Nobody 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.
"Customer service is a key differentiator for a lot of Internet players," said STELLAService co-founder Jordy Leiser. "Consumers have a lot of choices and being fast or slow could be the difference between whether someone who tries your site comes back again or goes elsewhere."