve nearly tripled the size of our support office in Hudson, NY. We’ve drastically improved our support turnaround time so that we can resolve your problems faster, and added a dedicated Etsy Twitter channel for answering support questions in real time (@EtsyHelp). Back in May we started regularly surveying folks who write support so that we could hear how we’re doing and act on the feedback you give us.

This year, we officially launched a program called Community Connection, which is all about keeping our Admin close to our community — and their concerns — as Etsy continues to grow. As part of this program, everyone in the company works shifts in customer support (fun fact: 15% of our holiday support email was answered by non-Customer Support Admin, and the week after Hurricane Sandy, when a number of our Supporters were without power, our tech team around the globe jumped in to answer a whopping 20% of our email to keep our community getting answers quickly), and members of our tech and product team are regularly visiting the studios of Etsy sellers to understand how you work and what tools you need to run your businesses.

Brendan Adamson

Adriane coaches Will, an engineer, during his Support Rotation.

Many of you know Admin Cheyne, Morgan, and Kim (pictured at top), who work directly with our Etsy Teams. This year, they’ve expanded the Teams program, giving out even more support and resources through the Fellowship Program, meeting with team captains, and recognizing exceptional teams via our Team Spirit Award.

We launched a new Help experience back in October to make it easier for you to find info when you need it, and we’ve added more videos and visual content to our FAQs. In November, we began randomly surveying Etsy buyers and sellers for feedback on how Etsy — the site — is doing. We’re asking you what features you love, what features bug you, and how we can improve. The best way you can help us is to give us honest feedback on how we can help you be successful. Be brutally honest. We can take it, and we want to hear it so that we can get better.

Here’s what I’ve learned: when people have a vision of what they want and have adequate support, they can move mountains. They can change the economy. They can do things that seem impossible. They can defy the logic that says that you have to work a 9-5 job, or that you can’t spend all day doing what you love, or that making art has to be a hobby. They can control their financial destinies. Most of all, I’ve learned that you can be an artist and a businessperson, and you don’t have to choose. I believe that artists make the most extraordinary business people, because we see the world holistically. We can think of creative ways to solve problems, and we bring our whole self to our work. I want my daughter to be able to choose fulfilling work that gives her joy, and that’s why I work at Etsy.

Thanks for everything you do.  You are changing the world, and you rock.

4 Featured Comments

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  • VintageStarrBeads

    VintageStarrBeads from VintageStarrBeads says: Featured

    I am proud to be a part of this Etsy Community . i have always done what I loved, creatively and supported myself, for decades, wherever I lived. Having opened a shop here in Feb 2009, I immediately felt like I was back in the exciting and Hopeful 1960s, not retro but healthy Minded, peaceful, sharing and open-hearted with an amazing society of vendors and craftsfolks, that NOW embody what i thought was lost from them. I love you Etsy Admin, Etsy Sellers, Etsy Buyers. We all have a philosophy of Living and Doing that cannot be more loving but real. Thank you All. -Rachelle Starr

    1 year ago

  • heatherj1 Admin

    heather jassy from htothej5 says: Featured

    Hi all---thanks so much for your comments and feedback on the article. I completely acknowledge the need for us to have better ways to respond---particularly to sensitive issues---in real time, and I hear your requests about phone support. Suffice it to say, we are wrestling with the best ways to get you the help you need. I am curious as to why more (all of you) mention phone support as opposed to live chat. If you'd like to share more about that with me, I'd love to hear about via convo. It would also be great if you gave me examples of some times it would have be helpful to have a more direct line in. @NaturalGorgeous This article was more about the spirit of the team than specific metrics, which is why I didn't include them in the article, but Community and Support Ops is definitely a metrics-based organization, and I'm happy to share them with you. Our team in Hudson has grown from 11 full time support employees to 30 in the last year---we are also currently hiring supporters in Europe so that we can have 24/7 coverage (which will help us address the forums spam issues mentioned above by @Hannah). Our support turnaround time---which was *days* in early fall of last year, is now 24 hours or less on average for general support, and typically 8 hours or less for Direct Checkout questions during business hours (support business hours have also extended from 10-6 (a year ago) to 8 AM-midnight, and we've doubled our weekend coverage). Our goal is to bring it the turnaround time to 12/4 by end of Spring. As you know, it takes a period of time to establish baselines with metrics once you begin tracking them, so I plan to do regular reporting to the community on progress with both our Member Experience survey (site satisfaction) and Customer Satisfaction survey (satisfaction with support) in the coming months. We're tracking results on metrics such as ease of access to support (how easy is it to the get help you need), and the most important metric of all---problem resolution (did this actually resolve your problem). We've also established a formal QA and training program for our Supporters so that we continuously sample and score the quality of their work so that they are giving you the right answers. On a personal note, nothing makes me want to pull out my hair more than terrible customer service (be it slow, robotic, or unhelpful), and I'm applying my own standards of what I expect to what we're building for you. And, as I mentioned in the article, we're definitely not there yet---but we have made some progress. Please feel free to convo me directly if you have further questions. And have a great weekend, everyone!

