Vol. 06: Customer Service

3rd Edition

Report PDF cover image

Part of the E-Commerce User Experience Series

This report offers techniques for presenting straightforward customer service information so that customers can help themselves. When customers can quickly find information, it’s better, and less expensive, than when they must contact the company for assistance. Shoppers expect to find relevant information at the right time and place. Don’t let the location of shipping and return information deter people from completing transactions during checkout.

This 137-page report contains 48 design recommendations based on our usability research. Discussions and 125 screenshot illustrations supplement the findings.


Best practices for customer service information on e-commerce websites

  • Finding customer service information
    • Name and placement of customer service link
    • Cross-reference customer service information
  • Customer service policy
    • Policies that customers understand
    • Dealing with long pages
    • Details customers want
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
    • Layout and organization
    • Searchable database
  • Returns
    • Return policies by geography
    • Return policy strategies
  • Contacting the company
    • How to feature contact information
    • Contact details
    • Contact forms
    • Store locators
  • Live help
    • Promoting and implementing live chat
  • Shopping assistance
    • Product guides
    • Contextual help
  • Other areas
    • Receipts
    • Order status
    • Surveys

Research Method

The information in this report is based on two separate rounds of e-commerce studies, including:

  • One-on-one usability testing
  • Diary-based longitudinal study
  • Eyetracking

Representative users tested 206 e-commerce websites. The studies took place in the United States, the United Kingdom, Denmark, and China (Hong Kong).

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