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Online retailers still need to work on customer services, with slow responses to customer queries among the areas which need improvement.
The latest e-Customer Service Index survey by eDigitalResearch and IMRG, which asked 10,000 respondents, scored 76.7% overall, compared with 79.6% in November 2008. Providing online help and the speed of response to customer enquiries were the main issues.
Responding to customer queries
Very few respondents rated retailers' responses to queries as excellent, with travel websites achieving some of the worst scores:
I suspect that lack of decent contact options on travel websites is at least partly to blame, as some sites, such as EasyJet, don't provide a contact number on their websites, while others charge customers to call up.
It was a similar story with email in another recent eDigital survey, which found that many sites failed to send an email confirming that the query is being dealt with, and being slow to respond.
Other highlights from the survey:
The survey also looked at customers' trust in shopping online, and the majority were confident in the security offered by websites. However, not many had heard of some of the trustmarks displayed on websites:
Pricing and discounts are even more important to online shoppers at the moment, with 63% actively seeking bargains, and many tempted to shop online by special offers and sales.
Also, 81% of respondents said they would be more likely to remain loyal to a retailer who regularly offers discounts, and 45% will check prices online before they buy.