Stella Benchmarks: Kate Spade Tops Overall Rankings in September

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Kate Spade provided the best overall customer service in September, marking the retailer’s first time topping Stella Benchmarks in 2014.

The retailer, known for its handbags, clothing and jewelry, ranked in every area measured across fulfillment and customer care.

Email is where kate spade excelled most, averaging three hours to reply to inquiries from StellaService Analysts. The retailer also achieved 100% Issue Resolution in the Email channel in September. Kate Spade ranked 17th in Phone, 11th in Chat, and 24th in both Shipping and Returns. The retailer was the only to rank in all areas.

Stella Benchmarks includes 138 companies evaluated on a daily basis by StellaService. Customer care channels – Phone, Email and Chat – are measured daily, while fulfillment metrics are measured across multiple orders each month.

Seven companies that did not rank in the Top 25 overall last month earned a spot in September: Cartier, King Size Direct, Costco, Under Armour, Lowes, Ralph Lauren and …

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Most Holiday Shipping Guarantees To Be Set A Week Before Christmas

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The majority of retailers will set their standard shipping deadlines for guaranteed Christmas delivery to expire at least a week before the big day, according to Shop.org’s eHoliday survey.

The study, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, found nearly eight in 10 (78.8%) retailers are planning earlier deadlines. Additionally, approximately one in five (21.2%) will set those deadlines to expire December 19 or later, compared to more than one-quarter who said so last year (26.3%).

Last year, StellaService analyzed retailers’ stated standard shipping cut-off dates to receive orders by Christmas. StellaService Analysts then ordered the same product from 25 of the largest online retailers to be delivered to three separate regions – East, West and Midwest.

Eight retailers – or 32% – failed to deliver at least one order by Christmas. Of all 75 orders, 12% did not arrive by the estimated date. And, all but one failed delivery was shipped using UPS.

“It’s important to …

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Lowe’s Experiments With Customer Service Robots

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Robots are invading the customer service department.

This holiday season, Lowe’s will introduce two autonomous retail service robots in an Orchard Supply Hardware store in San Jose, California to study how robotics technology can benefit customers and employees.

Called OSHbot, the robots will assist customers to quickly navigate stores by directing them to specific products and providing real-time information about product promotions and inventory. In the coming months, OSHbot will also be able to communicate with customers in multiple languages and remotely connect with expert employees at other Orchard stores to answer specific project questions.

“Using science fiction prototyping, we explored solutions to improve customer experiences by helping customers quickly find the products and information they came in looking for,” Kyle Nel, executive director of Lowe’s Innovation Labs said in a release. “As a result we developed autonomous retail service robot technology to be an …

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Zazzle To Give Away Cars to Team Members Who “Amaze and Inspire” Customer Experiences

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As Zazzle staffs up for the holidays, the custom printed product company is offering a unique incentive to employees who help drive fantastic experiences for customers.

A new car.

“We’re going to be giving away two brand new 2015 Fiat 500 Abarth cars to two people who live up to the challenge of the holiday season and embody the Zazzle spirit with perfect attendance during our busiest weeks,” the company said in a blog post.

Zazzle is hiring more than 650 people across a variety of roles in customer service and operations. It’s encouraging to see a retailer invest in both delivering a high level of customer care and rewarding those who provide that experience.

“We’re looking for customer service representatives who can amaze and inspire our customers,” the post said. “We’re looking for talent who can create one-of-a-kind products in our facilities – everything from digital press management to packaging production using highly technical equipment. We’re focused on …

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Jordy Leiser: Learnings From Japan’s Culture of Service

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Jordy Leiser is Co-founder and CEO of StellaService.

We hear about customer-centric companies all the time. From Amex to Zappos, we follow and study and praise the innovators, especially here at StellaService.

But halfway around the world–a 15-hour flight from New York, to be exact–there’s a place where the quality of customer service shocks and awes in ways you wouldn’t imagine, even from the most customer-obsessed companies on American soil.

I’m not talking about any particular company. I’m talking about the entire country of Japan.

The Trip I Did Not Think I Was Taking

I recently got back from my first trip to Japan, and as you may be able to tell, I was blown away. It completely changed my perspective on the industry I work in and the opportunities for the companies I work with.

I booked the trip last-minute, and I knew very little about the country or culture beyond the superficial qualities most Americans pick up from restaurants and movies. …

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Lululemon’s New Distribution Center is Cutting Transit Time in Half

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Familiar with the term athleisure? It’s emerged in recent years to describe the trend of athletic clothing being worn outside of the gym.

The athleisure movement is big. In fact, a recent Wall Street Journal report says the U.S. athletic apparel market will increase by nearly 50% to more than $100 billion by 2020. And, much of the credit for the trend can be given to Lululemon, whose yoga pants can be spotted all over town.

But, for Lululemon’s online customers, there’s been a disparity in service. Because the company was shipping all orders from a Sumner, Wa. facility, orders to regions outside of the West coast took twice as long.

Looking at all orders placed between May 2013 through August 2014 (17 months total), StellaService evaluated 58 orders from Lululemon. For West coast shoppers, items spent only 2 days in transit on average during that time. Other regions performed as such:

Midwest: 4 days
South: 4.4 days
Northeast: 5.8 days

However, in September, StellaService saw …

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