April 1, 2012, 12:00 AM

Online customer service: it's not just about the phone

Online customer service: it's not just about the phone.

When online consumers want service, they still use the telephone most often, and find that the most satisfying channel. But a growing number are also using other forms of online customer service—such as live chat, web site screen sharing and text messaging—and younger shoppers in particular like those methods, according to a recent report from Forrester Research Inc., "Understanding Customer Service Satisfaction to Inform Your 2012 Business Strategy." When the study asked more than 7,600 consumers last fall if they were satisfied with their experience with various customer service channels over the prior 12 months, the lowest score for any channel was 51% among consumers 45 or younger. Even older adults are coming aboard, with 41% or more scoring each online customer service channel as satisfactory.

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