Is Your Subpar Service Causing Customers to Cry?

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Results from a new consumer survey show that more than a third of U.S. adults have cancelled service or stopped using a brand due to frustrating customer experience.

The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of ClickSoftware, concluded that Americans waste more than 30 hours of time they could or would have spent working dealing with customer service issues annually.

Respondents were asked to select the two industries that are most frustrating, then reported the number of hours spent dealing with these industries over the course of one year.

U.S. Service Industry Consumer Frustration Index

Industry: Average # of hours spent dealing with most recent issue

  • Banking: 6
  • Repair/home Services: 5.3
  • Insurance: 4.7
  • Automotive: 3.7
  • Healthcare: 3.1
  • Communication service providers: 2.5
  • Public sector: 2.2
  • Retail: 1.8
  • Utilities: 1.5

Other highlights from the results:

  • 35% of respondents have cancelled service or stopped using a brand due to a frustrating customer experience
  • 51% of …

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Following Comcast’s Customer Service Fiasco, Are You Measuring Professionalism for CSRs?

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After five minutes of aggressive, unfriendly questioning and declining to cancel a customer’s cable service a CSR explained his motive.

“I’m trying to help our company be better. That’s my job,” he said on a call recording that went viral Tuesday.

“I can guarantee you, you’re doing an incredibly good job at helping your company be worse,” replied Ryan Block, the customer who recorded the call.

The exchange has been called torture, a nightmare and the “customer service call from Hell.” Time’s headline read “Recording of Man’s Attempt to Cancel Comcast Will Drive You Insane” and Gawker chimed in with its typical snark “Hellish Comcast Call Sets New Standard for Shitty Customer Service.”

Tom Karinshak, Comcast’s Senior Vice President of Customer Experience, issued a statement Tuesday apologizing for the incident:

“The way in which our representative communicated with them is unacceptable and not consistent with how we train our customer service …

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StellaService Report: Top 10 Retailers with Fastest Order Life Cycles

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By Jake Novick, Senior Research Associate, StellaService

On Happy Customer, we’ve frequently documented the importance of speed in both the delivery and the return side of the online shopping experience. We’ve shown data on how some retailers are upgrading their standard shipping service and, on the other side, how Apple had started to use expedited shipping for its returns in recent months. However, until now, we haven’t analyzed the combination of the two. So, which retailers are investing in speed across delivery and returns?

Enter a new StellaService metric called Order Life Cycle.

We define Order Life Cycle, or OLC, as the sum of Total Days to Delivery and the Total Days to Refund Processed for a given order. The impetus for tracking this metric was to get a more holistic view of the fulfillment process from the shopper’s perspective. While many retailers are beginning to understand the value shoppers place on fast shipping with programs imitating Amazon …

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More than a Million Boxes Reused With ‘A Box Life’ Program

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A StellaService Analyst shopping Sorel.com recently noticed an option at checkout that lets shoppers opt in to have their shipment sent in a reused box.

The option caught our analyst by surprise, so we decided to dig in further.

Turns out this eco-friendly initiative began at Columbia Sportswear in 2009. Officially dubbed “A Box Life,” the program enables shoppers to select a used box, each one containing a unique QR Code that tracks everywhere the box is delivered. Shoppers can then share the story of their box on the website ABoxLife.com, where the path of each box is plotted on Google Maps, showing every destination, total miles the box has traveled and how many boxes have been saved in the process.

To date, 1,045,120 boxes have been reused, and the most traveled box on the site has been shipped across more than 11,000 miles.

Columbia created A Box Life with the hope that other companies would join in the effort. Participating brands and retailers include Sorel, Mountain …

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Forrester Report: Every Online Retailer Should Ship-from-Store

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StellaService data shows that Best Buy reduced standard shipping speeds by two days on average due to fulfilling online orders from physical stores. Photo: Mike Mozart / Creative Commons license. 

A recent report from Forrester, Why Every Online Retailer Should Ship-from-Store, looks at the broad opportunity ship-from-store presents for online retailers.

“Online retailers are feeling the pain of Prime. It’s hard to compete with free two-day shipping — few other retailers have the customer base or the deep pockets to develop competitive programs. Ship-from-store programs provide a unique opportunity to level the playing field and get merchandise in the hands of the customer quickly and cheaply.”

Key benefits for retailers that use physical stores to fulfill online orders include increased revenue, margin gains from supply chain optimization and improved customer experience. Therefore, the report’s authors suggest that all online retailers should fulfill from …

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