Hi-tech customer experience improving

6th Jun 2007

EDS and Hewlett-Packard have taken the top slots in the technology industry for their online customer experience and related business practices, according to the second quarter 2007 report by The Customer Respect Group.

The overall performance of the technology sector has improved, but while Web 2.0 adoption is high and beneficial to customers, accessibility support has dropped significantly. But online communications, which has been a weakness of the industry, and principles, the measure of respect for customers’ personal data, have both improved.

“There has been an improvement in the industry, specifically in the willingness to engage with the customer one-on-one,” says Terry Golesworthy, president of The Customer Respect Group. “But this is inconsistent across the industry. We see some companies starting to see customer respect and interaction as critical to driving more business and education through the website, while other companies still see the site as brochureware."

Wider gaps are appearing between the best and the worst communicators. Overall, about 20 percent of all e-mail questions were ignored, which still exceeds the general average, while at the same time 18 percent of companies provided good answers to all questions in a very timely manner, demonstrating the growing gap.

One-third of high-tech companies provide an instant help (chat) facility in order for online visitors to speak with representatives. These firms respond helpfully and quickly to 80 percent more e-mails than those without. Best responders are Symantec, Gateway and HP.

High-tech companies still ask for significantly more personal data than other industries, but are more respectful of that data. Just 13 percent of high-tech companies share data with unrelated third parties compared with 28 percent of the general population of companies.

Top 10 for the second quarter of 2007

* Electronic Data Systems
* Hewlett-Packard Company
* Tied: Adobe Systems, IBM, Lexmark International
* McAfee
* Intuit
* Tied: Accenture, Fujitsu
* Gateway

Source: Customer Respect Group

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