UK online retailers have widely differing levels of speed and accuracy when dealing with customer enquiries, according to a new study.

A test of leading etailers by Talisma found 45% failed to reply to customer emails, while only 47% of those that did provided "accurate and complete information" in their responses.

Health and beauty retailers came out best in the survey, while bottom-placed clothing and accessories outlets responded to only 23% of emails and 69% of phone calls.

The study is not the first to highlight mixed customer service levels among UK firms online – last month, eGain published a study of 125 companies that showed only 36% responded to emails within 24 hours and just 19% did so accurately.

Talisma contacted 62 leading UK online retailers to ask about their shipment charges and the credit/debit cards they accept.

The company found low levels of integration between different communication channels and personalisation.

It said just 37% of email responses were tailored to the customer - for example, addressing him or her by name.

Jon McNerney, vice president and general manager, International Operations, Talisma, said:

“The online retail market is growing rapidly but its highly competitive nature means that customer satisfaction and loyalty will be key for retailers to generate repeat business and growth from the 25 million UK people that now shop online.

"Dissatisfied customers not only defect, but on average tell ten people about their bad experience.”


Published 22 June, 2007 by Richard Maven

529 more posts from this author

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Comments (2)


Alex Har

Looks like these problems are worldwide. We thought we were alone fighting these problems in Asia. I guess the problem is related to how much people believe they might get real leads or do business on the internet.

With the declining cost of setting up websites, I would believe that this problem if measured by percentage will become worse.

I am certainly not looking at percentages these day...only at the number of new companies that are using their websites effectively.

However I do realize that if a high percentage of sites do not respond effectively, customers would get tired and frstruated with this channel altogether.

Maybe search engines can find a way to identify responsive vs non-responsive sites for those of us who take our sites seriously.

about 11 years ago

Linus Gregoriadis

Linus Gregoriadis, Research Director at Econsultancy, Centaur Marketing

Those who want to know more about Online Customer Service generally may be interested in E-consultancy's recent buyer's guide:

about 11 years ago

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