Weeks, months or years later, it won't be the product that most people remember from a shopping transaction but rather the experience provided by the retailer before, during and after the sale.
20th Annual Mystery Shopping Study, Astound Commerce found that some retailers are, unsurprisingly, better at customer experience (CX) than others - recognizing seven retailers who excel in customer service through an assessment of "must-have" website features (listed below) and behavior based on engagement with available touchpoints.
1. Accessibility of 800 number on site was a 2.5 or higher on a 3-point scale
2. Overall customer service/help destination page score of 2.0 or higher on a 3-point scale
3. Three or fewer days to receive package
4. Five or fewer clicks to checkout or if greater than five clicks to checkout has 1-click capabilities
5. The ability to move an item from the cart to a saved list for future access or save items in the cart for later
6. Overall customer service experience on customer service call was a 2.0 or higher on a 3-point scale
7. Answer e-mail question within 24 hours, correctly and with a tailored response
Winning merchants scored highest in four critical areas: visibility, overall customer service, speed of delivery and efficiency of checkout. The top performers include (in alphabetical order):
- L.L. Bean
- The Home Depot
"Service is the quickest route to retention," said Lauren Freedman, SVP of digital strategy at Astound Commerce. "Shoppers expect efficiencies, accessible information, competency and timely information that allows for quick decision-making, avoiding any obstacles along the customer journey. In today's challenging retail environment where short term thinking often prevails, we hope retailers remain vigilant in their customer service investment and execution."