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Study: The e-commerce site with the best customer support is…

Author: Dan Berthiaume

Source: CSA The Business of Retail

A North Carolina-based department chain founded in 1888 is tops when it comes to helping shoppers online.

Regional department store retailer Belk has the e-commerce site with the best customer support, according to a survey from multichannel demand generation provider Sykes Enterprises, which identifies the retailer with top-ranked e-commerce customer support.

According to “Forms of Contact,” the top 10 retailers that made the list included:

1. Belk
2. Lulus
3. Lands’ End
4. Revolve
5. Sierra Trading Post
6. DSW
7. Fossil
8. J. Crew
10. Uncommon Goods

Nordstrom just missed a top 10 ranking, coming in at number 11.

Just over half of surveyed consumers indicated they would resolve issues with an online retailer by telephone (52%). A further 46% said they’d use email, while others opted for live web chat and web forms (both 27%), and a smaller number selected for Facebook (8%) and Twitter (5%). Consumers age 18-24 were slightly more likely to use Facebook (13%) and Twitter (7%).

Meanwhile, retailers are not necessarily designing their e-commerce customer support programs around customer preferences. Although only a small number of consumers said they’d contact a retailer via social media to resolve any issues when shopping, the vast majority (91%) of 100 e-commerce sites examined by Sykes have both Facebook and Twitter links on their homepage. Around two thirds (68%) have Twitter direct messages open, while 80% reply to public twitter queries.

Ninety-eight percent of retail e-commerce sites offer a telephone number, on average 1.23 clicks away from the home page. Seventy-three percent offer live web chat (2.05 clicks), 64% offer a web form (2.44 clicks), and 26% offer an email address (1.23 clicks).

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