Which Online Retailer Does E-Mail Best?

Months before the hectic holiday shopping season, we decided to conduct an experiment to find out which online retailer does customer service e-mail best. We sent the same e-mail query to seven big-name retailers that sell a certain toy croquet set we were interested in buying and having shipped to a “nephew” who lives in Switzerland. We wanted to compare how well Amazon.com, Buy.com, Overstock.com. Sears, Toys R Us, Walmart, and Alex Toys answered the same customer question. We evaluated:

  • Response time: How long did the customer wait for the e-mail reply?
  • Tone: How friendly was the agent? Did the tone of the writing build rapport between the customer and the company
  • First contact resolution: Did the agent answer the customer’s question completely?
  • Clear writing: Is the writing concise, correct, and complete?
  • Other sources of help: Did the answer include a phone number and links to the FAQs or knowledgebase?

Download this whitepaper and read the retailers’ e-mails and our comments on which companies provided excellent service and which ones disappointed a prospective customer. (15 pages, 269k PDF)

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