Webcast Recording: StellaService 2013 Holiday Insights Study

In the 2013 StellaService Holiday Insights study, StellaService set out to stress-test the holiday performance of the 25 of the largest online retailers based on annual revenue.

The study looked at contact center performance during the high-volume period of Black Friday through Cyber Monday. And, in an effort to measure retailers’ ability to deliver on their promised delivery date, StellaService placed orders to three regions at the retailers’ stated Christmas cutoff dates.

The results show that while some retailers clearly made an effort to go above-and-beyond for customers, there are still opportunities for improvement for the U.S.’s largest online retailers.

StellaService Director of Research Kevon Hills is joined by Zappos Director of Customer Loyalty Team Rob Siefker to review the study’s findings in this webcast recording. A complimentary PDF of the study is also available here.

Previously on Happy Customer:

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Stella Summit 2012: Interview with Mike Novotny, General Manager of JackThreads

At last year’s Stella Summit, JackThreads General Manager Mike Novotny was interviewed by StellaService Director of Content Ty McMahan. JackThreads is a StellaService Elite-rated ecommerce site that sells contemporary menswear to its members through daily flash sales.

In the interview, Novotny tells attendees about one of the key customer service lessons he’s learned at JackThreads: allow customers to communicate through the channel of their choice. For the customers of JackThreads, live chat has been the primary channel of engagement — in part because it matches the pace of the site’s business model: quick, casual and fun.

Request your invite to this year’s Stella Summit, happening October 18, 2013 at in New York City.

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StellaService and Google: Working Toward a Better Shopping Experience on the Web

Online shoppers have tremendous choice when deciding where to buy, and competition for their business has never been tougher. As prices and product offerings continue converging across the Web, the biggest opportunity for retailers to stand out is increasingly the quality of the customer experience (a.k.a. providing great service!).

With customer service becoming a major factor in the buying equation for online shoppers, we’re thrilled to announce that Google is now teaming up with STELLAService to give shoppers the most reliable and comprehensive information about where to buy from the best stores on the Web. STELLAService’s objective customer service ratings and performance metrics will be used across various Google offerings, including Google Trusted Stores, to highlight merchants that consistently provide an excellent end-to-end experience.

This is a big step forward for empowering shoppers as ecommerce continues to grow and mature as an industry. This integration …

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Video: A Package’s Journey From A to B

We’re always curious about a package’s path during the delivery process. And, whether you’re a consumer order from a retailer, or a retailer delivering to a consumer, you’re likely curious too.

This video from Industrial and Interaction Designer Ruben van der Vleuten provides some perspective.

Ruben had the following questions: What happens when you send something by mail? What happens in between you sending it off and someone else receiving it? What people and processes are involved and how many steps does it take?

Ruben put a small camera in a box, built a timer circuit to make a 3-second video every minute and shipped it.

See the journey in the video above.

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STELLAService Co-Founder John Ernsberger ‘Hangs Out’ With Shep Hyken

John Ernsberger, STELLAService co-founder and vice president of business development, recently participated in a Google Hangout with customer service expert and best-selling author Shep Hyken. Learn a bit about why STELLAService believes customer service is such an important differentiator for online retailers and some of our plans for the future.

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Dramatic Reading Of Yelp Review Shows Great Service Trumps Crab Cakes

We had a nice laugh over this dramatic reading of a Yelp review by a professional actor.

The review itself drives home two points. First, the reviewer raves about the food, but ultimately decides that a single encounter of unfriendly service is enough slam the Stratford Diner. The reviewer writes, “I don’t think I’m going to eat there anymore, because if the manager isn’t nice, what does that say about your business?” This underscores how drastically a customer’s opinion of a business can sway after a bad service experience. Second, the review shows how unreliable user-generated review sites can be. An unbiased review would have certainly served the restaurant points for those tasty crab cakes.

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Frank Eliason, Citibank’s Senior Vice President of Social Media, Talks Customer Service

Frank Eliason, Citibank’s Senior Vice President of Social Media, has been described as the “most famous customer service manager in the U.S., possibly the world.” By expanding the reach of customer service via social media, and taking the simple approach of asking “Can we help?” he repositioned the relationship between Comcast and its customers. His efforts at Comcast, where he was the voice of @ComcastCares, inspired a global wave of innovation in the way businesses communicate and engage with their customers — using new communication channels to improve customer experience.

The fundamentals he describes stretch across industries, including Broadway, which he describes in this TED Talk.

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Even Mr. Bean Knows Bad Customer Service

All you’re asking for is a little help. And, as your frustration builds you can imagine the customer service agent with their feet on the desk, twirling their hair, more interested in their chewing gum than your questions.

We’ve all been on the receiving end of bad customer service…even Mr. Bean.

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A Customer Crooning For Kindness

Sometimes it’s the customer who sets the example.

Aspiring songster Giorgio Gareira delighted a worker at a Wallingford, CT Sonic Drive-In by applying a little musical accompaniment to his order for cheese tots and cherry limeades. It’s a charming exchange that has attracted nearly a million YouTube views. It also landed Gareira on the Ellen Degeneres Show where he had an important message: “Be kind to those around you.

Ellen then sent Gareira and his guitar into wild to spread the love in scenarios where customer service can make all the difference. Check out Gareira’s crusade for kindness in the video above.

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