Recent studies confirm what the person in the street has known for years - many UK firms are not delivering good customer service and technology makes little difference.
Hewson Consulting Group (HCG) and marketing consultancy Rainier have both slammed some of the UK's top companies, saying they not only risk losing business but will devalue precious brands unless they overhaul their technology strategies.
In the HCG study of 150 top companies that actively promote their Web site in television and print advertising, only 14% responded to an urgent request from a potential buyer within 24 hours, while a staggering 39% never bothered at all.
In the Rainer study, it is claimed that 26 of the FTSE Top 100 firms did not respond to requests for basic investor information after 100 days, with only 44% responding within 24 hours.
Rainier shamed Boots at 31 days and Ladbroke at nine days as the most tardy of those who did respond within 100 days. The HCG study, which spanned a wide range of business sectors, showed huge disparity in service quality, with the best performing exceptionally well, while the poorest bordered on the farcical.
Wendy Hewson, head of research at HCG, said: "My favourite was the healthcare company that telephoned in response to a request for details of insurance.
On answering the phone we heard 'Oh sorry, I can't find your name on my list'. Without good data, one-to-one marketing is commercial folly!"
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