Delivering Seamless Online Customer Experiences Proved To Be A Challenge For Top Retailers This Holiday Season

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Only Six Retailers, Led by L.L. Bean and Overstock, Provided First-Rate Customer Service and Website Performance Satisfaction, According to STELLAService and Compuware Study

STELLAService, an independent company evaluating customer service performance and Compuware Corporation, the technology performance company, today revealed the results of a joint study of customer experience for the 2011 holiday season. The study revealed that many of the top 25 retailers struggled to provide customers with a seamless online shopping experience.
To download full report visit STELLAService.com or Compuware.com (no registration required).

Only six of the top 25 retailers earned high marks for overall customer experience, providing online shoppers with both first-rate customer service and website performance satisfaction during the holiday season (Nov. 25th to Dec. 23 2011). The six retailers receiving high scores in both of these key areas were: Amazon, Apple, Avon, L.L. Bean, Macys, and Overstock. Of those six retailers, L.L. Bean and Overstock were noted for providing exceptionally strong customer experiences.

According to the study, L.L. Bean improved the speed of its customer service during the holiday season, reducing its average call hold to just 19 seconds during the holiday season from 1:44 during baseline testing. Overstock’s average call hold time was 45 seconds, making it the third fastest among the top 25 retailers. It also achieved a top 10 website performance satisfaction ranking by efficiently managing a fairly dense website and controlling its home page size Other key findings from the study included:

●    16 percent of retailers scored poorly in both customer service and website performance.
●    60 percent scored well in customer service or website percent, but not both.
●    Overall performance declined after Cyber Monday, with customer service response times growing longer and website performance dropping.

“With retailers offering similar deals and pricing during the holiday season, keeping customers satisfied with outstanding customer service and strong site performance was key to maximizing sales during this critical period,” said Jordy Leiser, CEO of STELLAService. “L.L. Bean and Overstock.com rose to the challenges posed by the busiest time of year by keeping call hold times under a minute and maintaining a standard of customer service that was equal to or even surpassed their performance during the rest of the year. They provide a model for other retailers as they plan for 2012.”

“The majority of the top 25 retailers risked lost revenue opportunities by not meeting shoppers website performance satisfaction demands or customer service expectations during this critical online shopping period,” said Jonathan Ranger, Gomez Benchmark Practice Director at Compuware. “With the 2012 holiday season planning already underway, retailers need to develop clear strategies to provide fast and reliable website performance and effective customer service for customers across all channels.”

About Compuware Corporation
Compuware Corporation, the technology performance company, provides software, experts and best practices to ensure technology works well and delivers value. Compuware solutions make the world’s most important technologies perform at their best for leading organizations worldwide, including 46 of the top 50 Fortune 500 companies and 12 of the top 20 most visited U.S. websites. Learn more at: http://www.compuware.com.

About STELLAService
Dedicated to helping consumers make more informed online shopping decisions, STELLAService is the first and only independent provider of customer service ratings for online retailers. The company leverages a nationwide network of full-time mystery shoppers to evaluate each site across more than 350 metrics, ensuring findings that are unbiased and true to the shopping experience. its data has been featured in outlets such as Time, SmartMoney, Consumerist, and CBS Money Watch . Based in New York City, the company also publishes reports and other research to help companies worldwide improve their service operations. For more information, visit http://www.STELLAService.com. Follow us on Twitter at @STELLAService. Like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/STELLAService.

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Patrick Kowalczyk
For STELLAService
212-627-8098
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Brenda Menard
For Compuware
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