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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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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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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More Retailers Offering Chat, But Usage Dips in December

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With online chat continuing to gain traction as a channel for customer support, we recently investigated how the chat landscape has changed. Not surprisingly, our data confirmed that the slate of retailers offering online chat is growing, with 13 retailers launching an online chat service in the last 18 months.

Chat offers retailers greater flexibility than traditional phone support. A retailer that offers phone support will, generally speaking, make that phone line available during normal business hours at the bare minimum. Chat, however, can be turned on and off on a weekly, daily, or even hourly basis. Sometimes it’s great for handling a period of high-volume contacts as agents can manage multiple chats at the same time. And, the one-to-one nature of the conversation provides greater Issue Resolution rates than Email.

The availability of chat, however, can be spotty. While StellaService analysts attempt to initiate chat support on a daily basis — with over 100 retailers …

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Amidst the Turnaround Talk, Here’s How JCP and Sears are Performing for Service

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JC Penney and Sears are two old school retailers that have been the subject of turnaround talk for most of the year. Curious how those turnaround efforts are shaking out for customer service and fulfillment, Happy Customer took a look at seven important metrics, comparing the retailers to the Department Store category average.

We looked at Total Time to Live Agent for Phone, Phone Issue Resolution, Email Response Time, Email Issue Resolution, Total Days to Delivery, Package Fit and Refund Speed. Data was pulled through the first nine months of 2014.

Sears bests the category average in four metrics – Total Time to Live Agent for Phone, Phone Issue Resolution, Email Issue Resolution and Package Fit.

JC Penney bests the category average in five metrics – Total Time to Live Agent for Phone, Email Response Time, Email Issue Resolution, Package Fit and Refunds.

A few notes:

Sears brought email response time down in the first four months of the year, averaging about four hours in …

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