For CircuitCity.com the key to superior merchandising in 2004 boils down to a time-honored retailing axiom: providing better customer service than the competition. CircuitCity.com recently extended its call center operations to receive almost 24-hour, 7-day-a-week inquiries from customers with questions about merchandise they are shopping for online.
Previously call center operations were limited to normal business hours. But now Circuit City`s web shoppers can make contact over the phone or via online chat with a customer service representative regarding a new purchase every day from 6 a.m. to 4 a.m. Eastern time. Questions regarding existing orders, return policies and other issues are handled Monday through Saturday between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. or Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time. Customers can also contact CircuitCity.com through an e-mail form on the site`s customer service page or by regular mail.
The online consumer electronics retailer is expanding customer service as a way to differentiate itself in a competitive shopping category that includes such major brands as Amazon, Best Buy, Crutchfield, Tiger Direct and others.
"We noticed that our customers were not getting all of their questions answered and we are taking steps to make sure we can get them the information they want when they want it," says Fiona Dias, president of Circuit City Direct. "On a big ticket item such as an $1,800 big screen TV, customers may be on our site at midnight and still have questions and might not want to wait to hear back from us."