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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : March 23, 2007

Web self-service help lacking on UK websites

An assessment of 125 major UK companies found very few were offering satisfactory web self-service help, resulting in customer dissatisfaction and loss of revenue.

by Helen Leggatt

eGain analysts assessed companies from the retail, financial services, telecoms and local government sectors. The participant’s websites were assessed on seven key areas: FAQs, dynamic FAQs, search/browse, natural language indicators, guided help, ease of escalation to customer service agents, and speed and quality of response to escalated enquiries.

Findings showed that just 14 percent are providing “good” levels of self-service with even less, 3 percent, offering visionary self-service. Static FAQ’s were the only method implemented by almost a third (29 percent) of respondents.

Further research , by Transversal, has shown that the demand for web self-service is growing, with the amount of customers turning to this channel rising 224 percent from 2004 to 2006.

As important as the self-service aspect is the option for the consumer to easily escalate to agent-assisted services. Website abandonment is likely if a customer can’t quickly find what they want via a FAQ or search. Six percent of companies offered no email escalation service at all and, of those that did, just 18 percent acknowledged receipt of the communication.

“As use of the Internet has increased so has consumer desire to get more intuitive, accurate and fast responses to their questions online,” said Transversal’s CEO, Davin Yap.

Tags: customer satisfaction, customer service, FAQ, self-service

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