    1 year ago

  • heatherj1 Admin

    heather jassy from htothej5 says: Featured

    @worksofwhimsy That's weird and shouldn't be happening. Can you convo me what you're searching for so that we can look into it? @sanatos I convoed you a response. @loopyboopy Actually, there's the one address (support@etsy.com) that goes to general support---we also answer payments questions there (we have a dedicated team that just answers questions on shipping, Direct Checkout and billing). @SecretLentil Totally agree. Apologize if it sounded at all as though I'm implying that the community support takes the place of our support. The community is nice to have, but we take seriously our commitment to you. You're business people, and we're here to support your businesses. Period. @Antoinette We do not currently have live chat.

    1 year ago

  • heatherj1 Admin

    heather jassy from htothej5 says: Featured

    @All Thanks for your comments. We'll be launching a customer support prototype/feedback team in the next couple of months, and I'll reach out to those who commented to see if you'd like to join when it launches so that you can continue to give us feedback. For those of you who have contact Etsy regarding a trust or policy issue, I've asked someone from the MITS team to follow up with you directly. Learn more about that team here: http://www.etsy.com/blog/news/2012/a-closer-look-into-marketplace-integrity/. We won't be responding to comments on this thread after today.

    1 year ago

  • riskybeads

    Lori from riskybeads says:

    great info. thank you!

    1 year ago

  • SoapForYourSoul

    Emily from SoapForYourSoul says:

    Thanks for the updates!

    1 year ago

  • ChuckEBrydWallArt

    Chuck from ChuckEByrdWallDecals says:

    I am always glad to hear about what is going on behind the pages here at Etsy. Thank you for the update and for working to make things work better for everyone.

    1 year ago

  • rebeccashows

    R Shows says:

    Kim, you're awesome!

    1 year ago

  • necklush

    necklush from Necklush says:

    Nice to see whats happening behind the scenes! :) Keep up the good work and thank you- Troy and Stephano

    1 year ago

  • greengrass2

    Liz from greengrass2 says:

    Wow, it sounds like you guys (& girls) are staying on your toes in an effort to know what is going on. Keep it up - Etsy is UNIQUE!

    1 year ago

  • rrizzart

    R.Rizzi from rrizzart says:

    Terrific update! Really appreciate it! I am a little disappointed to see there is no mention of any possible phone support for the community in the near or distant future. There are so many expressing a need for this, can you shed any light on it at all?

    1 year ago

  • felicesereno

    Felice Sereno from FeliceSereno says:

    interesting information - though i agree with Rizzi - we do need some sort of phone support...

    1 year ago

  • crochetgal

    crochetgal from crochetgal says:

    Nice to see a little bit of what's going on 'behind the scenes'. Hopefully with the size of the current staff emails will be answered now in a much more timely basis.

    1 year ago

  • weezieduzzit

    weezieduzzit from weezieduzzit says:

    I'm glad to see some progress being made in the area of support because Etsy, you're right, you've got a long long way to go.

    1 year ago

  • newhopebeading

    newhopebeading from newhopebeading says:

    So nice to "meet" you Heather. I have met many of the other support team when in the city but I don't think I've ever had the pleasure of meeting you in person. Perhaps i will have the honor at a future event like Etsy Success Symposium if there will be one this year again (Last year's was awesome) Caroline

    1 year ago

  • loopyboopy

    loopy from loopyboopy says:

    This all sounds so sweet and 'etsy-like' truth is there is a seriously lack of support on this site. I recently had two incidents that I needed support for and it took 2-3 weeks to get an actual response, when I did receive a response on one situation it was an automated message that did not at all address my problem or a solution. Etsy is not, may I repeat NOT the community centered company it claims to be. I believe the actual employees may truly believe they are fulfilling that role, just not sure they are aware of the vast disconnect there is between Etsy support and community needs.

    1 year ago

  • loopyboopy

    loopy from loopyboopy says:

    for me the difference is, if I sell on another site such as ebay, they in no way claim to have this personal dedication or interest so when the support is lacking its kinda to be expected. When Etsy claims to have such desire to 'care' about the community and its sellers yet at the same time offer sub-par service....it leaves a bad taste in my mouth about the sincerity.

    1 year ago

  • LightColour

    Isabel from TransparentEsDecor says:

    In comparison with others, Etsy is more... human for humans :) Good job ladys!

    1 year ago

  • loopyboopy

    loopy from loopyboopy says:

    Well of course they would like us to think as much.

