Target Now Delivers In Less Than Two Days On Average


Target had an impressive showing in the Shipping area of the most recent Stella Benchmarks, a sign that the retailer is investing in initiatives to please customers with swift delivery.

The company improved delivery times by three full days in August, besting the competition with an average fulfillment time of one day, 13 hours. That’s a full day faster than its nearest competitor, Apple Inc.

The notable improvement comes three months after Target announced an initiative to fulfill orders more quickly. The company is also testing ship-from-store and StellaService Analysts received several orders in August that originated in locations not within proximity of Target’s distribution centers.

August marks the first time Target has lead the Stella Benchmarks rankings in Shipping, and the third time the retail chain has been in the Top 25 since January. StellaService data shows Target took four days, 15 hours to fulfill online orders the previous month.

A large part of this improvement …

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When Disaster Strikes, What’s Your Customer Service Action Plan?


Widespread and ongoing security breaches at major national retailers have caused hundreds of millions of people to wonder whether their credit card or personal information is now in the hands of criminals. And some, no longer left to wonder, are dealing with fraudulent charges, reissued cards and stolen identities.

It’s not only the actual data breaches that will cost these retailers customer loyalty in the long run, though–it’s their delayed disclosure and lack of proactive communication. The unfortunate reality is that it’s impossible to be completely safe from cyberattacks. If the most sophisticated intelligence agencies in the world are getting attacked, it’s reasonable to assume that this is a possibility for any corporation.

For every business, be it a startup or a 100-year-old company, there’s always a chance you’ll face a problem that adversely affects your customers. Whether it’s a product recall like Antennagate, a technical …

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Target Expands Subscription Program

“Target has significantly expanded its subscription-based e-commerce service, first launched last fall as a response to Amazon’s popular “Subscribe and Save” program, by increasing the number of online items available for subscription purchase from just 200 to now 1,500. While the company’s original focus was on baby-care items, the now revamped service offers similar savings for other everyday purchases, including cleaning supplies, health and beauty aids, pet treats and training pads, grocery items, home and offices supplies, and more.” [Source: Techcrunch]

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Start With These 3 Questions To Grab Headlines For Great Customer Service


Jordy Leiser is Co-founder and CEO of StellaService.

Let’s talk about some of the customer service headlines that have emerged in recent months.

Of course, coverage of retail during the holidays included the wig-dropping stampedes for door-buster sales that we’ve all come to expect. But almost all of the biggest stories–although varying in details and concerning a range of disparate companies–were about service.

First, Amazon hijacked Cyber Monday news coverage with an exclusive on CBS’s 60 Minutes about plans to deliver products via flying drones. Sure, maybe they trotted out some half-baked plans as a well-timed publicity stunt, but it worked. The next day America was talking about the prospect of clicking “Checkout” on Amazon and then hearing the whirr of a drone making a delivery 30 minutes later.

Yes, it was a story about an exciting innovation. But more, it was a story about incredible customer service–orders delivered in half an hour! And, …

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U.S. Banks and Retailers Trade Barbs Over Data Breaches

“Community banks from across the United States and some of the country’s biggest retailers are at each other’s throats over whose job it is to protect consumers from the kind of cyber attacks suffered last month by Target and Neiman Marcus. The National Retail Federation delivered a shot on Tuesday, saying in a letter to U.S. lawmakers that its bank ‘partners’ had failed to adopt new technology and instead continued to issue ‘fraud-prone’ magnetic stripe credit and debit cards. On Wednesday, the Independent Community Bankers of America representing about 7,000 banks in small towns, big cities and suburbs, fired back, saying the NRF should focus on its response to theft of data ‘rather than hurling false allegations blaming the banking industry.’ ” [Source: Reuters]

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Target Issues Written Apology For Security Breach

“About a month after consumers learned of a massive security breach at thousands of Target stores, the company issued a written apology in major U.S. newspapers. ‘Our top priority is taking care of you and helping you feel confident about shopping at Target, and it is our responsibility to protect your information when you shop with us,’ Target President and CEO Gregg Steinhafel wrote. ‘We didn’t live up to that responsibility, and I am truly sorry.’ Target announced in December that payment data for roughly 40 million customers who used credit and debit cards in their stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 was at risk.” [Source: NBC News]

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StellaService Data Shows Customer Service Impact of Target Security Breach


You’ve likely heard by now — it’s been a rough holiday season for Target.

The Minneapolis-based retailer revealed today that personal information for up to 70 million individuals was stolen by hackers. This comes on top of the December 19 announcement of a breach of the credit and debit card information for 40 million customers who shopped in-store between November 27 and December 15. Name, debit or credit card number, expiration dates, CVV and encrypted PIN numbers were stolen in nearly 1,800 stores.

Company spokeswoman Molly Snyder told Bloomberg that it’s likely the two groups of affected individuals overlap, but to what extent is not clear at this point. Total number of consumers affected could reach 110 million.

The company also announced today that it would offer free credit monitoring and identity theft protection, however details of that program will be released next week.

“We know this incident has been a confusing and stressful time for our guests, and …

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Woman Allegedly Waits on Hold for Six Hours with Target

“Think you’ve had a frustrating phone experience with a customer service rep? It was likely a breeze compared to the hell endured by Katie Johnson. The Arizona woman was kept on hold by Target for a mind-numbing six hours, according to local news site AZ Family. Katie Johnson had ordered an iPod Nano from for her boyfriend this Christmas, but after the gift never arrived Johnson reached out to UPS. It appeared that the package was stolen from her porch, and UPS said Target would need to file an insurance claim with UPS to replace the product for Johnson.” [Source: The Huffington Post]

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SEC Pressures Retailers to Disclose Internet Sales

“In the correspondence, the SEC asks the companies—which frequently tout their online prowess—to provide hard details about the amount of goods they sell online. [...] The agency is concerned that retailers are hyping their Web prowess by claiming high percentage growth rates while failing to disclose how much that growth affects total sales. What is clear from many of the answers is that the absolute figures are still relatively small. Inc. sells more online than its next 12 biggest competitors combined, including Staples Inc. and Wal-Mart, according to the trade publication Internet Retailer. Despite its greater online scale, Amazon continues to grow quickly and command a hefty share of new Internet sales. Its 30% increase in North American sales in the second quarter outstripped the overall e-commerce market and some competitors as well.” [Source: The Wall Street Journal]

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Retailers Target Dorm Room Dwellers This Back-to-School Season

“Those beer-crate nightstands and makeshift curtains are starting to disappear from U.S. colleges as retailers push more-upscale dorm furnishings for the back-to-school season. Dozens of retailers, from Target Corp and Williams-Sonoma Inc’s Pottery Barn to boutique website, are marketing aggressively to the college crowd this year. Using oversized catalogs, social media and temporary stores set up near colleges, they are offering everything for the picture-perfect dorm room, including monogrammed towels, state-of-the art storage containers and color-coordinated curtains and pillows.” [Source: Reuters]

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