Apple’s customer service slipped during the second quarter in 2015. According to a benchmark report from Stella Service, the Cupertino-based tech giant landed in 25th place, a major drop from its third place spot in the fourth quarter of 2014. Stella Service monitors and evaluates online retailers to determine the quality of their customer service departments. The company combines several factors like shipping, returns and various customer service metrics to determine a company’s customer service ranking.
Apple’s customer service ratings lag
Apple’s drop in customer service rating may be attributed to Stella Service’s Benchmark methodology change, which means the company couldn’t compare quarter over quarter results. With the new methodology, Apple landed 14th place for online orders, a factor determined by correct product fulfillment, checkout issues and delivery times. The average shipping fulfillment time for Apple orders is currently 2.6 days, a decrease from 3.1 days in the second quarter of 2014. The iPhone maker also improved on same-day shipping times.
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The Stella Service report also shows Apple at the 14th spot in returns. The score evaluation factors include refund authorization time, total processing time, availability of packing labels and more. The study showed it took 4.4 days on average for customers to receive a refund after they returned merchandise — a number nearly twice the speed of the collective performance of all the monitored companies.
Apple customers wait longer to reach customer support
Apple didn’t even make it to the top 25 spot for phone/chat/email customer service, which is strange considering it’s an area in which the tech giant usually succeeds. The score was derived from service speed: the total amount of time it took the customer to reach a chat agent or live specialist. During the second quarter of 2015, the time it took to reach an agent significantly slowed down from 30 seconds to 121 seconds. Despite the extended length of time customers had to wait to reach support, Apple’s issue resolution rates were boosted to 99% year over year.
Apple is the only tech company featured in the recent Stella Benchmark Top 25 list. Most of the retailers specialize in apparel, health products or home goods. The top three on the list include LL Bean, Mr Porter, and ShopBop.