Black Friday – Cyber Monday Phone Support Study: L.L.Bean Answered Calls in 9 Seconds


During the busiest shopping weekend of the year, L.L.Bean’s customer care team connected shoppers to a live representative in an average of 9 seconds. The retailer had the fastest phone support among 40 major retailers tested in StellaService’s annual study of phone support from Black Friday through Cyber Monday.

L.L.Bean, J.Crew, Saks Fifth Avenue and Amazon were the only retailers to rank in the top 10 performers for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the full four-day measure.

StellaService Analysts placed five calls at varied times each day to all 40 retailers. Measurements for Total Time To Live Agent include the time required to navigate an interactive voice response system (IVR). Calls were abandoned if analysts were forced to wait more than 20 minutes to be connected to a live agent.

Top Performers: Black Friday – Cyber Monday

  1. L.L.Bean – 9 seconds
  2. J.Crew – 25 seconds
  3. Saks Fifth Avenue – 34 seconds
  4. Lands’ End – 42 seconds
  5. Under Armour – 47 …

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


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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Sick of Being Told to Go Climb a (Phone) Tree?

Avg Hold Time

Ever been told to “Go Climb a Tree“?  Well, we have and it’s quite rude.  Unless you’re remarkably dense (or you’re a squirrel), being told to go climb a tree is something no online shopper should experience.  With that in mind, why are so many retailers eschewing good customer service and essentially telling us to do just that? 

Using data for the power of good, we’ve come up with some interesting customer service facts about the use of phone-trees and how it impacts retailer call hold times.  Only 21 of the Internet’s top 100 retailers connect shoppers directly to a live agent. That list expands to 22 if we also include 1-800 CONTACTS, which falls just outside the top 100 at #101 (We’re especially impressed that a business that bears its customer service phone number as its name, which leads to even higher call volume, steers clear of an IVR to ensure the best possible experience for shoppers).

Unfortunately for shoppers, …

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Never Wait On Hold Again. No Joke!


Here at STELLAService, we try not to name names when complaining, but I’m sure you can think of a company whose customer service call hold times are consistently so long that you have to block out a time for it in your schedule.

What if I told you that you’ll never have to wait on hold again? Meet LucyPhone, a free service dedicated to preventing the many headaches, neck cramps, and frustration caused by long hold times. Featured most recently in a New York Times article and also on Lifehacker and The Consumerist blogs, LucyPhone does the holding for you. Log on to and create your free account. Back on the homepage, you can search for the company within their existing directory of used numbers, or enter the number you wish to call. You then enter your own phone number, and click start. Within seconds, LucyPhone calls you, and reminds you how things work, then connects you to the number you entered online. Things start off as they normally would, until you get put on …

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