UK corporates are running their e-commerce websites blind, with over 80 per cent relying primarily on customer complaints to reveal problems with services and performance degradation, recent research has claimed.
The Web Effectiveness Report 2003, conducted by website testing firm SciVisum, found that over one-third (34 per cent) of UK companies surveyed never monitor their website performance.
Many of the remainder only initiate a performance review following customer or internal complaints, and almost half rely on internal colleagues to notify them on an ad hoc basis of any problems.
In the retail sector, where all companies surveyed deliver sophisticated e-commerce services for customers or suppliers online, a third (33 per cent) perform page availability testing only.
In the financial sector, where all companies surveyed offer web services, half admitted to never monitoring their performance.
Although only 49 per cent of government websites offer transactional services, government organisations were found to monitor performance most closely. Over 70 per cent of government sector organisations do so, with accessibility for disabled users their main focus.
"UK corporates are running their websites blind; it is shocking that more than three quarters have to rely on customer complaints to improve their services," said Deri Jones, chief executive officer of SciVisum.
"Once a customer has complained, in most cases it is too late to rescue the relationship. And it will already have impacted the business.
"Senior management support for their web offerings is all mouth and no trousers: such low-level backing hardly supports even a half-decent service."
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