GameStop Shaves Minutes Off Average Hold Time, Beating Competitors

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Kevon Hills is Vice President of Research at StellaService.

Since EB Games and FuncoLand shut their doors, GameStop has enjoyed being the only player in the video game space. Big box retailers have always been in the business of selling new video games, as well as manufacturers like Sony and Microsoft. But recently companies like Walmart and Best Buy are allowing customers to buy, sell and trade used games, further infringing on GameStop’s territory as the single source for all things video games.

GameStop is great at engaging customers in-store as its associates are typically experts in the latest games and devices. When GameStop launched its ecommerce site along with a customer service team, gamers must have been excited to have continuous access to their knowledgeable associates away from the store. However, GameStop’s speed of answer on the phone forced gamers to make a decision on which retailer to go to for answers.

From the start of the second quarter of 2013 through the …

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These Qualities Make Great Customer Service Representatives

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In a matter of weeks, many customer service departments will start staffing for what is expected to be the busiest holiday season ever for online retailers.

AOL Jobs recently asked StellaService Client Development Manager Chris Vodola what it takes to be a customer service rep in the digital era.

Vodola has more than 15 years of customer care operational experience and has led teams within several consumer goods organizations including The Estée Lauder Companies, Nestlé Waters and Colgate-Palmolive. He joined the StellaService team from Bluefly.com, where he served as Director of Customer Service and Operations.

See Vodola’s tips for prospective CSRs below.

What skills do you need?

A career in customer service is not for everyone. It’s about listening, empathizing, seeking to understand problems and having the ability to find solutions. More important than that is genuinely enjoying that process. The only basic requirements for a new entry-level hire are being likable …

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3 Retailers That Provide Delivery Estimates Shoppers Can Trust

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Last week on Happy Customer we discussed the concept of Order Life Cycle. This week, we’ll hone in on the first half of that cycle: Delivery. And not just speed, but how retailers go about setting expectations for the timing of those deliveries.

In addition to various speed metrics around fulfillment and transit of packages, StellaService Analysts collect and compile data regarding how retailers set delivery expectations. After placing orders, analysts evaluate communications sent to determine whether or not retailers provide delivery estimates. From there, they can be categorized as Specific Date or Date Range Estimates, and each order placed is measured against the provided estimate to determine accuracy and timeliness.

After placing tens of thousands of orders over the years, we’ve seen it all. Delivery estimates from online retailers come in many shapes and sizes:

  • “You will receive your item in 4-7 business days”
  • “Estimated Delivery: 7/28-8/2”
  • “Your item will …

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Report Preview: Getting to Know the Connected Consumer

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Here’s a startling stat: “78% of consumers feel that the customer service departments of today’s companies are generally not meeting their needs and expectations.”

The information comes from social CRM software maker Digital Roots and customer experience advocates Execs In the Know, which published this week a preview of the “Getting to Know the Connected Consumer” report. The report surveyed nearly 20,000 individuals to gain insights into the mind of today’s consumer.

Channels of customer care for the report are grouped into the following buckets: Traditional (phone, email, in-person), Interactive (online/video chat, self-help), Mobile (apps, text/SMS, mobile chat), and Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, forums).

  • Experiences: The least utilized channel of care within the past 12 months was mobile, with 10.6% of respondents having used mobile customer care in the past 12 months.
  • Perceptions: Consumers were asked: “In your opinion, which …

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Lowe’s To Open $20.5M Customer Support Center

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Lowe’s plans to invest $20.5 million and hire up to 1,000 employees to staff a new Indianapolis-based customer support center.

The new facility will support stores and internet sales, delivery services and repair services for Lowe’s customers across the U.S, according to a release. The facility is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2015 and will complement the company’s existing customer support centers located in Wilkesboro, North Carolina and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Looking at Lowes’ contact center performance for the first half of 2014, StellaService data shows the retailer certainly has strengths and weaknesses. For Phone support, the retailer is besting its competitors in several key metrics, such as  Product Knowledge, Policy Knowledge and Issue Resolution.

Email support, however, has room for improvement. Lowes’ response time for emails in the first half of 2014 trailed the Hardware/Home Improvement category average by about 10 hours. …

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