Last year’s website redesign produces mixed results.
It resolves customer problems by e-mail better than other retailers.
For the second consecutive month, apparel retailer J. Crew Group Inc. provided the best customer service of dozens of major online retailers, according to the latest monthly benchmark report from StellaService, which measures how well e-retailers provide customer service via e-mail, phone, shipping and returns.
The research firm tracks this data for 101 retailers with at least $100 million in annual revenue, plus the top five retailers in the 10 main product categories listed in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, it says.
J. Crew kept its lead in August largely because it delivered the best e-mail resolutions in the entire group; the apparel retailer did a better job than other retailers of answering questions completely enough that customers required no further contact, StellaService says. The retailer also ranked No. 2 in shipping, which scores package quality and fit; No. 4 in returns, which measures how fast a retailer refunds an order after receiving it in the warehouse; and No. 5 in phone service, which measures how long it takes a live agent to answer a call.
Saks Fifth Avenue ranked No. 1 for shipping in August, beating all department store retailers in delivery time by at least one day, StellaService says. Bloomingdale’s, which is a unit of Macy’s Inc., came in first for returns, processing them two days faster than its competitors. On the phone, L.L. Bean Inc. was No. 1 with the fastest time for a live agent to answer a customer’s call—14 seconds—of all retailers in the index.
StellaService says the 10 major online retailers with the best customer service overall in August were:
• Cabela’s Inc., No. 45 in the 2013 Top 500 Guide
• J. Crew, No. 56
• L.L. Bean, No. 29
• LuLuLemon Athletica Inc., No. 122
• Net-a-Porter Group, No. 91
• Ralph Lauren Media LLC, No. 62
• Saks Fifth Avenue, which operates No. 37 Saks Direct
• Shopbop.com (owned by Amazon.com Inc.)
• Sierra Trading Post Inc., No. 102