There are organizations, such as JD Power that rate customer satisfaction and service for various industries and there are crowd sourcing sites such as Epinions and Yelp where users provide the ratings. STELLAService is an independent company that rates customer service for eStores in the US and provides offers ‘web based badges’ or ‘seals of approval’ for quality customer service.
STELLAService Rating Methodology:
STELLAService rates the customer service performance of online stores. They claim to have the most robust evaluation methodology assembled. eStores are selected based on size (the largest online stores would be automatically included) or nominated by consumers: the most popular ones are rated. For the stores that they evaluate, STELLAService, re-rates them at least once a year or if consumer feedback indicates that they have substantially changed. What is the STELLAService Methodology?
1. They go shopping
2. They navigate sites
3. They do usability testing
4. They order and return products
5. They engage in over a dozen interactions with each company’s customer service representatives via phone, email and live chat
6. Everything they do is anonymous (what the industry calls a silent shopper), so the company does not know it is being evaluated.
7. They assign a rating to each business:
d. Not Approved
8. They assemble the results into a weighted calculation based on industry category, service category and features.
9. STELLAService reports the results on their website. Online stores with ELITE or EXCELLENT ratings are eligible to display STELLAService seal on their sites.
Service Attributes Evaluated:
All service-oriented attributes fall into one of three main areas:
- Usability and online tools
- They examine hundreds of service-oriented Web site features and tools, from navigation to social tools to product detail and display features, in order to measure the overall ease-of-use, convenience, logic and effectiveness of the online shopping experience.
- Shipping, delivery and returns
- They assess each store’s stated policies and compare them to our actual experiences of purchasing and returning products from that site.
- Shipping policy
- Shipping options and speeds
- Product tracking and status updates
- Package contents and packing slip information
- Return policy
- Return process and correspondence
- Refund speed, methods and alerts
- Customer support
- They rate the human interaction at various stages of the interaction process (research, decide, check out, post purchase) using phone, email, live chat.
- Availability and responsiveness
- Issue resolution
- Product knowledge
- Operational knowledge
Online Stores that STELLAService rates:
Currently, they evaluate online retailers in the following customer categories:
- Apparel/Accessory Printing
- Clothing, Shoes & Accessories
- Auto Parts
- Books & Physical Media
- Computer & Electronics
- Household Items/Drug
- Hardware & Home Improvement
- Baby Care
- Housewares/Home Furnishings
- Plants & Garden
- Mass Merchant
- Business Printing
- Office Supplies
- Art & Photography
- Crafts & Party Supplies
- Music & Instruments
- Pet Supplies
- Sporting Goods & Outdoor Gear
- Fitness Equipment
In the spirit of full disclosure, I have no connection with STELLAService and there may be other companies that provide similar services as well. Please share with us, any other organization that rate online stores in the comments section below.