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Survey Finds Online Retailers Are Tops in Digital Customer Service

September 06, 2013

While many organizations have reluctantly entered the digital age, offering Web-based and other types of digital customer service, there is one vertical industry that stands out when it comes to success with new customer service technologies: online retailers.

It makes sense, of course. Online retailers have a great deal of competition, and little with which to differentiate themselves from other companies except the excellence of their customer service. Building a multichannel, integrated customer support structure of excellence is one way they can stand out.

Contact center solutions provider Aspect recently released its “Consumer Satisfaction Benchmarking Report – 2013,” a survey of 1,000 U.K. customers, which found that 79 percent of online retail customers rate themselves as either “satisfied” or “extremely satisfied” with the quality of service received from online retailers. In the survey, not a single consumer expressed dissatisfaction with online retailers’ customer service. While 79 percent may seem far away from 100 percent, consider that only about one in 10 telecom company customers rate themselves “satisfied” or “extremely satisfied” with those companies’ digital customer support.

This is not to say that online retailers can rest on their laurels. The survey revealed that there is still work to be done. More than one-third of respondents (36 percent) reported that an official complaint to an online retailer had gone unresolved, and only 9 percent of complaints were resolved in the first interaction with an online retail company. Only 7 percent of respondents could recall a particularly good service experience with an online retailer in the previous year.

“The modern British consumer is demanding more and more from the customer service they receive,” said Mark King, senior VP for Europe and Africa at Aspect. “With the competition just one click away, online retailers are having to engage with us shopaholics through a variety of channels, and it’s clear to see that in terms of giving consumers what they want, online retailers are setting the standards for other organizations.”

The survey also revealed that among U.K. customers, 69 percent prefer e-mail as their primary method of contacting an online retailer.

Edited by Alisen Downey