Thinking of sending an email to a retailer? Think again. Only 54% of customer emails are answered completely and sufficiently.
That’s according to new research from customer service ratings firm STELLAService, which measured the quality of email responses from America’s 25 top online retailers regarding questions related to product and delivery.
The emails contained multiple questions to determine ‘completeness’ of response.
According to the findings, the most reliable retailer was LLBean.com, answering 90% of STELLA analysts’ emails completely during the 45-day study, followed by Gap (84%), Zappos.com (75%), and VictoriasSecret.com and TigerDirect.com, both answered 70.4% completely.
The bottom performers sent automatically generated responses that provided a link to their home page with advice to check FAQs.
STELLAService CEO Jordy Leiser said: “It’s extraordinarily rare that an automated response will solve a customer’s question. While it’s a potential cost-saver for retailers, a less than adequate reply puts at risk the lifetime value of a customer.”
The study also analysed customer service representatives and found Amazon.com, Macys.com, OfficeMax.com, WalMart.com and Zappos.com logged instances of “above and beyond” service.
Leiser added: “Customers love the ease and practicality of email, but it is clear from our research that retailers are not being diligent about quality replies. In order to meet the needs and expectations of their customers, it’s time for retailers to deliver the same level of quality and speed when communicating with customers via email as they do on the phone.”