February 20, 2006, 12:00 AM

Consumers value phone and e-mail over online self-service, Jupiter says

Consumers value phone or e-mail contact over online self-service, especially for complex inquiries such as follow-up questions after a purchase, according to a recent study from Jupiter Research.

 

Consumers value phone or e-mail contact over online self-service, especially for complex inquiries such as follow-up questions after a purchase, according to a recent study from Jupiter Research.

Jupiter found that despite the high level of adoption of online self-service, total use remains relatively low. For questions about billing and delivery, only 7% of consumers used online self-service, compared with 47% for the phone, 40% for e-mail and 6% for text chat.

For inquiries about product and service support, 10% used online self-service, with 46% using the phone, 37% using e-mail, and 7% using text chat.

For questions about orders, 10% of consumers preferred to use online self-service, with 43% preferring the phone, 39%, e-mail and 8%, text chat. With questions about products, 26% of consumers preferred online self service, 31%, the phone, 37%, e-mail, and 6% text chat.

Jupiter Research attributed consumers’ limited use of online self-service to static content (used by 83% of customer service sites) and keyword search (used by 63% of customer service sites).

For the report “Measuring Online Self-Service Effectiveness,” Jupiter Research surveyed 787 online users who had contacted customer service about an online purchase over a six-month period.

 

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