ADOTAS — Customer service should be one of the most important, and easiest, areas that companies focus on as they face declining revenues and reluctant consumers. It’s the one area that can tick people off quickly and make them move elsewhere.
According to a study done by The e-tailing Group, there was bad and good on that front. Comparing 2008 to 2007, the average number of business days to receive an item inched up, 4.76 vs. 4.18, fewer merchants sent email shipping confirmations, 84% vs. 95%, and there was no improvement in average call center experiences.
“In tough times merchants must control expenses but they need to monitor cost-cutting choices to maintain a robust customer experience,” said Lauren Freedman, e-tailing president. “It is important to read between the lines as our mystery shoppers often felt that customer service was somewhat ‘smoke and mirrors.’ They observed declining standards from the quality of execution to the ease of finding things; from CSRs with limited knowledge to longer delivery times.”
E-tailing did see improvements: membership requirements are down, 16% vs. 23%, direct to cart buying is rising, 39% vs.17%, and one-click settings are up, 29% vs. 18%, facilitating quicker checkout
It also named its top ten online customer service sites (in alphabetical order) Babycenter, Bluefly, Brooks Brothers, Brookstone, Crutchfield, Golfsmith, hpshopping, Lands’ End, Walmart.
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