Top Ten Tactics for Customer Service Vigilance

Wal-Mart, Lands' End, Brooks Brothers and six other retailers rank among this year's "Top Performing Web site for Online Customer Service" according to the e-tailing group's 11th Annual Mystery Shopping Study. Nine retailers excelled at online customer service including:

Brooks Brothers
Lands' End

Opportunities to excel at customer service are true to the core of retailing. The e-tailing group recommednds that retailers should Emulate merchants like those named as the e-tailing group's Top Performing B2C Sites for Online Customer Service who are paying attention to the details that contribute to bottom-line success. To survive and grow be vigilant but smart; cutting expenses without endangering customer service standards. The following checklist offers ten guidelines of note.

1. Achieve accessibility by integrating customer service throughout the site including toll-free phone number visibility on the home page

2. Ensure inventory is accurate and displayed at both product page and shopping cart; when backorders occur offer reminder options

3. Think efficiency in the checkout process starting with edit capabilities and one-click execution

4. Throughout the organization make in-depth product knowledge available to those who have customer contact through superior training and supervision

5. Train CSRs to be courteous, competent, knowledgeable, and to suggestively sell beyond "order-taking"

6. Create a streamlined, easy way to reach an agent when making a phone inquiry (many of the recorded messages make customers jump through hoops to find an agent)

7. Leverage technology (i.e. live chat, click2call) ensuring proper training that reinforces brand objectives

8. Assure that well merchandised communications are in place for both post-order and shipments advisory

9. Automate communication effectively and do not deliver blanket answers or inadequate responses

10. Have checks & balances in place to ensure correct product gets shipped in saleable condition
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