Check the Health of Your Email Support with These 3 Metrics


There’s always an opportunity to get better. But, it starts with making sure you’re starting on the right path.

Let’s talk about getting on the right path to better email support. Below you will find three metrics your team should be considering to ensure timely, helpful email support is being delivered to customers.

Metric: Addressed Second Question Directly
StellaService definition: The CSR addressed the customer’s second question directly.
Why it’s important: StellaService includes multiple questions in the same email to retailers that are distinct and merit separate responses. Interactions are structured as such to measure the thoroughness of CSRs handling support questions.

This metric is a great go-to diagnostic for the health of your email support. “It’s almost like checking your blood pressure,” says Chris Vodola, a StellaService Client Development Manager who previously managed contact centers for major beauty brands and online retailers. If a significant …

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Shipping Race: Retailers Expedite Standard Orders to Speed Delivery Times


Retailers are continuing to invest in a fast and high-quality shipping experience for online shoppers who now have higher expectations than ever.

One way to surprise an online shopper is to get the order to them faster than expected, and we’re seeing some retailers use expedited shipping methods on a regular basis. These retailers are carefully crafting a strategy focused on delivering a consistent experience for shoppers, regardless of which region the package is being shipped to.

The StellaService research team recently examined nearly 3,000 orders placed in January through April of this year to look at which carriers and methods are being used most frequently by the largest retailers in the U.S., broken out by region of delivery.

StellaService Analysts obtain the package origin from tracking information provided by the retailer, and it’s classified as either Atlantic Coast, Central or Pacific Coast. (See Appendix A at the end of this post for the states included in each …

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Should You Be Eyeing Google Glass For Service?


This guest post is by Micah Solomon, a customer service speaker, customer experience consultant, and author.

Virgin Atlantic recently declared that its six-week Google Glass trial has been a raging success. The airline reports that they’ve improved the customer experience for their “Upper Class” passengers by augmenting their customer service team’s capabilities with Google Glass and Sony smartwatches.

Let’s look at what Virgin tested, and then talk about whether you should follow suit. Should those of us in business — particularly those who are in the business of designing customer experiences — hurry to launch similar initiatives?

Virgins Google Glass Trial Run

Let’s say you’re one of Virgin’s most valued passengers. (To be clear: by “valued,” I  don’t mean that the red-clad professional Virgins like your smile, I mean they’ve weighed your wallet and found it to their liking.) During the Google Glass trial, a tech-bespectacled Virgin …

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3 Retailers That Refund Customers Before Items Are Received at the Warehouse


Leading online retailers are investing in a frictonless returns process for shoppers, recognizing the impact it has on long-term customer loyalty.

We took a closer look at StellaService returns data to explore a couple of trends: First, leading retailers are issuing refunds faster than ever. Second, some retailers are issuing refunds back to customers before the item is received at the warehouse.

A quick look at the top 10 retailers by speed for April 2013 versus April 2014 shows a decrease in Total Days to Refund Processed — a reduction of 1.9 days on average. That may sound minor but the change represents a year-over-year improvement of about 30% and successful investments in more efficient operations.

Looking at a group of 124 of the largest retailers in the U.S., a subset of 18 companies issued refunds in 7 days or less on average for the past 12 months. Of note, 4 of the 18 companies are owned by Amazon.

Retailers with Average Total Days to Refund of 7 Days or Less

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