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April 1, 2005
Retailers need to change the way they do business to retain consumers, a report from IBM Business Consulting Services says. Eighteen percent of respondents said that when shopping in a consumer electronics store they are shopping to browse new technologies, 16 percent are upgrading equipment or technology, and 15 percent are replacing a broken item. When shopping for clothing 30 percent are replacing basic wardrobe items, while 11 percent are purchasing work-related clothing.
According to Jupiter Research's "Contact Center Outsourcing: Understanding Customer Perceptions," just 16 percent of the 2,535 consumers surveyed responded that outsourcing customer service functions affected their decision to purchase from a particular Web site, while 57 percent of consumers said that the efficiency of service resolution affected their decision to purchase from a company.
According to the Visa Signature New Affluent poll, 72 percent of new affluent consumers, individuals within the 35 to 54 age range with household incomes of at least $125,000, admitted that they clip coupons, 66 percent reported that they regularly shop at club discount or warehouse stores, and 34 percent admitted that they have gone to garage sales. Nine out of 10 new affluent consumers surveyed consider themselves to be middle- or upper-middle class, and 72 percent admitted that they are embarrassed by or dislike being identified as wealthy or well off, even though they acknowledge these terms are an accurate description of their financial status.
Fifty-one percent of respondents to the Vertis study "Customer Focus 2005: Retail Direct Marketing" said a special offer or discount will make a difference whether or not they open direct mail. Seventy-six percent of adults with a household income of $50,000 to $75,000 who read retail direct mail have responded to messages with coupons, while 72 percent of adults with a household income of less than $30,000 who read retail direct mail said they have responded to messages with buy-one-get-one-free offers.
According to a study by New Delhi-based research firm Juxt Consult, more than half of India's leading companies stumble when it comes to handling online customer queries. Only 32 percent of the companies responded satisfactorily and 58 percent of companies did not respond at all.
Of the more than 200 business executives surveyed for Strativity Group's 2004 Customer Experience Management Study, fewer than 20 percent could identify the cost of new customers, customer complaints, or even average annual customer value. About 70 percent of respondents attributed some of their customer relationship difficulties to a lack of tools and a lack of authority to solve problems, even though more than three-quarters of respondents said they invest in technology more than people.
According to a study sponsored by Reuters and conducted by AIM Software and the Vienna University of Economics, 29 percent of survey respondents currently plan to increase the degree of automation for data reference, 29 percent for corporate actions, and 24 percent for pricing data. Additionally, the survey, which studied 1,700 banks in 63 countries, indicates that one out of 10 institutions still employ more than 50 people for data reference management, and 42 percent of survey respondents plan to purchase an off-the-shelf data management solution or to buy and adapt a solution to their own needs.
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