E-Tailers Improving at Customer Service

 
 
By Evan Schuman  |  Posted 2007-12-14 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Click-to-call technology has been key to reducing the number of abandoned shopping carts, a study shows.

E-tailers are getting better at customer service and delivering usable Web sites, with Overstock, Lowe's, Ralph Lauren and Kmart leading the way, according to a new report from The Customer Respect Group.

In the customer service area, one of the things that has gotten the most favorable attention has been click-to-call, with some of the larger merchants—including Amazon, BestBuy and L.L. Bean—pushing the technology as a way to stop abandoned shopping carts, said Customer Respect Group President Terry Golesworthy.
Why is retail now doing better than some other sectors, such as insurance? Golesworthy said insurance is an example of a vertical that suffers from a history where call centers were discouraged from answering a lot of customer questions. That was because they saw it as robbing local agents of the opportunity to answer those questions and potentially upsell the customer to buy something more expensive.
On the downside, of the 51 major retailers examined, several had work to do in specific areas. In the simplicity category, for example, where sites were examined for how easy they were to navigate, Safeway, Peapod and Abercrombie & Fitch fared poorly. The worst sites for responsiveness to customer inquiries were Drugstores.com, PCMall, Buy.com, CompUSA, Coles, Pier 1 Imports and, at the very bottom, RadioShack. "All these tech guys were way down there," Golesworthy said.
Retail Center Editor Evan Schuman can be reached at Evan.Schuman@ziffdavisenterprise.com. Check out eWEEK.com's Retail Center for the latest news, views and analysis on technology's impact on retail.
 
 
 
 
Evan Schuman is the editor of CIOInsight.com's Retail industry center. He has covered retail technology issues since 1988 for Ziff-Davis, CMP Media, IDG, Penton, Lebhar-Friedman, VNU, BusinessWeek, Business 2.0 and United Press International, among others. He can be reached by e-mail at Evan.Schuman@ziffdavisenterprise.com.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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