Black Friday sales may have dipped slightly for retailers this year, but online, retailers gained huge momentum with Cyber Monday deals, posting over $3 billion in sales and growing 16% from last year according to Adobe’s Digital Index. Many retailers shared online deals throughout the weekend – Walmart, for example, made discounts available on Sunday – continuing the shift in focus to digital.
Cyber Weekend gives retailers a chance to impress customers not only by offering great deals but by providing excellent customer service. Doing so isn’t easy – call and live chat volumes skyrocket throughout the weekend – but going above-and-beyond in service during December can be invaluable to retailers, when customer expectations are the highest.
This year, StellaService sampled forty companies throughout Cyber Weekend, placing over 1,500 phone calls and live chats to measure service speed and quality.
In phone, response speed quickened, with 40% of measured companies answering calls in under 90 seconds, up from 30% in 2014. The average response time overall was just under 2 minutes.
The bottom performers struggled to handle the high call volumes. The slowest five retailers took over 6 minutes to connect customers with their agents, but with many site outages from high website traffic, it’s likely that these volumes were even higher than contact center’s anticipated.
Live chat has grown significantly as a service channel since last year’s holiday season. Chat offers retailers the ability to respond more quickly to potential customers, who are much more likely to purchase with a speedy answer to persuade them.
In chat, the average response time overall was 80 seconds, making retailers 30% faster at chatting than on the phone. Six retailers connected customers to chat agents in under 20 seconds: Lowe’s, Target, Zappos, Best Buy, Walmart and Amazon.
Great service won’t be overlooked by customers this holiday season. Retailers that have made an impression on their Cyber Weekend shoppers will likely see their return for more gifts in December.