    1 year ago

  • filecutter

    Joyce and Tony from filecutter says:

    Would like to see an 800 number for customer support

    1 year ago

  • MySweetieBean

    Ivy T from MySweetieBean says:

    It's nice to see the faces behind the names! =) I've personally never had a problem getting answers and help from support via email, but I do think SOME phone support needs to be on the horizon during Etsy's expansion of services. Especially for Direct Checkout and Open Cases that aren't getting resolved in a timely manner. When dealing with financial issues, email is just no substitute for talking with a live support person. Even if phone support needs to be a on a limited basis to start with, Etsy could go the route of issuing a PIN via an email that will allow a seller or customer to call, enter the PIN, and get routed to a live support person. That idea has been floating around the forums and it's at least a place to start. Thanks for letting us all know what is going on behind the scenes.

    1 year ago

  • AeridesDesigns

    AeridesDesigns from AeridesDesigns says:

    Interesting post. In light of many forum threads, I'd be interested to see Etsy staffing the forum support more during the "off peak" hours when threads tend to run wild and need someone to step in. A recent trend in topics highlights delays in responses to support requests - ones that in some cases really impact a shop's bottom line or ability to operate, so it would be nice to see the plans to close this gap. thanks!

    1 year ago

  • flyfishingnow

    flyfishingnow says:

    Great to see everyone hard at work making improvements to communication between sellers and "admin", it's been needed for a very long time- your efforts are applauded! Having said that, a company this size who still has not been able to implement a telephone line for your sellers to get immediate fast help with serious problems after promising to do so for several years is not listening still...

    1 year ago

  • patspottery

    Pat Parker from PatsPottery says:

    That was a very inspiring piece♥

    1 year ago

  • PookieandJack

    Suzanne and Melissa from PookieandJack says:

    Thanks for giving us an inside look!

    1 year ago

  • VeronicaRStudio

    Veronica from VeronicaRussekJoyas says:

    Thenk you so much for giving us this new glimpse into Etsy... I love that Etsy Admin is reaching out further to the community and that communication is getting so much better all around.

    1 year ago

  • NaturalGorgeous

    NaturalGorgeous from NaturalGorgeous says:

    I must say I find statements like this - "...and we’ve nearly tripled the size of our support office in Hudson, NY." - exasperating. What does "tripled" mean when you don't give us hard numbers? You could have gone from one staff person to three -- or from three people to nine. Or, for all we know, you went from a 1/3 time position to one full time position, or from one full time position to three part time. The good vibes in this piece are nice, but I'll be happy when you show real benchmarks and quantified progress. If you want me to believe "We’ve drastically improved our support turnaround time" then tell me what the turnaround time was one year ago, six months ago, and what it is now. If you want me to be pleased that you've "added a dedicated Etsy Twitter channel for answering support questions in real time," then tell me how many questions you've received, and how many you've answered. Sorry to be Debbie Downer, but this is how progress is measured in the organizations I've worked for.

    1 year ago

  • FavreBijoux

    Mimi from FavreBijoux says:

    Thanks for checking in. When will Etsy offer real Customer support by phone? I think about the buyers out there--- this is really a minimum requirement. "The best way you can help us is to give us honest feedback on how we can help you be successful. Be brutally honest. We can take it, and we want to hear it so that we can get better. ***Change up the browse images please. "...members of our tech and product team are regularly visiting the studios of Etsy sellers.". *** Etsy has a Product Team? Visiting Studios-- yes please. "fun fact: 15% of our holiday support email was answered by non-Customer Support Admin". *** Groovy. Thanks for keeping it together during Sandy.

    1 year ago

  • bananaorangeapple

    Hannah from BananaOrangeApple says:

    I would be really glad to have some support when it is nighttime in Etsy land and the forums fill up with spam. In otherwords, when we are awake in Australia!

    1 year ago

  • NadinArtGlass

    Nadin Sandler from NadinArtGlass says:

    wow.. great

    1 year ago

  • VintageStarrBeads

    VintageStarrBeads from VintageStarrBeads says: Featured

    I am proud to be a part of this Etsy Community . i have always done what I loved, creatively and supported myself, for decades, wherever I lived. Having opened a shop here in Feb 2009, I immediately felt like I was back in the exciting and Hopeful 1960s, not retro but healthy Minded, peaceful, sharing and open-hearted with an amazing society of vendors and craftsfolks, that NOW embody what i thought was lost from them. I love you Etsy Admin, Etsy Sellers, Etsy Buyers. We all have a philosophy of Living and Doing that cannot be more loving but real. Thank you All. -Rachelle Starr

    1 year ago

  • jill2dayIMPULSE

    jill from jill2dayIMPULSE says:

    One example of the confusion in getting help is the Seller's Handbook. If I click "Sell" and then "Sellers handbook" I am taken here: http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/category/seller-handbook/ This is no handbook - just a list of articles including QYDJ, and many others. If I go to the "help" (smallest blue type on the "Sell" page) it takes me to a list of questions that look like a FAQ page, with an icon at the bottom that says "sellerhandbook. That link Takes me here: http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2012/the-seller-handbook/?ref=help_seller_handbook The actual Sellers' handbook!!! While that help page LOOKS like a FAQ page there is actually a different link (from the "Sell: page that takes me to the actual FAQ page: http://www.etsy.com/help/topics/#Open_a_Shop Of course then the Does and Dont's are a completely different path and link... Having one easily found (single or two clicks) page with all this info on would be so much easier. I can see why people can not answer their own questions even if the information is on the site somewhere!! This may be a result of growth and addtitions, or maybe a hope for many paths to the same info, but instead is very confusing.

