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econsultancy-customer-experience-ratings-june2012.pngExecutives working at companies involved in e-commerce or e-business are more likely to say that the quality of their company’s customer experience is good in physical stores than online, per a [download page] study released in June 2012 by Econsultancy in association with Tealeaf. 53% of respondents rated the quality of customer experience in stores as good, compared to 36% who ascribed that level of quality to their online channel. Just 18% thought the same about mobile, though that is double the percentage from last year.

Meanwhile, 49% of respondents rated call centers as good for their quality of customer experience. According to a Maritz study also released in June, roughly one-quarter of 18-44-year-olds say that calling a company is their preferred contact method, rising to about one-third of those older than 45.

Consumers Happy to Receive A Response

Further data from the Maritz study indicates that consumers are happy when companies respond to their comments, though they aren’t always privileged with a response. Among those who provided feedback through a direct method, such as calling a company or sending an email, 95% received a response. For those who provided feedback through a social network, though, just 58% reported receiving a response.

Among those who received a response via direct feedback, 66% said this made them either delighted (6%) or very or somewhat happy (60%). Those obtaining a response through their public feedback showed even higher response levels: 85% said it made them delighted (27%) or very or somewhat happy (58%).

Customer Service Seen a Potential Sales Channel

The importance of these consumers’ emotions upon receiving a response is magnified when looking at the potential for happy customers to become sales people. According to other findings from Econsultancy’s report, “Reducing Customer Struggle,” 88% of respondents agree that happy customers are their best sales people, including 40% who strongly agree. Respondents appear to feel more strongly about this topic this year: while the proportion neutral on the topic fell 4% points from last year, those saying they agree strongly with the sentiment rose 6% points.

Other Findings:

  • Only 39% of the Econsultancy survey respondents say that the offline parts of their business have at least some visibility of how individual customers have engaged with their website.
  • 47% rate the multi-channel customer experience for their customers as ok. Slightly more than one-quarter rate it as either excellent (6%) or good (21%).
  • 57% say that there is regular communication between the online team and the call center.

About the Data: The Reducing Customer Struggle report is based on an international online survey of almost 500 business professionals working for companies involved in e-commerce and e-business. The survey was live during March and April 2012. A total of 477 respondents who are employees at an e-commerce or e-business company took part in the survey. The best represented countries were the UK (57%) and the US (21%).

The Maritz survey was conducted April 18-22, 2012, and received 1400 responses from an online panel.

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