Payless steps ahead of other e-tailers

Payless1Online shoppers at Payless ShoeSource may not fit the definition of “well-heeled,” but at least they get a little respect. Check that— a lot—of respect, according to The Customer Respect Group of Ipswich, Mass. In a survey of 53 major retailers, Payless came out tops based on CRG’s criteria of email response, helpfulness, confidentiality of data and other factors. “Payless did especially well after rebuilding its site with a strong customer focus since the last study and was by far the most improved site,” according to CRG. On a scale of 1 to 10, Payless earned a rating of 8.1, followed by CVS (8), L.L. Bean (7.9), Liz Claiborne (7.9). Blockbuster (7.8), DVD Empire (7.8), Wal-Mart (7.8), Nike (7.7), Amazon.com (7.6), and Barnes & Noble (7.6). For all retailers, responsiveness improved noticably this year, according to the survey. Across the board, only 9 percent of customer emails were ignored, compared to 22 percent in last year’s survey. The percentage of email responses within 24 hours also improved to 65 percent, up from 40 percent.  And the helpfulness of the replies improved to 74 percent from 67 percent, according to CRG. Now, you can buy that pair of Faux Suede Karsyn Bow Slings ($16.99) with confidence.

—Posted by Richard Williamson