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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:

eDigitalResearch

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.

Graham Charlton

Published 7 August, 2009 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

2565 more posts from this author

Comments (3)

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farouk

I guess this is a good oppurtunity of relatiers who want to diffrentiate themselves from others, by providing excellent level of service the Ebusiness owner can make his customers satisfied

almost 7 years ago

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Berta Bergermann

Sure, the customer service is very important for etailers in the battle for customer's loyalty. Obviously the Internet retailers must use appropriate software to manage such enquiries to respond faster and at lower cost. Effective usability of reliable and secure ebusiness applications for the Website such as AceFlex, NetSuite and some others will definitely benefit retailers of any size and could lead to higher customer satisfaction indeed. Such marketing features as flexible management of promotions, special offers, coupons, etc combined with advanced Webbased help desk service very quickly give merchants a competitive advantage and boost revenue.

almost 7 years ago

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Nuria

Casio is a good example of customer service online. It is a case study.

I think travel is perceived as "bad" mainly because no-frills airlines.

almost 7 years ago

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