Email may be good for promotions. But a staggering 41% of ecommerce companies globally do not offer email customer support, according to Customer Service Benchmark Report, a study by Netomi.
Worse, even some of those that do offer it fail by any number of measures.
Of the 59.3% that provide an accessible email address, for instance, 30% ignore customer emails entirely, making their inbox a “black hole,” the study states.
Netomi used apollo.io to determine the 2,000 largest ecommerce companies worldwide. But it was able to find an email address for only 1,190 of those firms..
It then sent an email to each company for which it had an address, translated into the native language. Of the 1,190 emails sent in two batches, the firm received 750 replies to a question on refund policy and 621 replies to a request for coupon codes.
It found that only 6.1% respond to special requests, while 17.1% respond to straightforward ones, 46.1% to both and 30.8% respond to neither.
One key measurement is Support Performance Index (SPI), reflecting such qualities as personalization and empathy. The average score is 56.2, with a 23% score in the 7085-point range.
Who is doing it well? DC Shoes scored an SPI of 104.9, compared to the 100-point benchmark.
The company excelled at all the key factors, providing an average response time of 20 minutes and a 50% discount rate.
Other top performers include Princess Polly (Australia, 103.44); Payless ShoeSource (U.S., 103.34); COS (UK, 101.45); and Universal Store (Australia, 100.73).
Among enterprise companies, those with more than $10 billion in revenue, the leaders were H&M (87.8), Nordstrom (82.7) and Auchan (78.6).
The worst enterprise performers were Macy’s (24.7), Lenovo (23) and Adidas (15.5).
Then there is the average Answer quality Index (AGI), measuring the usefulness and quality of response, is only 44.2/100.
DC Shores was also tops here, scoring 105/100 on the AI.
In general, brands' offerings were skimpy -- only 8% would waive a shipping fee, 16% provided a discount code and a mere 2% of the ecommerce companies did both to go above and beyond to satisfy a struggling customer
Which companies were the fastest to respond? For special requests, the fastest -- at two minutes apiece -- were Dollar Shave Club, Sun Dance Holdings, Natural Life and The Webster.
And the quickest turnaround for straightforward return policy queries came from Blacks Outdoor Retail Limited (UK, 1 hour); StockX (U.S., 1 hour); Lyst (UK, 1 hour); and PC Richard and Sons (U.S., 1 hour).