December 5, 2007 (HOSTSEARCH.COM) Research released by web hosting provider 1&1 Internet (http://www.1and1.co.uk) suggests many British Internet users have been negatively affected by being unable to find contact details from a business website. The companys research suggests lack of contact information on websites is the UKs top customer service gripe. It also suggests many businesses are unaware of demand for real-time online customer care.
1&1s Website Communication Survey took in around 1,300 UK consumers and produced a range of interesting facts. The research suggested half of consumers (52%) have felt angry and stressed and 1 in 5 (22%) admitted to feeling powerless and desperate by the problem of lack of contact details on a website. In addition, 77.1% had issues with being held in a telephone queue, 56% likewise with staff with heavy accents, 42% had an issue with bad on hold music, and 40% inflexible office hours an issue.
The survey went on to find that 90% of consumers wanted real-time live dialogue with a business through live-chat, forums or call-me-back facilities. However, a study of UK SMEs suggests 92% of UK businesses did not offer such online facilities and 42% had no plans to introduce them. 35% of businesses felt there was no need to provide more online communication options as they believed customers were not interested in communicating online. 44% of businesses surveyed also believed that there was no link between online customer support and sales revenue and 47% believed providing such facilities would not impact customer retention.
Our research clearly shows that struggling to contact a business from its website is a major cause of concern for consumers, explained CEO of 1&1 Internet, Andreas Gauger. There is also a clear discrepancy between how consumers and businesses value internet-based customer service. Consumers now place a high value on the ability to talk to businesses in real-time online and businesses of all sizes need to respond to this trend or risk losing sales.
Britons benefit greatly from access to support in real time and both consumers and businesses have a lot to gain from developing better online relationships, added Mr.
Established in established in 1992 and based in Slough, west of London, 1&1 Internet Ltd is the UK arm of 1&1 Internet AG based in Germany (a subsidiary of United Internet Group, a public company with a market cap of more than 2 Billion GBP). The company holds some 7 million British, German, French, Austrian and US customer contracts and serves some 8.6 million domain names at its 40,000 server strong European Data Centers.