March 8, 2002, 12:00 AM

Be careful when contacting customers, a new survey says

Half of consumers who are dissatisfied with customer service cite untargeted e-mail campaigns, direct mailings and contact center interactions that were redundant, inaccurate or slow as the source of their ire, reports Kana Software.


Getting in touch with your customers can be fraught with peril, says a new survey from Kana Software Inc., developer of CRM systems. Half of consumers who are dissatisfied with the level of customer service with a retailer cite untargeted e-mail campaigns, direct mailings and contact center interactions that were redundant, inaccurate or slow as the source of their ire, Kana reports.

Kana also reported that accuracy and recognition make customers happy: 75% of respondents said personalization was a major contributor to their most satisfying purchasing experience, on- or offline.

The study, sponsored by Kana, was based on a cross-section of consumers who have made purchases in both online and offline environments. The study sought reaction to customer service independent of channel, including offline interaction, phone, e-mail, web chat or online self-service. Kana says the results show that consumers demand personalization in both proactive and reactive customer service. Personalization capabilities include self-service, personalized voice or e-mail interactions, the ability to track purchases and requests and knowledgeable customer service representatives who are educated in the customer`s history with a business. Kana says 34% of respondents said lack of personalized customer care contributed to their least satisfying customer experience.

“The survey illustrates the need to build integrated contact centers focused on personalized eCRM solutions that are highly flexible and scalable to grow with increasing demands,” Kana’s report said. “Consumers are demanding contact centers focused on personalization that analyze consumer behavior; rapidly answer customer inquiries; and enable customer service representatives to easily access robust knowledge histories to ensure the highest level of proactive, personalized customer service.”

"Kana sponsored this survey to demonstrate that as consumers increasingly choose to shop over the web, they are demanding the high level of personalized customer service that they have grown accustomed to in offline environments," said Bud Michael, executive vice president of products and marketing for Kana.

Kana reports that nearly 1,200 companies worldwide use Kana eCRM solutions to interact with customers at all points of contact, including web collaboration, phone, e-mail, live chat, and throughout the enterprise.


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