This study should serve as a call-to-action for organizations
Wellesley, MA (PRWEB) March 3, 2008
Service Excellence Research Group, LLC (ServiceXRG), the leading industry resource for support and service industry professionals, today announced the publication of a new study focusing on the current state of online shopping and customer service. Titled "Influencing the Online Experience," the study provides insight into consumers' expectations for their online interactions and common areas where organizations currently fall short in satisfying those consumers.
"In our effort to encourage customers to serve themselves, organizations have removed the human factor from the on-line experience. The onus for delivering a positive experience now lies with the tools and content offered, and their relevance in helping customers achieve their objectives. With competitors just a Google search away, consumers must have easily accessible, quality information at their fingertips," said Tom Sweeny, Principal and Co-founder, ServiceXRG. "Businesses can no longer ignore poor online customer service, as the Web is shaping up to be the critical battleground for organizations to maintain a competitive edge."
The study, sponsored by web self-service and knowledge management solutions provider InQuira, examines the entire customer service lifecycle across multiple vertical markets. ServiceXRG surveyed nearly 1,000 companies and online shoppers to determine how consumers use search for online support, conduct product research and engage in shopping activities. The study also explored the investments, tools and resources the "supply side" provides to encourage Web use, drive successful online transaction and deliver a positive customer experience.
By an overwhelming majority, ServiceXRG found that content quality and the ability to access it are top concerns for both companies and consumers. 74.5 percent of consumers indicated that they use a company's web site to get information about a product or service, but only 44 percent of consumers surveyed felt that the information met their needs. On the corporate side, 97 percent plan to make future investments to enhance customer's ability to find the service information they need, with content enhancements topping the list.
ServiceXRG also found that customers that have a positive experience are three times more likely than those that had a neutral or negative experience to buy a product from the company that delivered the experience; four times more likely to recommend a company or renew an existing relationship (e.g., a service contract); and five times more likely to state that they are satisfied with the outcome of the interaction.
Providing a superior on-line shopping and service experience can no longer be viewed as optional; it is a necessity for creating and sustaining customer loyalty and achieving market differentiation. After examining both the online shopping and customer service experience, ServiceXRG also outlined nine key steps for improving the overall online customer experience:
1. Understand the experience your customers expect;
2. Define the elements of the experience you intend to deliver;
3. Identify the content and tools required to fulfill customer expectations;
4. Establish success criteria to monitor your ability to deliver a positive experience;
5. Identify other resources that infringe on or inhibit your ability to deliver the intended experience to your customers and prospects;
6. Fight to maintain control of the experience you deliver to your customers and prospects;
7. Make investments that improve the customer experience;
8. Experience your experience; and
9. Rinse and repeat.
For more details on the nine steps and the full results of the study, please visit http://www.servicexrg.com.
"This study should serve as a call-to-action for organizations," said Mike Murphy, CEO of InQuira. "The average consumer expects a superior online experience, but as this study demonstrates, his needs are not being met. Creating a great customer experience depends on good information, the ability to easily find it, and technology to support the entire customer experience lifecycle. This study will serve as a valuable resource for organizations looking to utilize customer experience best practices."
ServiceXRG specializes in helping companies develop and execute service and support strategies that strengthen customer relationships and optimize financial performance from service operations. ServiceXRG's research provides a balanced perspective of the IT services industry with views from users, service professionals and suppliers to the IT services industry.
ServiceXRG combines years of real-world service industry expertise with a unique ability to collect, analyze and present high quality industry data. ServiceXRG provides custom benchmarking, competitive analysis, customer satisfaction assessment, and a series of reports on industry trends and best practices. For more information, visit http://www.servicexrg.com.