Our Favorite New Customer Service TV Commercials

To celebrate the New Year, we thought we’d share some of our favorite new TV commercials, which of course poke fun at embarrassingly bad customer service.  You think companies are starting to get a clue that great customer service is no longer just a “nice to have”…?

These commercials were all posted to YouTube within the last few weeks — enjoy!

And an update recommended by our friends at GetHuman.com, a recently released DIRECTV commercial:

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Time for a Return? You May Have Less Time Than You Think

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After all the anticipation and waiting, you’ve finally opened your holiday gift and…of course, it’s not the right [size/color/fit/brand/model/age-group/etc]. Like many of us, you’re now faced with the ultimate question: what to do about returns, exchanges or refunds.

Since we at STELLAService knew you’d ask, we went ahead and road-tested the top 25 largest online retailers to see which ones have the most customer-friendly returns and refund processes (we tested the same 25 retailers that we evaluated in the 2011 Cyber Monday Customer Service Study).

As part of this assessment, we ordered and returned (via USPS standard ground) several products from each retailer to various parts of the country over the last few weeks (understanding it may be even tougher during the days and weeks after Christmas).  Your return and refund experience, as well as the policies you’re up against, will vary depending on where and when the gifter ordered your present.

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Making Holiday Joy Out of Bad Customer Service

As a result of evaluating the service of thousands of online retailers – some of them with “unfriendly” return policies – we were unfortunately left with hundreds of random products at the end of 2011.

As opposed to auctioning off these products on eBay or otherwise disposing of them, we decided to turn the negative situation into a positive one by giving away the items to those in need. Check it out!

Happy holidays from all of us at STELLAService!

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Holidays Bring Joyful and Frustrating Customer Service for Online Shoppers (Part 3 – Live Chat Support)

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Note: this is the third in a three part series looking at the customer service performance of the top 25 online retailers during the 2011 Black Friday through Cyber Monday weekend. View Part 1 (Phone Support) and Part 2 (Email Support) for a complete view on how the largest online retailers cared for customers during the big shopping holiday.

Many online shoppers now prefer to engage with companies via live chat. It’s (supposedly) quick, easy and convenient. According to a 1,000 person consumer survey by the E-Tailing Group and Bold Software, one in five online shoppers select live chat as their preferred method of communication with a retailer. With 20% of shoppers preferring to use live chat, you’d think that most – if not all – of the largest online retailers offer this as a communication channel for shoppers.

We were curious to see which of the 25 largest online retailers offer this service channel, and here’s what we found:

First, it’s …

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Holidays Bring Joyful and Frustrating Customer Service for Online Shoppers (Part 2 – Email Support)

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Note: this is the second in a three part series looking at the customer service performance of the top 25 online retailers during the 2011 Black Friday through Cyber Monday weekend. View Part 1 (Phone Support) and Part 3 (Live Chat Support) for a complete view on how the largest online retailers cared for customers during the big shopping holiday.

According to Forrester, 55% of online shoppers use email when attempting to solve a customer service problem.  Most consumers expect relatively quick responses to email inquiries. In fact, if you’re shopping online and have a question, what’s the point of sending an email if the company doesn’t get back to you for days? The product, special deal or issue in question may no longer be relevant by the time you get a reply.

To give shoppers a better idea of which stores plan to keep you in the loop and which stores are likely to dismiss your message into the email abyss as you do your online holiday shopping, STELLAService …

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Holidays Bring Joyful and Frustrating Customer Service for Online Shoppers (Part 1 – Phone Support)

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Note: this is the first in a three part series looking at the customer service performance of the top 25 online retailers during the 2011 Black Friday through Cyber Monday weekend. View Part 2 (Email Support) and Part 3 (Live Chat Support) for a complete view on how the largest online retailers cared for customers during the big shopping holiday.

Despite the many ways consumers can connect with a company for customer service, the telephone is still the most widely used customer service channel for online shoppers. According to Forrester, 69% of online consumers use the phone when seeking customer service help (followed by 55% who use email).

As a result, we think online shoppers should be especially aware of the findings from our 2011 Cyber Monday Customer Service study. For the first time, STELLAService is providing an unprecedented inside look at which stores provide joyful customer service during the holidays, and which stores are likely to deliver a full-serving of slow, …

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Handling the Pre-Thanksgiving Travel Rush: STELLAService Tests Airlines on Call Support

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Traveling during Thanksgiving is stressful enough, so there’s nothing worse than the added frustration of a bad customer service experience on your flight out of town. To give you a glimpse at which airlines are going the extra mile to make things smoother and faster for travelers this week, we decided to stress test each carrier’s call support…and we found some surprising results!

STELLAService evaluated the 13 largest airlines (as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation) to uncover which were the quickest at answering customer concerns over the phone ahead of the big travel weekend.

Highlights From the Study

  • Individual wait times varied from 43 seconds to over 30 minutes.
  • Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines took the top two spots as the only airlines with average hold times under 2 minutes.
  • American Airlines ranked as the most responsive of the five largest U.S. carriers (Delta, American, United, Southwest and Continental).
  • 73% of the calls placed to …

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STELLAService Raises $5 Million to Keep You In the Know

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In case you missed the announcement last week, I’m happy to share the news that STELLAService has raised an additional $5 million in funding to keep you in the know when it comes to companies with great (and not so great) customer service.

The funding was co-led by Battery Ventures and DFJ Gotham Ventures and also included RRE Ventures, Forerunner Ventures, and angels Jay Weintraub and Will Thomas. We’re thrilled to have such a terrific, top-tier group of investors behind us.

It’s been an amazing eight months since we announced our first round of funding. Our team has worked around the clock to produce customer service ratings and data on thousands of companies, and we hope you’ve been able to benefit from the guidance and direction our customer service analysts (i.e. “mystery shoppers on steroids”) have allowed us to provide. Our data and insights have been featured in nearly every major media outlet, from Forbes to NBC, in an effort to get the …

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Asa Asks STELLAService on NY1 News

Watching out for consumers, Asa asks STELLAService about buying a Halloween costume online and how to identify the best sites when it comes to customer service.

Check out our previous post if you’re still in the market for a Halloween costume and don’t have time to get to a store…just a couple days left, so make sure you purchase from the best!

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