Online retailers may need to look at their customer service offerings to see whether they could be improved to give sales conversions a lift.

A new Tealeaf survey has suggested that more than half of Britons who get in touch with online customer service staff to resolve issues feel that the facility does not completely help the problem.

Furthermore, four in ten of those who suffer negative customer service experiences halt all business with the company in question as a result.

With social media playing an increasingly crucial role in informing consumers of whether certain companies and brands are worth dealing with, it is more important than ever to ensure all online retail operations are up to the job, Tealeaf’s Geoff Galt says.

He notes that online consumers tend to share negative experiences with others online with the express intention of dissuading them from doing business with the company – something that tends to work more often than not.

Customer management strategist Max Blumberg adds that it is vital to track consumers’ opinions online from the beginning with the appropriate online reputation management software to nip any negative brand repercussions in the bud.

E-consultancy recently predicted that the market for online reputation monitoring services in the UK will hit £60 million by the end of 2008 as social media and networking websites become increasingly popular.

It is important to ensure all e-commerce activities are working as well as they can as the internet will become the business channel of choice in the future, Mr Galt adds.

Recent figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index suggest that online retail spending in the UK has risen by more than 15 per cent in the last 12 months, despite dropping on a month-by-month basis in August.

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