You'd think downtimes would be good times to make shoppers happy. Heck, even New York's toniest restaurents are getting downright obsequious with the customers they once very nearly snubbed.
Yet the e-tailing group's 11th annual Mystery Shopping Study, conducted in Q4 2008, found the overwhelming majority of online retailers are falling flat in nine critical areas of customer service.
To qualify as "top performing," 100 online retailers were ranked on specific benchmarking criteria. The survey eliminates sites that don't possess the following "must have" criteria, in order of importance:
1. Toll-free telephone number present
2. Keyword search
3. Four or fewer days to receive package
4. Adequately and correctly answer e-mail question within 24 hours; provide a specific answer
5. CSR product knowledge when calling toll-free number, 2.0 or higher on a scale of 3.0
6. Six or fewer clicks to checkout
7. Email shipping confirmation sent
8. Email order confirmation sent with order number included
9. Real time inventory in shopping cart or product page