2003 Customer Respect Group Study

28 juni 2003, 08:41

Bedrijven begrijpen steeds beter hoe ze op internet moeten omgaan met (potentiele) klanten aldus het recent uitgekomen onderzoek van de Customer Respect Group. Het is nog niet perfect – op 31% van de online vragen wordt niet gereageerd – maar het is al beter dan een jaar geleden – toen dit percentage nog 37% was. Steeds meer online retailers komen overigens tot de conclusie dat hun websites eenvoudiger moeten. Keep it simple is het nieuwe motto.

The Customer Respect Group, an international research and consulting firm that focuses on how corporations treat their customers online, today released the results of its 330-page 2003 Online Customer Respect Study of the country?s largest 100 companies.

The study is the only to bring objective measure to the analysis of corporate performance from an online customer?s perspective. It assigns a Customer Respect Index (CRI?) to each company. The Customer Respect Index is a qualitative and quantitative in-depth analysis and independent measure of a customer?s online experience when interacting with companies via the Internet.

In the 2003 Study, Hewlett-Packard scored highest (CRI: 9.7), while Ingram Micro scored lowest (CRI: 2.8). American Express demonstrated the greatest gain from last year (2003 CRI: 8.4 vs. CRI: 4.3 last year).

Key Findings:

? Overall, the 100 largest US companies improved their online customer interactions slightly from last year (CRI: 7.0 vs. 6.5 last year ? out of a possible 10).

? But almost 1/3 (31%) of them still don?t respond to online inquiries (down from 37% last year)

? Some 10% still don?t have privacy policies posted.

? The top scoring industry sector is High-tech. The lowest-scoring sector is Food, Beverage and Tobacco.

? The Retail sector focuses more on customer privacy than Financial Services and Insurance companies.

?Too many large corporations still haven?t figured out the vital role the Internet plays in today?s economy,? said Donal Daly, CEO of The Customer Respect Group. ?Often a Web site is the first point of contact a potential customer has with the company. The Web will continue to play an important role in people?s everyday lives. But too many companies still don?t treat their customers online the same way they would offline. In many cases, the basic rules for earning a customer?s respect seem to be thrown out the window when it comes to a company?s online efforts. One click and the customer is gone to a competitor!?

By looking at more than 1000 Web sites across a spectrum of industries in detail, The Customer Respect Group has determined 25 different attributes that combine to create the entire online customer experience. These attributes have been grouped together and measured as indicators of Privacy (respects customer privacy), Principles (values and respects customer data), Attitude (customer-focus of site), Transparency (open and honest policies), Simplicity (ease of navigation), and Responsiveness (quick and thorough responses to inquiries). Combined they measure a company?s overall Customer Respect. The report conveys in great detail improvement opportunities for each company.

The 2003 Top 100 ranking is as follows:

