Brooks Brothers, a consistent strong performer in StellaService evaluations, has been preparing its team for a successful holiday season. Happy Customer had the opportunity to visit with Michael Moseman, Director, Customer Contact Center, about how the company is preparing for the holiday season and its conservative approach to Christmas cut-off dates.
Last week, we had a chance to sit down with Rob Siefker, Zappos’ Director of Customer Loyalty. As a company that makes customer service a top priority, we asked Rob how Zappos changes its strategy during the bustle of the holiday season. Watch to see some of his holiday insights for this season.
During the holidays we have a seasonal work-staff that we hire, but we also have everyone in the company helping out with customer service.
Today we’re excited to release our Q3 2014 report, Essential Holiday Ecommerce Data & Best Practices. As more consumers are turning to the ease of online shopping, the stakes are rising for ecommerce retailers during the holiday shopping season. This report, available in full here, provides a snapshot of 2013 holiday performance, what service levels consumers expect for holiday performance in 2014 and how retailers are trending into those expectations as the holidays approach. The report covers the following areas:
2013 Holiday Performance
Failure to meet Christmas cutoff shipping guarantees left gift-givers empty handed and call centers flooded. After a disappointing Holiday 2013, shoppers are more attuned to delivery speed and accuracy than ever and meeting promised holiday cutoff dates has never been so important. Just 11% of consumers will shop with a retailer again if a holiday shipping guarantee isn’t met.
2014 Holiday Consumer Survey
Customers are more emotional …
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:
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.
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 …
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.
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.
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.
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.