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For eBusiness & Channel Strategy Professionals

Retailers Plan To Expand Online Customer Service Channels In 2010

But Disconnection Between Customer Service And Brand May Spell Trouble

March 18, 2010

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  • By Diane Clarkson
  • with Carrie Johnson,
  • Elizabeth Stark,
  • Kate van Geldern

Why Read This Report

As eCommerce sales operations mature, we find many online executives turning more attention to online customer service. Today, email is the most commonly offered online customer service channel on retail Web sites, followed by order tracking and frequently asked questions (FAQs). In the next 12 months, retail eBusiness professionals are planning to expand their online customer service touchpoints, with significant increases in live help, social, and mobile customer service. However, there is a disconnection between customer service and brand efforts: US retail eBusiness professionals widely say that customer service is an essential part of their brand, but their actions belie their words. While 85% agree that customer service is a key element to their brand and 82% believe customer service is integral to their company culture, brand reinforcement and support do not drive customer service strategy for the majority of retail eBusiness professionals. Customer service market intelligence, if collected, is frequently not disseminated or acted upon. Retail eBusiness professionals — especially those planning to implement new service channels — must align their brand and their service strategies to ensure they are not compromising either.

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