Reports

30 Seconds or Less: Last Year’s Top Phone Support for Black Friday/Cyber Monday

Consumers are expected to do more of their holiday shopping online this year, eschewing the in-store doorbuster sales that have drawn crowds in years past.

That doesn’t mean shoppers won’t have questions along their buying journey. And, since they’re likely shopping from the comfort of their couch, rather than in a store staffed with associates to answer questions, it’s a safe assumption that contact center volume will likely see a serious spike over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend.

StellaService collects customer service performance data from retailers on a daily basis, and increases its sample over the four-day holiday shopping weekend. In 2013, StellaService placed five calls each day to 60 of the most popular online retailers, amounting to 1,200 calls during the four-day shopping bonanza.

Considering historical retailer performance, what should shoppers expect when they dial their favorite shop with a question?

Last year, high-end apparel retailer Net-A-Porter set the bar for Phone support by averaging 19 seconds over the four days to connect StellaService Analysts to a live agent. The average for the top 5 performers in the study was 24 seconds over the four day time period.

What’s more, all of the top performers had 100% Issue Resolution – a metric that measures whether a customer service agent solved the customer’s questions in full.

Looking at all companies measured on Black Friday specifically, the average time to reach a live agent for the set of companies was was 2 minutes, 16 seconds. The top five performers that day – Dillards.com, Net-A-Porter.com, UnderArmour.com, JCrew.com and Modcloth.com – averaged about 23 seconds.

Average time to reach a live agent on Cyber Monday was slightly longer at 2 minutes, 30 seconds. The top five performers on Monday – Dillards.com, UnderArmour.com, Net-A-Porter.com and Overstock.com – answered phones in an average of about 19 seconds.

Unfortunately, not all consumers experienced speedy service last year. The bottom 10 performers averaged 5 minutes, 39 seconds. And, one retailer averaged more than 11 minutes to connect customers to a live agent.

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