Retailers’ call centers for the most part are helping to solve their shoppers’ problems. But a drop in customer satisfaction should serve as a warning sign for companies to provide more training to associates, according to the just-released second Contact Center Satisfaction Index.

The Customer Service Representative Score for retailers was a healthy 81, above the overall score of 77, reports CFI Group, which created the Index. But the retailer number is down from the 85 posted last year. In addition, 77% of retailer call center users report that their issues are resolved by call centers, placing retail second only to hotels among call center sectors (which also include banking, cable and satellite TV, cell phone service, government, insurance, and personal computers). However, that figure is a 10-percentage point decline from last year, the first in which the study was conducted. Perhaps the major reason: as shoppers perform the more mundane tasks of ordering products over the Internet, they turn to call centers for more complex information.

“To some degree, they may be a victim of their own success,” Sheri Teodoru, CEO of Ann Arbor, Mich.-based CFI Group, told “A lot of the simpler inquiries decreased dramatically. People now call with product support questions [such as lengths and sizes].”

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