Love Your Customer and They’ll Love You Back


This guest post is by J.R. Yates, CEO and Founder of, a StellaService Excellent-rated online jewelry retailer.

We love our customers. We love helping them find the perfect wedding ring. And in some cases our customers love us back and want to show it. That makes everything we do worthwhile.

How do we get our customers to love us back? It requires us to jump through hoops on occasion. Customers ask us to do crazy things sometimes. Like the guy who decided to get married on Friday and needed his ring by Thursday evening, and ordered his wedding band Wednesday afternoon – after UPS picks up. But we made sure to get it there.

Sometimes it’s not quite as involved as getting a wedding ring to a customer in 24 hours. Sometimes the customer needs us to extend her 90-day return privilege. Done. The fellow who needs a Hallmark card put in the package with a special hand written message. Check. The folks who ask us to snap a quick picture of the ring on our finger and …

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How ASOS Aims to Deliver VIP Service To Twenty-Somethings Around the Globe


Whether it’s real-time delivery status updates or free worldwide delivery and returns, ASOS service offerings are tailored for hyper-connected young shoppers who have ever-changing expectations when it comes to customer service.

ASOS is on a mission to be the number one fashion destination online for twenty-somethings around the globe, and core to its strategy is an unrelenting focus on the target customer — “an avid consumer and communicator who is inspired by friends, celebrities and the media.”

One option for frequent ASOS shoppers is its Premier program, which launched in the UK in 2009 and became available to American customers in July of last year. Currently the program is $19 annually in the U.S., a dip from the standard pricing of $39, which includes unlimited 2-day shipping alongside other benefits.

“We were one of the first retailers to introduce free shipping internationally, so unlimited express shipping was a natural evolution of that service …

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How Uses Digital Media to Build and Service Its DIY Community


Servicing more than 3 million customers to date, StellaService Excellent-rated has made a name for itself amongst Do-It-Yourselfers who appreciate the site’s wealth of home repair how-to videos and generous 365-day return policy.

One customer writes: “Love your videos. Love your email. I am a 75 year old woman and these really help me not only to fix what I can and also not look like a fool when a repair man comes. I have ordered parts for my friends’ refrigerator and fixed it. He is 84 but doesn’t know which end of a hammer to use. THANKS AGAIN.”

We spoke with’s Jody Lamb, public relations manager and editor of RepairClinic’s DIY blog, to get her insight into how the company approaches customer service and the role that digital content plays in educating and servicing customers.

RepairClinic has more than 20 million views on its YouTube videos. When did you start to produce these videos, and how do you gauge success of the …

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With Ship-From-Store, Best Buy Is Delivering Faster Than Amazon


Best Buy’s stock has plunged 43% since October. It’s not exactly the turnaround shareholders hoped for.

But, StellaService data shows the retailer has made significant improvements in at least one very important business performance metric – speed of delivery.

Many industry watchers are asking, “How is Best Buy going to compete with” Obviously, speed of delivery is an area retailers are battling to best each other. It seems Best Buy has found an advantage.

As Amazon continues to build warehouses nationwide with the goal of delivering packages faster, Best Buy has been leveraging infrastructure that has already been in place. The big opportunity for Best Buy is in “mini-warehouses,” shipping from stores to get orders in the hands of customers faster.

When Best Buy announced plans in June to implement a ship-from-store strategy, the retailer’s average Total Days to Delivery was around 5 days, spiking to nearly 7 days in mid-August, according to …

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StellaService Data Shows Customer Service Impact of Target Security Breach


You’ve likely heard by now — it’s been a rough holiday season for Target.

The Minneapolis-based retailer revealed today that personal information for up to 70 million individuals was stolen by hackers. This comes on top of the December 19 announcement of a breach of the credit and debit card information for 40 million customers who shopped in-store between November 27 and December 15. Name, debit or credit card number, expiration dates, CVV and encrypted PIN numbers were stolen in nearly 1,800 stores.

Company spokeswoman Molly Snyder told Bloomberg that it’s likely the two groups of affected individuals overlap, but to what extent is not clear at this point. Total number of consumers affected could reach 110 million.

The company also announced today that it would offer free credit monitoring and identity theft protection, however details of that program will be released next week.