    1 year ago

  • lisawray4

    Lisa Wray from PaytonCreativeArts says:

    Thanks for the info

    1 year ago

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie says:

    I love seeing a bit of behind the scenes :) Thanks so much!!!

    1 year ago

  • LisaFlanders

    Lisa Flanders from LisaFlanders says:

    Thanks for the info. Phone support is arguably the most urgently needed support at this time. It is way overdue.

    1 year ago

  • vinylclockwork

    Scott from vinylclockwork says:

    Great Post

    1 year ago

  • Jantiki

    Janna from Jantiki says:

    Nice article and I think there is more than enough information and help on the forums and teams to get most beginners (like me) going on our shops. It definitely takes a little searching, reading and asking questions of other members. But as some others have requested, the first time I have an urgent question involving payment or non-payment (anything involving our financial bottom line) I would REALLY like to get some quick telephone answers. I like Ivy T's suggestion about issuing a PIN number so that we can call in. I know eBay does this and it helps tie your account and your question together for the phone support. It also stops just anyone from calling...You must already have an account set-up.

    1 year ago

  • SecretLentil

    Helen Carter SecretLentil from SecretLentil says:

    Feeling like we're part of a community and getting timely support for our businesses are not the same thing. And conflating them when there is a great disparity between the two makes me mildly bitey.

    1 year ago

  • WinchesterLambourne

    WinchesterLambourne from WinchesterLambourne says:

    Cool article. :D I've been wondering if some changes were being made behind the scenes; last Saturday I emailed support with a question and got a response around 8pm in the evening, just a couple hours later. This wasn't the first time I'd gotten an answer during the weekend but it was the fastest yet. So major thanks to the people who are making this process more efficient and better. I agree it wouldn't hurt to have phone support for the most extreme of cases, to know there's recourse for emergencies and things like that (always a plan B).

    1 year ago

  • AntoinettesWhims

    Antoinette from AntoinettesWhims says:

    Can we possibly talk about phone support? The main reason I have not signed on board with direct check out is the lack of phone support. I see in the forums folks waiting days or a week or so to hear back from Etsy when all it would take is a simple phone call to straighten things out like at PayPal. Then Mark (in his weekly thread) mentioned unfairly promoting those with DC, which left me feeling shunned from the community.

    1 year ago

  • heatherj1 Admin

    heather jassy from htothej5 says: Featured

    Hi all---thanks so much for your comments and feedback on the article. I completely acknowledge the need for us to have better ways to respond---particularly to sensitive issues---in real time, and I hear your requests about phone support. Suffice it to say, we are wrestling with the best ways to get you the help you need. I am curious as to why more (all of you) mention phone support as opposed to live chat. If you'd like to share more about that with me, I'd love to hear about via convo. It would also be great if you gave me examples of some times it would have be helpful to have a more direct line in. @NaturalGorgeous This article was more about the spirit of the team than specific metrics, which is why I didn't include them in the article, but Community and Support Ops is definitely a metrics-based organization, and I'm happy to share them with you. Our team in Hudson has grown from 11 full time support employees to 30 in the last year---we are also currently hiring supporters in Europe so that we can have 24/7 coverage (which will help us address the forums spam issues mentioned above by @Hannah). Our support turnaround time---which was *days* in early fall of last year, is now 24 hours or less on average for general support, and typically 8 hours or less for Direct Checkout questions during business hours (support business hours have also extended from 10-6 (a year ago) to 8 AM-midnight, and we've doubled our weekend coverage). Our goal is to bring it the turnaround time to 12/4 by end of Spring. As you know, it takes a period of time to establish baselines with metrics once you begin tracking them, so I plan to do regular reporting to the community on progress with both our Member Experience survey (site satisfaction) and Customer Satisfaction survey (satisfaction with support) in the coming months. We're tracking results on metrics such as ease of access to support (how easy is it to the get help you need), and the most important metric of all---problem resolution (did this actually resolve your problem). We've also established a formal QA and training program for our Supporters so that we continuously sample and score the quality of their work so that they are giving you the right answers. On a personal note, nothing makes me want to pull out my hair more than terrible customer service (be it slow, robotic, or unhelpful), and I'm applying my own standards of what I expect to what we're building for you. And, as I mentioned in the article, we're definitely not there yet---but we have made some progress. Please feel free to convo me directly if you have further questions. And have a great weekend, everyone!

