At Your Service — A look at The Home Depot and Lowe’s Online Customer Service

As a renter, I never understood why Home Depot and Lowe’s were so popular. Then, I bought my first house. I lost track, but believe that first month of home ownership resulted in me going to THD approximately 537 times.

As these two titans continue to battle for contractor and consumer’s hearts and wallets, The Home Depot has taken a page from Hoosier’s Coach Norman Dale’s playbook and announced a focus on "fundamentals" — on customer service.

Below is a chart showing traffic to the "Customer Service" section of Homedepot.com and Lowes.com:

It is interesting to see the increase in visitation to each section, and how Lowes.com has actually seen the greater increase in visitation to the customer service section. So, what are people using and what are people doing online when they do go to these sections?

The first thing I notice is how two of the top 5 areas of interest for The Home Depot are not necessarily a post-sale activity: Specials and Contact Us both could be pre-sales activity. Customer Service can often times be a powerful selling agent. Perhaps we will look deeper into this section for a follow up posting. Lowes.com online rebates and coupon printing is the top reason for visitors to use their Customer Service.

What makes this even more interesting is when we look at the likelihood of people to actually purchase online when visiting the Customer Service section. This is where you will see clear distinction. Visitors to Homedepot.com that use their Customer Service section are far more likely to also purchase online. Below are the Purchase Rates for those users who have visited the Customer Service section of either Homedepot.com or Lowes.com:

It is shocking to me, to see how many people purchase online at homedepot.com that also visit the customer service section. As a consumer, I have become numbed to poor customer service; I almost expect it. That is why it is always so refreshing to me whenever I have an experience with a company that focuses on the fundamentals — and actually has good customer service.

""¦there’s more to the game than shooting. There’s defense and fundamentals." — Coach N. Dale