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As National Customer Service Week Approaches, New Survey Finds Consumers Aren’t Getting the Online Service Experiences they Expect

SYDNEY - September 28, 2010 - Only five percent of Australian consumers feel that a company has exceeded their online customer service expectations, meanwhile, one in five (22 percent) people feel that the customer experiences served up online by Australian organisations fall short or do not meet their expectations at all. That’s according to a new study commissioned by RightNow (NASDAQ: RNOW), which sampled the views of 700 Australians regarding customer service in the lead-up to the Christmas retail season, and also National Customer Service Week, which commences on October 4th.
Failing to provide online customer experiences that meet or exceed customer expectation may have serious repercussions for businesses. 80 percent of consumers said that if a company doesn’t live up to expectation they will actively look for alternatives. Of that figure, 30 percent stop doing business with the company altogether.  At the same time, four out of every five (80 percent) people have made a purchase online over the past 12 months, while 79 percent will be turning to online stores to aid their 2010 Christmas shopping.

UK Comparison:
A similar survey of UK consumers conducted in September by RightNow also found that nearly half (48 percent) of businesses are still not meeting consumer expectations when resolving issues or finding information online.  As a result, 43 percent of UK consumers reduce business with a company and more than a third (36 percent) stop doing business with a company completely.

The findings serve as a wake-up call to businesses, especially when 62 percent of Australians said that a company’s website is their preferred method of seeking information – ahead of the phone and email. Effective capturing and resolution of incidents submitted online and then communication back to the customer to close the issue may well be one area where organisations can improve their processes. A third (31 percent) of the survey’s participants perceive there to be a lack of listening and action by companies during the complaint process.
Christmas Shopping:
For retailers Christmas heralds sales boom-time and it seems that providing shoppers with excellent experiences can bolster revenue. For example, more than a quarter of Australians (26 percent) say that an excellent customer experience influences their decision to buy online.

A number of elements constitute a good online customer experience, but the study identified the top two as: clearer, earlier information about delivery charges and easier access to information about products.
“National Customer Service Week is a really good time for Australian organisations to step back, place themselves in the shoes of their customers and actually consider what the customer’s website journey is like. Taking time to review where assistance and additional information may be required and what mechanisms can be added or refined to make the buying process smoother and interactions with customer services more satisfying will pay dividends in the end as we know the provision of exceptional customers experiences holds great influence over where a consumer places their business,” says Brett Waters, Vice President Asia Pacific – South at RightNow.
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About RightNow
RightNow is helping rid the world of bad experiences one consumer interaction at a time, eight million times a day. RightNow CX, the customer experience suite, helps organisations deliver exceptional customer experiences across the web, social networks and contact centres, all delivered via the cloud. With more than eight billion customer interactions delivered, RightNow is the customer experience fabric for nearly 2000 organisations around the globe. To learn more about RightNow, go to www.rightnow.com
RightNow is a registered trademark of RightNow Technologies, Inc. NASDAQ is a registered trademark of the NASDAQ Stock Market.