By Claire West

New Survey of British Consumers reveals nearly 9 out of 10 Online Buyers Experience Transaction Problems

Customer Experience issues impact the business directly, with two waves of abandonment:

• 37% of visitors who have experienced problems conducting online transactions would abandon the transaction after experiencing problems;

• 40% would cease doing business with the company after receiving poor customer service from a company’s call centre when calling about website problems.

Despite the increasing maturity of the ecommerce sector a new study published earlier this month reveals that nearly 9 out of 10 (86%) British consumers who have conducted transactions online in the past year have experienced problems completing transactions. The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive®, and commissioned by Tealeaf®, the leading Customer Experience Management software provider, highlighted an unforgiving attitude towards online stores, with 37% of those who have experienced problems when conducting an online transaction in the last 12 months saying they would abandon their transaction entirely if they experienced a problem.

According to the survey, consumer intolerance of an online experience is exacerbated by poor customer support from contact centres when people seek to rectify the problems they encounter. 43% of adults who experience transaction problems contact customer service centres and yet, worryingly, only 47% of these felt that this resolved their issue. Ultimately, 40% of British consumers who experienced bad customer service from a company’s contact centre following an online issue stopped doing business with the company altogether.

“After a decade of ecommerce, British consumers have very high expectations of their online experiences, yet many companies doing business online are still failing to deliver an acceptable level of customer experience and service to internet customers. Online businesses must pay attention to their customers’ experiences and help them to succeed, or risk losing them and their business entirely,” said Rebecca Ward, CEO, Tealeaf. “The only way to understand and pinpoint problems, improve conversion rates and better serve customers is to have visibility into everything that happens on your online channel.”

“The lack of face-to-face contact is an obvious disadvantage online, but customers must feel as though they are valued and that their issues are understood, processed and, ultimately, solved. Businesses need to pay the same consideration to the experience of each and every online customer, just as they would in a physical shop or via a call centre, and to achieve this they require a clear picture of where their websites work and where they fall short. Only then will they be able to take steps to improve the service they deliver to their online customers,” said Ward.

Other key findings of the survey include:

1. Online v. Offline — 88% of adults were not willing to accept lower levels of customer service online than they would receive in person.

2. Functionality — 20% of those conducting online transactions felt that the ease of completing a transaction was the most important factor in a positive customer experience. Yet 31% of those who had problems conducting online transactions felt that the website was too difficult to navigate and another 29% were unable to complete their action due to an “endless loop”, for example.

3. Security — Privacy is a primary concern of those conducting online transaction; in fact 32% felt that website security was the most critical factor of a positive customer experience. However, 40% of those who experience problems when conducting an online transaction reported that, when they have transaction issues, they are likely or very likely to question a company’s ability to keep their private information secure.

4. Successful transactions are more important than loyalty programs for travel consumers — For example, 92% of British consumers who have booked travel online reported that the ability to complete a transaction without encountering a problem was important or very important to them, whereas only 24% reported that the travel provider’s loyalty or rewards program was important or very important.

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