    1 year ago

  • worksofwhimsy

    worksofwhimsy from worksofwhimsy says:

    I have found the redesigned Help page to be much more difficult to use. Many times my search terms bring back 0 results, or ones that do not answer my question. Why does the search only search FAQs and not the TOU or D&Ds? At the very least, a 0 result should link to the Dos and Don'ts and TOU with a suggestion to check there. As usual, I had to turn to a Team to find the info I was looking for (in the TOU and D&Ds). It's nice to know the members can be helpful, but I shouldn't have to turn to them when there are paid employees that should be providing the assistance.

    1 year ago

  • LoveLaurie

    Laurie from LoveLaurie says:

    "The best way you can help us is to give us honest feedback on how we can help you be successful. Be brutally honest. We can take it, and we want to hear it so that we can get better." The above statement used to be true, however with all due respect, (and I mean that sincerely) in todays etsy, that has proven to be the quickest and most assured way to be muted from the forums. While etsy admin continue to deny this is true, the evidence to the contrary at this point is simply undeniable.

    1 year ago

  • loopyboopy

    loopy from loopyboopy says:

    That is so true Laurie. A huge problem I see is the confusion most feel when needing support. theres the 'help' address and the 'support' address, if you need help with DC you have to join a team to get someone to help you, if you have a problem with a listing, such as someone reselling your work, you have to contact the integrity team (I don't even know how I would do that) The report buttons on the listings have never resulted in much of anything for me. And then everyone tells you to go to twitter??? I don't twitter and don't feel I should have to go to another site to get support on Etsy. Perhaps if there could be some more organization between all these teams and links so that users know who to ask. I do hope the criticism of some here is taken seriously and mostly I hope I don't get muted for being critical:)

    1 year ago

  • sarantos

    sarantos from SARANTOS says:

    I need help with support! I keep getting canned email responses and it doesn't even look like anyone even reads the messages. So frustrating! In all my years on this site, I have never been so upset about the lack of support. This blog post just rubs it in like salt.

    1 year ago

  • AntoinettesWhims

    Antoinette from AntoinettesWhims says:

    Is there a live chat option? That would be preferable over the current convo and wait system. Honestly though, I really don't understand and can not even fathom the reluctance to talk with your customers. So much more could be conveyed, understood and dealt with within a reasonable time frame through a simple phone call.

    1 year ago

  • LisaFlanders

    Lisa Flanders from LisaFlanders says:

    Heather, you wrote, "I am curious as to why more (all of you) mention phone support as opposed to live chat." Live chat is impersonal can never replace the ability to pick up the phone and talk to a real person. For a business where people's livelihoods can be interrupted or eliminated (there is one horror story after another in the forum) due to something as simple and preventable as a computer error, phone support is required. It is essential. "Quit Your Day Job" is one of the concepts and goals Etsy promotes. Well, how can someone quit their day job to rely on their Etsy shop when their Etsy shop can get shut down at a keystroke and there's no recourse, no ability to pick up the phone and get the problem resolved?

    1 year ago

  • SuzsCountryPrims

    Suz from SuzsCountryPrims says:

    Our team in Hudson has grown from 11 full time support employees to 30 in the last year--- ` 1,126,911 new members joined the Etsy community in the month, up 162,909 or 16.9%, from October ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ These numbers just don't mesh. Etsy is growing by leaps and bounds. Going from 11 to 30 is certainly not keeping up with Etsys growth. People are frustrated. They are flocking to the forums screaming for help. Please rethink a phone bank. Sellers need answers to their questions.

    1 year ago

  • heatherj1 Admin

    heather jassy from htothej5 says: Featured

    @worksofwhimsy That's weird and shouldn't be happening. Can you convo me what you're searching for so that we can look into it? @sanatos I convoed you a response. @loopyboopy Actually, there's the one address (support@etsy.com) that goes to general support---we also answer payments questions there (we have a dedicated team that just answers questions on shipping, Direct Checkout and billing). @SecretLentil Totally agree. Apologize if it sounded at all as though I'm implying that the community support takes the place of our support. The community is nice to have, but we take seriously our commitment to you. You're business people, and we're here to support your businesses. Period. @Antoinette We do not currently have live chat.

    1 year ago

  • XolBridalBoutique

    XolBridalBoutique from GorgeousComplements2 says:

    What Zus said........... and I also fail to see how the number add up, how many sellers per Etsy support employee? what is the ratio? I, and another few thousand sellers have been asking Etsy for phone support, specially now that you also handle our money via DC every other merchant account has it, this will be a much better community when things like this are implemented on Etsy. I think you can find a cheap outsource for phone support, like my cell phone company right?

    1 year ago

  • GypsymoonChain

    Gypsy Chainmail from GypsymoonChain says:

    "The best way you can help us is to give us honest feedback on how we can help you be successful. Be brutally honest. We can take it, and we want to hear it so that we can get better." But every time anyone asks a question, or wants an answer that's not canned/already in the tous, they get banned. I'm not trying to be rude, but it always seems like we're only supposed to post good feedback?

