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BizReport : Research archives : April 17, 2007

Customer satisfaction is the key to online growth

The customer is always right. This has been the Golden Rule for retailers for years, but with the growth of online business and the seemingly endless pool of customers, the old standby may be losing its punch. It shouldn't, according to a new study from comScore.

by Kristina Knight

According to the study, customer satisfaction is the key to growing any business - including an online business. Researchers studied the banking industry, specifically, and showed competition ramping up between online entities. Online banks are fighting for customers and are putting everything up for grabs from high-interest savings accounts to other incentive programs.

The results, thus far, are astounding. In 2004, the top online banks increased their customer base by an average of 47%; in 2005, online banking consumers increased by 20%. The numbers in 2006 fell off quite a bit (9% on average) but individual banks still showed record-breaking growth at 20% for CitiBank and Washington Mutual.

Increasing security and offering incentives to users are touted as the main reasons behind the growth. But your business isn't banking? The results can be taken into account for nearly any online industry.

By offering high security to users, they will feel comfortable shopping with a site over and over. Also, by offering phone-in help in addition to email customer service centers and incentives to return users, online marketers can vastly increase online revenue.

Tags: customer satisfaction, online revenue

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