If you like speaking with live customer service reps about service issues without having to first endure a long and frustrating wait on the phone, then shop at Sierra Trading Post.
That is one conclusion that can be drawn from a study of online retailers released by StellaService, which found that the retailer made customers wait on hold for just six seconds, on average, before a live rep came on the line. That is the shortest average time of the 100 internet retailers studied in the survey.
If you are part of the growing minority of consumers who prefer to interact with customer service by email, then you'll like Office Depot, which came in with the fastest email response time at 48 minutes.
Want both prompt email service and short phone hold times? You're in luck, but just barely. One company ranked among the top 10 in both categories. If you shop at the Disney Store, you can expect an average 01:47:40 wait for email support and just 12 seconds on hold.
It is a little surprising that there isn't much overlap between the two categories, StellaService CEO and cofounder Jordy Leiser says.
The reality is that most consumers like to deal with a service issue by phone, he continued. "Study after study shows that people still prefer the phone. Companies that don't get that are going to see their customers go elsewhere, especially when shopping for big-ticket items."
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