OpinionLab Customer Feedback Index Reveals That Customer Sentiment Slips in Buildup to Holiday 2013

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Pure play etailers take the biggest customer experience hit with 18% dip from mid-year high; omnichannel retailers post steady gains over the same period. Healthcare sites rank last among all industries with a customer experience score that is half the web-wide average.

OpinionLab, the pioneer and global leader in Omnichannel Voice of Customer (VoC) feedback solutions, today released the Holiday Preview Customer Feedback Index (CFI) Report that shows all industries are facing customer experience challenges heading into the holidays. The report, which benchmarks brand health and performance across mobile, web and physical locations for key industries, shows that the digital experience is down 10 percent from its mid-year high. Unmet customer expectations are particularly acute for pure-play eTailers who have seen experience rankings plummet 18 percent over this time period from a mid-year average CFI score of 481 (out of 1000) to an average CFI score of 392.

The report paints a rosier picture for financial services which leads the way in customer experience ranking (average CFI score 761) and insurance services (average CFI score of 672). In stark contrast, healthcare ranks last with an average CFI score of 257 versus an industry-wide average CFI score of 519.

"Changing consumer expectations have created challenges for every industry as customer experience scores have slipped across the board," said Jonathan Levitt, CMO at OpinionLab. "One example is healthcare which continues to lag behind other industries. While much has been made of the inauspicious launch of HealthCare.gov, it’s clear from the data that many private healthcare sites have dropped the ball as well, often failing to anticipate customer questions and lacking effective information about how their offerings are affected by healthcare reforms. Conversely other industries such as omnichannel retail are roaring to life with experiences that combine the best of mobile and channel integration."

Holiday Commerce Preview: Omnichannel vs eTail
Fighting off the much-hyped showrooming threat, omnichannel retailers steadily improved the customer experience in the lead-up to holiday 2013 and enter the holidays in a stronger position than pure-play eTailers:

  • Omnichannel retailers posted an average CFI score of 445 versus eTailers' average CFI score of 391, showing strength and resilience when it comes to customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Ominchannel retailers outperform etail competitors in 5 of 7 key functional areas including product search and product information.
  • Omnichannel retailers dominate checkout with a Functional Mean Rating (FMR) score of 3.69 out of 5 versus 3.2 for etailers.
  • eTailers have a slight edge over omnichannel retailers in account management (FMR score of 2.55 versus 2.44) and information (FMR score of 3.07 versus 3.03).
  • Both eTailers and omnichannel retailers are better at providing detailed product information than search functionality, indicating an ongoing challenge for shoppers who want to find what they are looking for.
  • Additional data and metrics are available in the full report, found here, as well as previous CFI reports here.

"This data indicates that there is indeed such a thing as an omnichannel advantage emerging in the run-up to Holiday 2013," Levitt continued. "Greater flexibility on the fulfillment front in the form of store pickup and ship-to-store options allows omnichannel retail brands to help shoppers avert the annoyance of online shipping fees. Traditional retailers also put the resources and human capital of their stores to use by allowing shoppers to conveniently return online purchases to any store location. These evolutionary steps have certainly helped to boost omnichannel retail from a customer experience standpoint."

About the CFI Report
Published quarterly, OpinionLab's CFI report provides insight into top customer experience trends across industries, including financial services, insurance, hospitality, healthcare, retail and travel. The CFI is the first and only omnichannel customer experience benchmark measuring brand health and performance across all channels and touchpoints including web, mobile and physical locations.

OpinionLab analyzes millions of pieces of real customer feedback to provide clear metrics and standardized scores on overall experience, channel performance, and functional areas (such as account management, checkout and service/support). Benchmarks include an overall CFI score, calculated on a 0 to 1000 scale, as well as Functional Mean Ratings which score functions on a 1 - 5 scale.

About OpinionLab
OpinionLab is the pioneer and global leader in omnichannel Voice of Customer (VoC) feedback innovation with over a decade of success and a dozen patents on major VoC advancements. Starting with the familiar [+] feedback symbol, the company¹s end-to-end solution suite allows clients to improve the omnichannel experience with precise, real-time intelligence into what customers want and need. Global leaders choose OpinionLab for actionable VoC insight across web, mobile, store and product touchpoints. Recently recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing companies in America, OpinionLab is proud to service over half of the Fortune 50, including Walmart, Bank of America, and Ford Motor Company. For more information, visit OpinionLab online, read the blog or follow Voice of Customer on Twitter.

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