    1 year ago

  • MeekaMayesMarket

    Sue from MeekaMayesMarket says:

    I am old. I am cynical. I don't let just anyone handle my money. When etsy provides us with phone support I will turn on DC and not a minute before I have a support phone number. In my years of selling online, I have used paypal. I can call paypal if there is a problem. Within five minutes the problem has been solved. Life is good and we each go on our merry way. Life has taught me that good communication is the key. Etsy still needs to learn this lesson and they need to learn that in business a phone is a necessary business expense. Life can not be lived through tweets and convos alone. Just buy a phone, contact the phone company and get a line into the office. Really, it's not that hard...

    1 year ago

  • peacesofindigo

    Dawanna Young from peacesofindigo says:

    Heather, that last paragraph just says it all. :)

    1 year ago

  • fawndoevintage

    Fawn and Doe Vintage from FawnDoeVintage says:

    I didn't read all the comments, so I apologize if I am repeating what someone said, but I also think phone support is important. Etsy is no longer the small website it once was, it now has many more sellers and many of those sellers are doing extremely high volumes of sales. As a website grows, the infrastructure has to too. Sometimes a seller has a time-sensitive issue at hand, and ha a need for an immediate response. This is where phone support could come in handy. When it comes down to things like money issues et al. it could also be imperative that there be an option for phone support, some of us rely on every cent that we make from this website, so if there's a money issue, it needs to be solved as dast as possible. Sometimes things just can't wait 3-4 weeks (or longer.) Customer service/phone support is an easy job to hire for. You can have an entire phone support team that works from home, no office needed, and it could be open 24/7. Phone support would help sellers, buyers, and cut down on the amount of emails, therefore cutting down the wait time for people who choose to use email support. Live chat would also be a good option, and can operate the same way that the phone support works, with employees working from home. I know that I have used live chat on some websites, and sometimes it works, but sometimes I end up having to call in for support regardless. I just think having several different options for support would be beneficial to everybody. You'd be helping the Etsy sellers, buyers, and employees. There will be more time for other admin to focus on other issues, and people would be getting the help they need in a more timely manner

    1 year ago

  • fawndoevintage

    Fawn and Doe Vintage from FawnDoeVintage says:

    Plus, I bet you could just post that you're hiring for phone and chat support in a highlighted thread in the forums and you'll get more than enough applicants for an entire support team.

    1 year ago

  • cartoonmonster

    tory from cartoonmonster says:

    hahahaha.... what a load... "The best way you can help us is to give us honest feedback on how we can help you be successful. Be brutally honest. We can take it, and we want to hear it so that we can get better." anyone whos been here more than couple years knows what BS this is... theres an army of muted sellers to show for it...

    1 year ago

  • StefanieBrunner

    Stefanie Brunner from PluggingAlong says:

    I don't care if it costs Etsy MILLIONS - we need phone support now. The turn around time to answer a question via email/convo on a major website should never be more than an hour. One of my suppliers does several million a year in sales. They have *maybe* two dozen employees...total. There is always live chat available and I can call them 9-5pst Monday through Saturday. How does a website who facilitated sales for over 1 BILLION DOLLARS in goods(exact figures not yet released) for the year of 2012 have worse support than that? I'm just baffled. Also, please don't mute me. You said to be brutally honest, so I was.

    1 year ago

  • saburkitty

    saburkitty from saburkitty says:

    One more vote for phone support. I really liked the live chat help test, when I used it back at the end of 2010/11. I remember I talked to Sebastian, he helped me find a place for my nail art in a category. It was in real time, I had my answer, and felt supported by Etsy staff. So chat can work.

    1 year ago

  • lavenders

    lavenders from lavenders says:

    Phon support is much needed but only for US sellers. I'm an iternational seller and cant phon to US every time I have problems. Etsy is an international site and has to have a large stuff that can deal with all the issues going on lately shuch as open cases. In addition, as an international site , support should be 24/7- your night is my day- We live in different times zone. I needed help from support staff a number of times recently in one case I had to wait nearly 12 days to answer...much too long! you have great team, in particular Eliza that help me a lot , but they are few and I think the stuff should increase significantly.

    1 year ago

  • PullinToo

    PullinToo from Buntique says:

    Gypsymoon Chainmail from GypsymoonChain says: "The best way you can help us is to give us honest feedback on how we can help you be successful. Be brutally honest. We can take it, and we want to hear it so that we can get better." But every time anyone asks a question, or wants an answer that's not canned/already in the tous, they get banned. I'm not trying to be rude, but it always seems like we're only supposed to post good feedback? --------------------- Yes this is what I feel too. I could give a real list of things in regards to support in the time we have been selling here. Why would this time be any different than all the other forum posts or the private convo I was actually asked to send just last month in regards to one issue that was never answered? I love Etsy as a selling venue, but I hope we never have anything really hose up on us, because we haven't been able to get timely support for things and have had to just give up on some things entirely if we couldn't figure it out on our own or with help from other sellers.