Company Name Overall CRI

Hewlett-Packard Company 9,7

Walgreen Co. 9,4

Costco Wholesale Corporation 9,3

Dell Computer Corporation 9,3

Intel 9,3

Verizon Communications Inc. 9,1

IBM 9,0

J.C. Penney Company, Inc. 9,0

Microsoft Corporation 9,0

The Home Depot, Inc. 9,0

Best Buy Co. Inc. 8,9

AT&T Corp. 8,8

Motorola, Inc. 8,8

Wachovia Corp. 8,8

Freddie Mac 8,7

Lowe’s Companies, Inc. 8,7

The Allstate Corporation 8,7

ChevronTexaco Corporation 8,5

FedEx Corporation 8,5

Sprint Corporation 8,5

American Express Company 8,4

The Procter & Gamble Company 8,4

Cisco Systems, Inc. 8,3

CVS Corporation 8,3

MetLife Inc. 8,3

Wells Fargo & Co. 8,3

Altria Group, Inc. 8,2

Electronic Data Systems 8,1

Fannie Mae 8,1

International Paper Company 7,9

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. 7,9

Morgan Stanley 7,9

State Farm Insurance Cos. 7,9

The Boeing Company 7,9

Bank of America Corporation 7,8

Du Pont 7,8

General Motors Corporation 7,8

Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. 7,8

Massachusetts Mutual Life 7,7

Washington Mutual, Inc. 7,7

Bank One Corporation 7,5

The Walt Disney Company 7,5

Abbott Laboratories 7,4

Ford Motor Company 7,4

General Electric Company 7,4

Visteon Corporation 7,4

Aetna 7,3

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. 7,3

The Kroger Company 7,1

UnitedHealth Group, Incorporated 7,1

Delphi Corporation 7,0

United Parcel Service, Inc. 7,0

AmerisourceBergen Corp. 6,9

Caterpillar, Inc. 6,9

Kmart Corporation 6,8

Merck & Co., Inc. 6,8

United Technologies Corporation 6,8

AutoNation, Inc. 6,7

Sears Roebuck and Company 6,7

The Coca-Cola Company 6,7

American International Group,Inc. 6,6

ConAgra Foods, Incorporated 6,6

Safeway Inc. 6,6

Tyson Foods, Inc. 6,6

Archer Daniels Midland Company 6,4

Honeywell International Inc. 6,4

Lockheed Martin Corporation 6,3

Cardinal Health, Inc. 6,2

CIGNA Corporation 6,2

ConocoPhillips 6,2

Georgia-Pacific Corporation 6,2

Valero Energy Corp 6,2

Johnson & Johnson 6,1

Target Corporation 6,0

The Dow Chemical Company 6,0

AOL Time Warner Inc. 5,9

New York Life Insurance 5,9

Albertson’s, Inc. 5,8

Johnson Controls, Inc. 5,7


Viacom Inc. 5,7

SBC Communications Inc. 5,6

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company 5,5

Citigroup, Inc. 5,4

Exxon Mobil Corporation 5,4

Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. 5,4

BellSouth Corporation 5,3

Prudential Financial, Inc. 5,2

HCA, Inc 5,0

Alcoa, Inc. 4,8

McKesson Corporation 4,8

PepsiCo, Inc. 4,8

Weyerhaeuser Company 4,8

Supervalu Inc. 4,7

Pfizer Inc. 4,2

Marathon Oil Corporation 4,1

Northrop Grumman Corporation 4,0

Sysco Corporation 4,0

Berkshire Hathaway 3,5

Ingram Micro, Inc. 2,8

Other findings include:

? Surveyed firms receive the best overall rating (CRI: 8.2) for Simplicity and the worst (CRI: 5.5) for Responsiveness.

? Some 31% don?t respond to online inquiries. Of those that do respond, 84 percent do so within 48 hours (versus 65 percent in 2002), eight percent respond within 72 hours (versus 16 percent in 2002) and eight percent respond after four days or more (versus 19 percent in 2002).

? Only 25 percent of these sector firms use Autoresponder technology, in which emails are automatically sent back to users to confirm the receipt of their inquiry and let them know when they should expect a response. This is an improvement from 17 percent in 2002. Of those that do, 96 percent followed with a full response.

? Some 77 percent of companies provide email forms for online inquiries.

? 16 percent provide email addresses.

? Seven percent only provide offline contact information.

? Some 78 percent provide a keyword search function on their site.

? While 71 percent use cookies, more than half (58 percent) don?t explain that they can be disabled. Some three percent use cookies, but don?t provide a privacy policy.

The study also analyzed results for the six Customer Respect elements. Among those findings are the following:

? While Simplicity was the highest scoring element, too many companies still make the mistake of not clearly identifying mandatory fields or asking for too much required information that easily turns off customers.

? Transparency was the second highest score. It is alarming, though, that some of the financial services companies achieved the lowest scores in this category. Those corporations should pay particular attention to easy-to-understand and fair privacy policies.

? The Attitude index has seen a large improvement since last year. This is in part due to more companies using email forms, rather than providing addresses. Also, most provide a keyword search function on their sites to support users in locating specific content.

? Too many companies serve up ?brochureware? Web sites and totally neglect opportunities for building relationships with their site visitors. A nebulous privacy policy, unresponsiveness to inquiries, and a hard to navigate site all send a clear message to the customer: ?Thanks for stopping by, but we don?t want your business. Please don?t bother us again.?



Marco Derksen
Partner bij Upstream

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