Aiming to enhance the online shopping experience for consumers and retailers as the holiday-shopping season kicked into high gear, STELLAService launched STELLA Monthly Benchmarks—the first-ever monthly rankings of the best-performing customer-service providers in the United States—on Nov. 21.
The STELLA Monthly Benchmarks—which will be issued on the third Wednesday of every month—were created to provide consumers with a trusted tool for smarter shopping while offering retailers an independent, reliable benchmark for measuring and enhancing their customer service.
The benchmarks will be published each month at www.stellaservice.com/benchmarks.
They will shed light on the five best-performing companies in their respective retail categories for four critical service areas: phone, email, shipping and returns.
They will also reveal how these companies are trending month to month, taking into account the four service areas.
Based on daily customer-service evaluations conducted by STELLAService's nationwide network of full-time analysts and mystery shoppers, the benchmarks include the country's largest 50 retailers as well as the five largest retailers in 11 categories—including beauty.
"While there is limited variance in pricing among most retailers, customer service is still wildly uneven—even though consumers consistently rank it as a key factor influencing where they shop,” says Jordy Leiser, CEO of New York City-based STELLAService. "STELLA Monthly Benchmarks help highlight top performers in the industry. For the first time, consumers, investors, media and retailers alike will have an independent benchmark that they can look to for the most current assessment of the most customer-friendly retailers in the nation.”
Highlights of the first monthly benchmarks for October 2012 in beauty—which can be viewed online—include:
- The No. 1 rankings by service areas: Sephora.com (phone), Shop.Avon.com (email), Dermstore.com (shipping) and EstéeLauder.com (returns).
- On the phones, Sephora.com agents were the most outgoing in the category, and had the strongest product knowledge. The company also offered the fastest path to a live agent.
- In shipping, Dermstore.com beat the category average by three days for actual delivery time.
Beginning in January 2013, STELLAService will also publish the first STELLA Index—a quarterly ranking of the top-20 performers among all retailers included in the STELLA Monthly Benchmarks.
[Image courtesy of STELLAService]