    1 year ago

  • Untwistedsister

    Terri from Untwistedsister says:

    I'm a little behind getting to my comments. I applaud Etsy for seeing the need and adding staff. You did say to be brutally honest, right? Well, from the article and my observations, it seems like Etsy does a pretty good job of helping the community to help each other BUT there needs to be a more direct and fast approach to getting help with a specific transaction and giving help to sellers whose shops were shut down unexpectedly. I think that's the kind of customer service your customers (members) feel is sorely lacking. Fortunately I've never had a major problem that I needed administration for but have read over and over in the forums where that has happened. I also think that primary admin. Help needs to be done from the etsy site, not twitter. Not all of us may have access to or be familiar with using twitter.

    1 year ago

  • newhopebeading

    newhopebeading from newhopebeading says:

    While phone support would be nice it is actually not first on my list of "things I would like to see etsy do" From my perspective they need to first listen to sellers when they give feedback as to some features that are problematic .... if phone support is offered but these problematic features left in place then all that will happen is their phones will be clogged with a massive number of problems that could be fixed in one fell swoop by fixing the feature. I am talking about the need to do things like revamp the open case system and cancel button along the lines of the advice given over and over in forums by experienced sellers. Also continuing development of the shipping beta tools so that buyers are truly informed. And along with that developing tools so that if a shop has cut off dates at holidays that information is clear to the buyer. My desire would be to have etsy first address and correct these issues before they move into phone support because mark my words if these things were fixed (as per sellers feedback in forums) then like 1/2 of the calls would not even exist and then perhaps the prospect of phone support but not be as daunting a task as Etsy is concerned it will be. If these big issues are taken care of first then phone support will truly be for unexpected and emergency occurrence.... not for addressing wide spread systemic issues . Just my 2 cents :)

    1 year ago

  • PullinToo

    PullinToo from Buntique says:

    Also, I too experienced awful search results in Help but not exactly like someone else described. Twice I was looking for things I knew to be in the TOUs Dos & Don'ts and was searching for the words in the Help section to quickly locate the proper information in the TOUS for forum posts to help other sellers out. Both times, the first page of results didn't even take me to the TOUs. To find what I was looking for, I had to go to the page and use my browser's find function while on the page to find what I was looking for.

    1 year ago

  • vinieschild

    Sami Pat from vinieschild says:

    Community and communication come from the same root word. In order to have community there must be communication. Communication involves listening.

    1 year ago

  • dozybint

    Dozy from MadeByDozy says:

    would love some vote buttons on these comments, free market research from your customers right there.

    1 year ago

  • chetsada

    Chetsada Manorat from HomeHANDSMADE says:

    Thanks so much...

    1 year ago

  • marinabaka

    marina from ottoemezzobymarina says:

    Hi i have a question and i don't know if who i must ask.I want to solder two costume chains with glass beads together.I bought solder iron without flame but i can't make it.Can you help me?

    1 year ago

  • bflirty

    Linda from FlirtyDivaTees says:

    The community of support makes Etsy the best choice for me. It's awesome!

    1 year ago

  • sarantos

    sarantos from SARANTOS says:

    Heather, Thanks for helping with my problem! All cleared up now. :)

    1 year ago

  • maxollieandme

    Kirri Raper from maxollieandme says:

    this was really good to read and to meet heather. As a new seller on etsy i'm feeling rather lost and alone and finding it hard to get set up and finding it hard to be seen. But this has given me some hope of meeting other like minded people and connecting with a community. I totally agree, it can be a very lonely place out here x

    1 year ago

  • FeltedFriends

    FeltedFriends from FeltedFriends says:

