Office Depot Tops In Online Response Time

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New York - OfficeDepot.com had the fastest email response time in a recent study of 100 leading e-tailers.

The office supply site responded to customer emails in an average of 48 minutes, compared with nearly five hours for eighth-ranked e-tailer PCMall.com.

The distinction of longest email response time belongs to home fashions site CrateandBarrel.com, which took nearly four days to respond to a mystery shopper query.

The service study, conducted by New York-based StellaService, examined email turnaround and telephone wait times of the 100 largest e-tailers by revenue.

Online CE and IT retailers performed more poorly on the latter service measure, with no specialty sites ranking within the top 10. Indeed, two e-tailers that sell CE, BarnesandNoble.com and B-to-B IT provider Zones.com, had the longest call hold times, with waits of eight and seven minutes, respectively.

Only one company, DisneyStore.com, ranked among the top 10 for both speediest email support (one hour, 47 minutes) and phone support (12 seconds).

Average email reply time for all 100 e-tailers was 17 hours, and call hold time was one minute, 41 seconds.

"With prices and product selection no longer a key differentiator among online retailers, customer service has become the deal maker or breaker for today's shopper," said StellaService CEO and co-founder Jordy Leiser.

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