Please Hold: How Fast Do Top Internet Retailers Respond to Customers?


Customer serviceNobody will argue against good customer service, and any company looking to provide it knows that one of the biggest factors customers use to gauge it is speed: How quickly did someone pick up the customer’s call or write them back? A new study out Monday reveals there are some fairly big disparities in customer response times among the Internet’s top 100 retailers. The difference between being the fastest and the slowest can be a matter of minutes on hold or days waiting for a emailed reply. The study was conducted by STELLAService, which used a network of full-time mystery shoppers to evaluate each site, making more than 1,200 interactions via phone and email.

Of those top 100, the five companies with the shortest call hold times are: (6 seconds), (11 seconds)(YOOX), (12 seconds), (17 seconds) (URBN) , and (21 seconds) (GWW), while the companies with the longest call hold times are: (8 minutes, 3 seconds) (BKS), (7 minutes, 20 seconds), (7 minutes, 12 seconds) (M), (6 minutes, 56 seconds), and (4 minutes, 50 seconds) (GMCR).

The study found the average email response time across all merchants to be much, much longer — approximately 17 hours., with the quickest email response time, is followed by (58 minutes, 40 seconds), (1:23:48), (1:47:40), and (1:50:45) (ANF). The companies with the longest email response times take days: (88:30:24), (79:29:30), (65:10:45)(DELL), (52:29:15), and (39:35:36). Interestingly, Fingerhut and MarketAmerica made the top 10 list for shortest times on hold, so if you need customer service from them, don’t email — pick up the phone.

  • The Automotive Parts/Accessories category produced the fastest average e-mail reply time at 3 hours, 38 minutes, led by
  • The Specialty/Non-Apparel and Office Supplies categories provided the most readily available phone support, with both categories averaging hold times of approximately one minute.
  • The Books/Music/Video category averaged the longest call hold time — just over four minutes — with (8 minutes, 12 seconds) asking customers to wait the longest.
  1. (6 seconds)Sierra
  2. (11 seconds)
  3. (12 seconds)
  4. (17 seconds)
  5. (21 seconds)
  6. (21 seconds)
  7. (23 seconds)
  8. MarketAmerica (25 seconds)
  9. (25 seconds)
  10. (27 seconds)
  1. Office (48 minutes)
  2. (58 minutes, 40 seconds)
  3. (1:23:48)
  4. (1:47:40)
  5. (1:50:45)
  6. (3:38:00)
  7. (4:43:00)
  8. (4:49:48)
  9. (5:02.00)
  10. (5:06:10)

Tagged: best of the web, complaint, customer service, customer service representative, email, fastest, internet shopping, on hold, phone, response time, retail, SDXC, shopping online, slowest, stellaservice

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