Online retailers offer highest standards of customer service, finds Aspect Software


A fifth of consumers ranked online retailers as providing the highest standards of customer service against a list of 13 organisation types, according to research into consumer satisfaction with online retailers. Additionally, 79% are either satisfied or extremely satisfied with the quality of service received from online retailers.

The study, conducted by contact centre software provider, Aspect Software, found not a single consumer expressed dissatisfaction with the overall customer service received from online retailers. This is despite other markets faring much worse, such as telecommunications, which saw almost one in 10 consumers dissatisfied with the service provided. On top of this, only 2% can recall a particularly bad customer experience from an online retailer over the past 12 months.

Aspect’s Consumer satisfaction benchmarking report 2013 reveals although online retailers are leading the pack in terms of service provided to consumers, only 7% can recall a particularly good experience from an online retailer over the past 12 months. Further, 36% of official complaints to online retailers go unresolved in the eyes of the customer, with only 9% of complaints considered resolved during the first interaction with the business in question.

Mark King, senior VP, Europe and Africa, Aspect, said: “The modern British consumer is demanding more and more from the customer service they receive. With the competition just one click away, online retailers are having to engage with us shopaholics through a variety of channels, and it’s clear to see that in terms of giving consumers want, online retailers are setting the standards for other organisations. But nobody’s perfect, as it’s clear that they still have a little way to go in achieving an optimal service.

“Considering three in 10 consumers would stop using a retailer as a result of just one incidence of ‘bad’ service, e-commerce would do well to ensure that such lapses are resolved as soon and as efficiently as possible, or risk losing significant volumes of business.

“Consumers are becoming increasingly demanding of the customer experience they receive from service providers and retailers – bricks and mortar, purely online or multi-channel – must adapt to our changing habits, lifestyle choices and shopping expectations, and ignore customer satisfaction at their peril.

“As we have seen in the media, those that have failed to do so are struggling or disappearing. For those that can, there are lucrative opportunities. By optimising their technology investments across multiple channels, retailers can maximise the performance of their customer engagement strategy and maintain a loyal and happy customer base,” King said.