Growing CRM Frustration Staff

Updated · May 16, 2001

According to a recent survey conducted by Critical Research and commissioned by intelligent service software provider Motive Communications, Inc., online business buyers routinely encounter poor online customer service.

In fact, customer dissatisfaction is so prevalent that many business customers regularly abandon shopping carts and leave Web sites because of poor service. Of the 200 U.S. online businesses surveyed, 95 percent found a range of problems including difficulty in locating information or completing transactions; untimely and inaccurate information in response to service requests; and inadequate e-mail and telephone service.

Other findings include:

  • Ninety-three percent surveyed said they regularly had problems conducting business online
  • Eighty-five percent had trouble signing up for a service
  • Eighty-one percent had difficulty researching a product
  • Seventy-five percent encountered problems when executing transactions


  • Only 36 percent received sufficient help via online methods
  • Ninety percent claimed that responses to queries were unacceptably slow
  • Eighty-one percent said they had received inaccurate information when they finally received a response

"When a customer walks into a bank or office supplies store, the salespeople are trained to make the whole experience as smooth as possible," commented Anna Clepper, Motive’s vice president of marketing. "Companies clearly haven’t been able to replicate this level of service on the Internet, even though the online customer is just as important and the cost of switching to another vendor is much lower on the Internet. The winners in e-business will be those companies that wake up to this disparity and center their business models on the online service experience. With online service at such a low point, companies have a tremendous opportunity to differentiate based on service and keep those customer dollars from going elsewhere."

Founded in May 1997, Motive Communications, Inc. provides intelligent software by building service into digital products and processes in order to deliver timely, targeted assistance to customers. Motive’s ServiceNet Platform enables businesses to create service-rich products and applications that capture market share and fuel customer loyalty, while slashing service costs. Clients include Adelphia, Compaq Computer Corporation, Dynegy Inc., EDS, Fujitsu Ltd., Great Plains, Hewlett-Packard Company, Intuit, Merrill Lynch, Target Corporation, WebLink Wireless Inc. and Wells Fargo.

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