American Consumers More Likely To Broadcast Bad Service Experiences

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While 46% of American consumers say they always tell others about good service experiences, an even greater number say they talk about poor service experiences, according to the American Express 2014 Global Customer Service Barometer.  In fact, 60% said they always share the bad experiences, and they tell nearly three times as many people (an average of 21 people vs. 8 people).

It’s more strong evidence that marketers need a thorough understanding of customer service performance.

“People are going to talk about your service, one way or another, so what do you want them to be saying?” said Kelly Fisher, Senior Vice President, Relationship Care Strategy, American Express. “In an environment where the recommendation of a friend is so important in driving a consumer’s purchasing decisions, creating good service experiences is extremely important.”

Nine in ten consumers say they tell others face-to-face about their service experiences – good or bad, according to the study. …

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See How Home Depot Tells Customers About a Data Breach

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Retailers continue to struggle with hackers accessing customer data that spans from credit card numbers to email addresses. Home Depot said last week that in addition to the 56 million credit card accounts that were compromised, 53 million customer email addresses were recently stolen as well.

A big challenge for retailers is giving confidence back to consumers that their information is secure. It’s been interesting to watch how affected retailers like Home Depot, Kmart and Target message the news to customers.

Home Depot sent the following to customers this week:

Dear Valued Customer,

The Home Depot has discovered that a file containing your email address may have been taken during the payment card breach we announced in September. The file contained email addresses, but it did not contain passwords, payment card information, or other sensitive personal information. We apologize for this incident and for the inconvenience and frustration this may cause you.

In all likelihood this …

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A Year After Merger, OfficeMax Customer Care Now Handled by Office Depot

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Customer care for OfficeMax has officially transferred operations to Office Depot.

StellaService Analysts noticed during the first week of November that calls to OfficeMax’s given customer service phone number were rolling over to Office Depot. Attempts to navigate OfficeMax.com result in a redirect to OfficeDepot.com. StellaService confirmed that all service channels now direct to Office Depot.

Looking at a three month snapshot of performance through October, Office Depot averaged about 90 seconds to connect customers to an agent on the phone, 12 hours to reply to customer service emails and 33 seconds to connect on live chat. Issue Resolution trails the Office Supply category average in Phone and Email, but is strong on chat at 91%. In short, Chat was the best bet for fast, helpful service during that period.

It’s been a full year since the merger of OfficeMax and Office Depot. Chairman/CEO Roland Smith described the combination on an earnings call as “a huge success,” …

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American Express: Customers Spend More At Companies With Great Service

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U.S. consumers are rewarding great customer service more than ever, according to the American Express 2014 Global Customer Service Barometer. The survey, which explores consumer attitudes and preferences on customer service, found that outstanding service prompts customers to open both their wallets and their mouths.

More than two thirds of American consumers say they’re willing to spend 14% more on average with a company that they believe delivers excellent service. That compares to 13% in 2012 and 2011, and 9% in 2010, the first year of the American Express survey.

“Good service is good business because it creates impassioned, loyal customers,” Kelly Fisher, Senior Vice President, Relationship Care Strategy at American Express said in a release. “Those engaged customers spend more and share their excitement with others, which often influences their buying decisions. It’s why willingness to recommend a product or company to a friend has become such an important measure for …

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For Holiday Phone Support, Nearly Half of Consumers Expect to Connect in Two Minutes

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If you’re a retailer making customers wait two minutes or more to talk to a customer service representative on the phone, nearly half of consumers find that performance unacceptable.

To get a better understanding of shopper expectations this holiday shopping season, StellaService conducted a survey of 500 respondents from August 8 to 15, 2014 using Google Consumer Surveys.

When asked “How fast do you expect to reach a customer service representative over the phone during the holiday season?” 48% of respondents said they expect to be connected to a CSR in less than two minutes.

Interestingly, retailers’ ability to hit that mark differs across categories. We pulled the average Total Time to Live Agent by category for November through December 2013.

  • Housewares – 54 seconds
  • Apparel – 1 minute, 30 seconds
  • Hardware/Home Improvement – 1 minute, 32 seconds
  • Toys/Hobbies – 1 minute, 41 seconds
  • Beauty – 1 minute, 42 seconds
  • Department Stores – 2 …

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