    (This post was also sent by convo to Heather since she asked for feedback): Hello Heather, I just read your article on the Etsy Blog relating to customer support. You asked for honest feedback; and for those of us interested to reach out to you by convo. So here is my answer to both. Why we need phone support: 1) There are times when the situation is so urgent that it calls for immediate action. A day or two ago there was a desperate post in the forums from a user whose vengeful ex had hijacked her Etsy account and locked her out. From one post on this blog:"I recently had two incidents that I needed support for and it took 2-3 weeks to get an actual response, when I did receive a response on one situation it was an automated message that did not at all address my problem or a solution". 2) Live chat has always left me feeling as if the person on the other end is attending to numerous 'callers' at once: extended wait times for an answer, accidental answers meant for someone else, etc. This isn't a satisfactory solution to Etsy's customer service problems. 3) I believe your timeframes in the article about support response times are way off. Read the forums - there are many reports of sellers waiting a week or more, or never getting response at all. My own experience recently writing to support: my first response took 24 hours and was a canned (bot-read?) answer that didn't address my question. I had to resubmit and wait another 24 hours for a real one. Not acceptable. I've also tried to get a straight answer in the past and only received noncommittal wishy washy ones (read my convos from admin from a couple years ago). 4) You've made it very easy for buyers to instantly open a case, and instantly leave bad feedback, at the press of a button. One buyer in the forums was complaining about not receiving an answer to a convo after 18 hours and was contemplating leaving negative feedback solely due to that (which of course Etsy wouldn't remove!) Why don't sellers deserve the same speed when it comes to getting help from Etsy? It appears you expect more of your sellers than you ask of yourselves. I posted a request for phone support in Marc's weekly question and answer, and received the typical Etsy brushoff. I have to echo other users with regard to direct checkout and phone support - there is simply no way, period, I would let Etsy handle my money without a direct phone line to a customer support person who can address any issues (not "pass it on to a supervisor"). Paypal provides this service, and I have no doubt that most if not all merchant payment processors do as well. Those are my honest thoughts, and I hope you will respond. Thank you.

    1 year ago

  • MiiniMoh

    Melody from MiiniMoh says:

    Thank you. Good to know. :)

    1 year ago

  • kayscrochetpatterns

    Kay Baxter from kayscrochetpatterns says:

    I have never understood why Etsy is so anti phone. It may have been cute when Etsy first started and was a grassroots site; but now Etsy is way too big for this kind of narrow thinking. Bottom line is sellers are Etsy's customers. Yet there is no "customer service". I would never dream of telling my customers that they can only contact me via email and I would never send them a canned response ever. I also would never make them wait weeks for a reply. Yet this is common practice on Etsy. Kay

    1 year ago

  • heatherj1 Admin

    heather jassy from htothej5 says: Featured

    @All Thanks for your comments. We'll be launching a customer support prototype/feedback team in the next couple of months, and I'll reach out to those who commented to see if you'd like to join when it launches so that you can continue to give us feedback. For those of you who have contact Etsy regarding a trust or policy issue, I've asked someone from the MITS team to follow up with you directly. Learn more about that team here: http://www.etsy.com/blog/news/2012/a-closer-look-into-marketplace-integrity/. We won't be responding to comments on this thread after today.

    1 year ago

  • MariaSoleil

    MariaSoleil from MariaSoleil says:

    "The best way you can help us is to give us honest feedback on how we can help you be successful. Be brutally honest. We can take it, and we want to hear it so that we can get better." --- This is very different than the "walking on eggshells" you have to perform to post in the forums. The mutings are getting more and more frequent which makes me think Etsy doesn't wants us to be honest, unless we are gushing with compliments.

    1 year ago

  • Lakeperson1

    Sue Cloutman from Emmasdollshop says:

    @ emmas dollshop Your article, Heather, and the constant info I get on Etsy inspires me to keep going. I joined 4 weeks ago and haven't sold a thing which is discouraging and yet I know I have to build up a much bigger inventory so I keep plugging along. Here's hoping that sales start to come in. Thanks for all you do. I posted a question on the forums a while back and had about 50 responses in 2 hours! I was astounded!

    1 year ago

  • rashmithakur

    Rashmi Thakur from RTStyles says:

    Hello Heather!! Thank you for the article. Your article is amazing. I opened my shop not very long ago to give some meaning to my hobby. I am still getting to know and trying to generate some sales. But what I can say about Etsy community is that I love it!! I love to see so much talent is around which is very inspiring and keeps me motivated.

    1 year ago

  • mariashacreaw

    Maria Shacreaw from 162PENS says:

    I agree that the etsy members, sellers and admin are exceptional! Everyone is nice and supportive. I can't think of a better online community to be a part of. Thanks to everyone who helps us thrive and work with each other!

    1 year ago

  • ZyrrellsCavern

    ZyrrellsCavern from TranscendenceDesigns says:

    Wow, thanks for sharing this! Especially the end, it was so encouraging. I'm looking forward to starting a shop here! Keep up with the support, and changing those around you! ;)

    1 year ago

  • rosse123

    Monica Popescu from MoniRosseShop says:

    Hello! I have a question: i can't make a payment... I do not accept the card. How can I make the payment? I want to close my account. Can anyone give me some advice, I am from Romania?! Can I pay through bank transfer? Thanks in advance!

    1 year ago

  • takeapicturedesigns

    Lynne from RiverSpring says:

    What is muting? Is that when someone is specifically targeted and can't comment?? How do you get un-muted? I have tried to comment on articles and my avatar is greyed out and I can't comment. I am always positive and supportive but now I can comment on some stories but not on others. Can anyone help me. Maybe it has to do with logging in? Thanks in advance.

    1 year ago

  • eshannon12

    Eric Shannon from BigBarkerDogBeds says:

    Nice to associate some faces to the brand!

    1 year ago