Over half of all consumers expect retailers to respond to email inquiries within six hours, but only 29 percent of online retailers actually meet those expectations, according to Jupiter Research. This lack of attention to customer service needs is dragging down online sales this holiday season, the consultancy says. Delivery issues are the primary reason (53 percent) customers contact online merchants; online retailers did not set a good customer service precedent last year, leaving over 60 percent of all consumers that shopped online last holiday disappointed with the level of service they received. To date, Jupiter has found that one-third of all online consumers who ordered out of-stock merchandise were never notified of a delivery date, despite potential government-imposed fines for failure to notify consumers of merchandise delivery dates.
Copyright December 2000, Crain Communications Inc.