Online customer service has not met expectations, according to Jupiter Research, but increased CRM spending this year may help boost performance.
According to Jupiter, only 56 per cent were satisfied or very satisfied with help via e-mail, while phone contact has become increasingly important to online consumers.
A hefty 88 per cent of 2,734 interview respondents indicated that they expect a response to their customer service e-mail within 24 hours, with an impatient 13 percent of them expecting a response in less than an hour.
But only 54 per cent of the sites that Jupiter sampled responded to e-mailed customer service requests within a 24 hour time period, resulting in lost business or increased call centre activity.
Nearly 88 per cent of those who experienced poor customer service said they were less likely to buy from that company online again, while 11 per cent said they would report their experience to a consumer protection agency.
Jupiter predicts online CRM application spending will increase to $4.7 billion in 2008 which would represent one-quarter of total CRM spending.