Customers Disappointed By Web Sites, Online Customer Service

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Media Post Publications

by Gavin O’Malley, Wednesday, Mar 5, 2008 7:30 AM ET

WHEN IT COMES TO WEB recourses, consumer-centric companies are still failing to meet expectations, according to a new study of nearly 1,000 such companies and online shoppers.

 

Just 44% of consumers believe the information available on most company’s Web sites meets their needs, found the study conducted by InQuira, a developer of automated self-service applications for Web-based sales and services, and research firm ServiceXRG.

And it’s not for lack of trying, as a full 74.5% of consumers indicate that they use company sites to get information about products or services.

“As self-service transactions replace personal interactions, the ability to shape customer experience depends on the online tools and content provided,” explained Tom Sweeny, principal and co-founder of ServiceXRG.

Web-based customer service is another area where companies are failing to measure up, particularly among the top 50 banks, according to a just-released study conducted by online customer service specialist Talisma last November.

Among other weaknesses, the banks fail to answer more than a third customer emails; nearly all the banks–96%–do not offer live chat; while most only offered a static FAQ, rather than a dynamic information resource base.

On the company side, only 38.9% of those surveyed reported being able to provide a powerful advanced search function for visitors, according to the InQuira study.

For what it’s worth, the vast majority of company heads insist that investment is ongoing to meet consumer’s increasing demands online. Nearly all, or 97% of companies are planning investments to enhance customer’s ability to find services and information they need, with content enhancements topping the list. Specifically, 31.2% reported specific plans to implement enhanced search features in the future.

 

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