Online retailers are lacking in customer support: new study
A new study has found that online retailers are failing to provide shoppers with the level of customer support they expect.
According to research findings from customer experience firm 7, 22% of shoppers surveyed cited lack of customer support as the most frustrating issue when shopping online while 53% thought it was a lack of product information.
The survey of 2,000 UK consumers by Leadership Factor also found that 24% of respondents were frustrated by online retailers who did not get the simple things right such as supplying obvious customer service contact details and offering support at the right time. In addition, 16% of shoppers were frustrated by their issue taking too long to be resolved.
“A failure to provide customer service assistance when there is evidence that customers want to make contact, can result in lost online sales, but there are also long-term brand implications,” said Christopher Schyma, vice president (EMEA) for retail and consumer goods at 7. “Such issues play a major role in the overall customer experience and online retailers do not want to be known as the organisation that gets it wrong, as reputations can be made and lost so quickly now.”
The survey found that shoppers polled regarded social media as a customer service ‘last resort’ with only 11% of respondents saying they used social media for customer service. In addition, 47% of those surveyed said they would prefer an issue to be resolved in private instead of making a complaint via social media.
Schyma said: “People are increasingly using several channels at once and even switch channels during the interaction. When they do this, they want to retain their context and history, so online retailers must provide omni-channel service that mirrors the way that consumers interact today – interchanging between the phone, mobile apps, web and social media. What’s more, companies need to be able to proactively predict what their customers need.”
Amazon was voted the best UK online retailer for customer service in the 7 research, followed by John Lewis, Argos, Tesco and Marks & Spencer.
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