Survey: Nine merchants lauded for online customer service excellence

Chicago -- A survey released Tuesday by the e-tailing group said that nine merchants out of the 100 benchmarked excelled at online customer service.

According to the group’s 13th Annual Mystery Shopping Study, conducted during fourth quarter 2010, Lands’ End made the list for a third consecutive year. Coach and Saks Fifth Avenue are two-year repeat achievers.

"These merchants understand that efficiency and convenience are essential to deliver a best-in-class online shopping experience,” said Lauren Freedman, president of the e-tailing group.

The top performers, listed alphabetically, were 1-800 Flowers, Abt, Coach, Drs. Foster & Smith, Foot Locker, King Arthur Flour, Lands End, Orvis and Saks Fifth Avenue.

A hundred online merchants were evaluated on “must have” online customer service criteria, including keyword search; four or fewer days to receive package; adequately and correctly answer e-mail question within 24 hours and providing a specific answer; on-site homepage accessibility of toll-free phone number; CSR product knowledge when calling toll-free number; five or fewer clicks to checkout; e-mail shipping confirmation sent; e-mail order confirmation sent with order number and customer service information included; and real-time inventory in shopping cart or on product page.

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