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For eBusiness & Channel Strategy Professionals

Online Retail Customer Service Availability Needs Some Improvement

Retail eBusiness Customer Service And Support Benchmark, 2009

August 7, 2009


  • By Diane Clarkson,
  • Elizabeth Stark
  • with Carrie Johnson,
  • Kate van Geldern

Why Read This Report

As part of a larger analysis of 90 Web sites, Forrester evaluated the accessibility and availability of online customer service and support among 30 leading retail Web sites. Retail sites scored the highest compared to other industries reviewed, with 14 sites receiving a passing score. Overall, retail sites delivered average customer service availability, but they made up for it with helpful social and community customer service elements. During our analysis we uncovered some good practices, such as Dell's consistent contextual help and breadth of customer service touchpoints, Wal-Mart's well-integrated customer forums, and Staples' and's straightforward customer service touchpoints. To improve online customer support availability, retail eBusiness and channel strategy professionals should provide reliable and consistent contextual support on product pages and promote interactive customer support methods.

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Table of Contents

  • Examining The Availability Of Customer Service On Retail Sites

  • Improve Online Customer Service Availability By Strengthening The Basics
  • Supplemental Material
  • Related Research Documents