January 04, 2002

Online shopping experiences getting worse. Amazon can learn from a few competitors
A recent NY Times article shows that setting and meeting customer expectations is critical to a successful online customer experience.

[A] "Jupiter survey found that one-third of online consumers expect a response to an e-mail inquiry within six hours, and that virtually all consumers expect a response within 48 hours. Nevertheless, the number of sites meeting this expectation, including retailers, travel suppliers and financial services companies, slipped to 22 percent in the fourth quarter of 2001, the lowest level since Jupiter began tracking customer service response times."

It also looks like Amazon is no longer the best total user experience on the web according to a Reuters article in the Chicago Tribune:

"While Amazon's mediocre B-minus grade earns it a ranking below e-tailers like Target.com, which got a B-plus rating on PlanetFeedback, and Drugstore.com Inc.'s A, it is hardly alone with its rising level of unhappy customers."

I also noticed that in the NYTimes article, Target.com responded to customers within 6 hours, while Amazon only responded within 24 hours. The PlanetFeedback ratings seem to support the idea that response times have an impact on overall customer satisfaction.

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