The online customer service survey, commissioned by customer service company RightNow, found that only five percent of Australian consumers feel that a company has exceeded their online customer service expectations. By contrast, 22 percent feel that the customer experiences served up online by organisations fall short or do not meet their expectations at all.
Companies need to realise how their site appears from a customer perspective, according to Vice President Asia Pacific – South at RightNow Brett Waters.
“Australian organisations (need) to step back, place themselves in the shoes of their customers and actually consider what the customer’s website journey is like,” Mr Waters said.
The survey also found that failing to meet expectations may have a seriously damaging effect on sales, with 80 percent of consumers said that if a company doesn’t live up to expectation they will actively look for alternatives. The same percentage of people have made a purchase online over the past 12 months, while 79 percent will be turning to online stores to aid their 2010 Christmas shopping.
The combination of statistics should serve as a serious wake-up call for businesses, claims Mr Waters.
“Taking time to review where assistance and additional information may be required and what mechanisms can be added or refined to make the buying process smoother and interactions with customer services more satisfying will pay dividends in the end as we know the provision of exceptional customers experiences holds great influence over where a consumer places their business,” said Mr Waters.
The study identified the most important factors for customers shopping online as clearer, earlier information about delivery charges and easier access to information about products.