“We know this incident has been a confusing and stressful time for our guests, and …

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Why We Invested In a Ballpark-Themed Contact Center


Editor’s note: This guest post is written by Andrew Dowis, Customer Experience Manager, and Derek Hall, Quality Control Supervisor, at Pro Athlete, Inc., the parent company for StellaService Elite-rated online bat and glove retail sites and

Here at Pro Athlete we have aspirations to be a most-admired ecommerce company, and we don’t allow any aspect of our business to slip below our world-class ideals. We recognize that our customers are the core of our business and we’re actively making investments that will drive customer loyalty and retention while also making it a fun work environment for our employees.

Customer experience is essential to our business as online baseball bat and glove retailers. We’ve taken a hard look at all elements of the experience including developing a user-friendly site and delivering customer support that rivals the best in the business.

We believe that we’ve created a best-in-class workplace …

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Lessons from Be Proactive With Your Shoppers

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When purchasing holiday gifts online, not all retailers are properly setting expectations with shoppers on the process for returning gifts and whether those gifts can be exchanged for credit, refund, or gift cards.

That’s exactly why we were excited to hear that a StellaService Analyst received the following email from, a StellaService Excellent-rated site, this week after placing an order on the site.

The team at RueLaLa proactively communicated the process for returning a gift purchased on the site in three easy steps. But why is this important?

First, it provides a great experience for the customer, who no longer has to spend time digging through the site for information on gift returns. Second, the retailer’s customer service department is likely receiving less inbound inquiries from customers related to gifting items purchased on RueLaLa because of the proactive outreach. The email also provides contact information in the bottom of the email so it’s …

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Specialty Retailers Write Handwritten Notes to Add Personal Touch to Orders


The automation of online order fulfillment can sometimes make customers feel like a number on an invoice rather than an individual. To combat this impersonal impression, several specialty retailers now take the time to enclose handwritten notes with orders.

Kathie Hahn, owner of Delran, N.J.-based retailer My Safe Bird Store, includes handwritten notes with every order. “It goes to show that you care about your customers and I think it’s important to establish a relationship with your customers rather than them just treating them like someone who orders on a piece of paper,” she explains.

Each note includes Hahn’s name and the name of the person who pulled their order. The message in the note varies depending on the customer and the situation, but Hahn makes a point to address each note to the customer’s name. When customers post on Facebook about getting a new bird, for instance, the note might congratulate them on their new bird. “If it’s a customer that we haven’t …

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BaubleBar Launches Video Chat, Service Team Now Available Over Skype

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The SWAT Team is now taking appointments.

We told you in March about’s “Service With Accessorizing Talent.” Now, you can get some face time with the fashion jewelry-seller’s service team . is offering complimentary virtual styling appointments with SWAT team members to help customers find the perfect piece of jewelry. The video chats are conducted via Skype and scheduled through an application from Setster Inc.’s SWAT team members conduct the chats live from the company’s showroom on Fifth Ave. in New York.

Nina Alexander-Hurst,’s director of customer experience, said video chat helps greatly with some of the challenges of selling jewelry online. Seeing the jewelry worn by SWAT team members helps give the product scale. It’s a better way to show the length of a necklace or the bulk of a bracelet. Women want to know what to expect when they have that box delivered. And, they like have a shopping …

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Check Out The Way J.C. Penney Is Responding To Comments On Its Apology Video

You’ve seen the public apology video. But, the better story is how J.C. Penney is engaging with customers commenting on the mea culpa.

J.C. Penney published this week a video advertisement developed under former chief executive Ron Johnson, an Apple veteran who was brought in to refresh the brand but was ultimately replaced after 17 months on the job by his predecessor, Mike Ullman.

The department store chain’s sales plummeted in 2012 following changes made by Johnson. Our analysis last month shows that the company has much work to do when it comes to improving customer service.

The new video is a very public plea for shoppers to give the department store another chance. Images of smiling children and couples holding hands are accompanied by piano music and a female narrator.

“It’s no secret, recently J.C. Penney changed,” the narrator says. “Some changes you liked and some you didn’t, but what matters from mistakes is what we learn. We …

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