Business to business customers are loathe to deal with suppliers on line due to poor levels of customer service, according to research consultancy Jupiter Media Matrix.
Jupiter research found that 45 per cent of B2B buyers do not go online to purchase goods because they do not trust supplier. Only 41 per cent of B2B companies respond to customer inquiries in the accepted standard of six hours, while 65 per cent respond in 24 hours and 29 per cent do not bother responding at all.
According to Jupiter this dissatisfaction is "eroding the opportunity to build trust in online relationships" and is causing "disenfranchisement with existing clients."
B2B companies themselves are not forthcoming in their online customer service. While 96 per cent offer e-mail customer support tools, only 67 per cent post a toll-free customer support phone number on their Web page while a tiny 4 per cent offer text chat with collaboration. Some 65 per cent offer a form of self-service, but this often just consists of an unchanging Frequently Asked Questions.