More evidence of the effect poorly functioning websites can have on etailers’ customer relations – this time from a poll of US consumers by Harris Interactive.

The survey found almost nine out ten respondents have experienced problems when making a transaction online, and 42% of those that have defected to a rival or abandoned the process.

Conducted for Tealeaf, the research discovered two ‘waves of abandonment’ by consumers – one when transactions failed and the second when they received an unsatisfactory level of service after contacting the company.

It focused on retail, banking, travel and insurance websites and interviewed 2,430 consumers. 

According to the poll, over half (53%) of respondents that hit difficulties online would contact customer service. But of those, 49% said they did not have their issue resolved.

Also, 52% of respondents that had a bad experience with an etailer’s contact centre after hitting a snag online had stopped doing business with the company altogether.

According to PC World, respondents cited the following as the main site problems they had experienced:

  • Received error messages (34%)
  • Problems navigating the site (37%)
  • Problems logging into the site (30%)
  • Received insufficient, incorrect or confusing information (29%)
  • Endless loops that block transactions (22%)
  • A search function that didn’t work right (21%)
  • Automatically booted off the page (20%)

Related stories:
Northern Rock website struggles to cope with strain

Related research:
Usability and User Experience Report 2007