Let’s face it – our time is precious. Spending 15 minutes waiting to talk to a brand rep is simply no longer acceptable. Neither is getting an half-ass answer from an inexperienced customer service rep who has clearly never used the product. Expectations have changed and we now want to be able to send out a tweet and get a reply from a luxury brand within the hour.

As part of an extensive luxury research conducted for one of our clients, we undertook the task of evaluating the customer service of 30 luxury brands in the same industry. For the sake of our client, we must keep this industry a secret since they will soon launch their product line. We spent a week contacting these luxury brands through all available channels – call center, online chat, email and social media. This is what we found.

The majority of the luxury call centers we contacted offered sub-level customer service. For luxury brands that promises a luxury shopping experience to their patrons, this is simply unacceptable. When you are willing to spend $500 for a product branded as luxury instead of $10 on a non-branded product, you should get the customer service of a lifetime. Unfortunately, waiting times were long, answers vague and when we were promised a call back, the call often never came. We were left hanging with no solution to our product.

When we sent out emails, the outcome was similar – the average response time was about a week (when we did get a reply), and once again, the answers were disappointing. So we tried sending out tweets from a fake user account hoping to get something back, and again, not much success.

If you don’t have the resources to provide a great call center experience, email support, online chat and social media care, don’t promise it to your fans. Instead, pick  2-3 social media channels and make sure to be available to answer all queries in a timely matter. Publish your opening hours and expected waiting time so that your fans know exactly what to expect. Even if you don’t reply to my question  in the first few hours, at least I don’t have to  waste my time waiting in line.

Luxury is more than a promise therefore luxury should deliver a customer service experience to remember.

Roxanne Genier