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March 1, 2005
A recent study from the Help Desk Institute highlighting growing trends within support centers found that more companies in 2004 outsourced some or all of their support centers compared to 2003. According to "2004 Practices Survey," companies are also beginning to bring their support operations back in-house, after having previously outsourced them. Nearly 14 percent more support centers are providing 24x7 support--35.5 percent in 2004 from 22 percent in 2003.
Cisco and IBM are the top two choices for IP telephony solutions to be deployed in the next two years, according to a Yankee Group study. The study, which analyzes 10 vendors in total, is based on survey respondents from U.S. companies ranging from organizations with under 500 employees to companies with more than 10,000 employees. On a 7-point scale, Cisco placed first, with a score of 5.4, with IBM just slightly trailing it with a score of 5.1. A score of 4.7 tied Avaya, Siemens, and SBC for third, while Accenture and Nortel tied for sixth place with 4.5. AT&T scored a 4.4 and MCI received a 4.0.
An overwhelming 79 percent of respondents from a CSC survey, with some help from D&B and Northwestern University, claim they do not have a 360-degree view of their customers. Fifty percent of respondents aren't able to successfully cross-sell and upsell, and only 57 percent of respondents can recognize their highest revenue generating customers. When the more than 6,000 marketing and IT executives from 58 large U.S. companies were asked if they can identify the most profitable or highest value customers, 17.5 percent said "not at all," 22.5 percent replied "minimally," another 22.5 percent stated "sometimes," and 30 percent responded "almost always."
About 40 percent of retailers answered online inquiries within a day, and some 13 percent did so within an hour, including the holiday shopping season, but another 15 percent did not respond to online inquiries, according to research conducted by The Customer Respect Group (TCRG) during fourth quarter 2004. Two-thirds of customers will go to a competitor's Web site if they don't get a response in a "timely" manner, which customers generally consider to be within 24 hours, according to Terry Golesworthy, president of TCRG.
According to Consumer Reports' annual cell phone report, 31 percent of the more than 39,000 subscribers in 17 cities to the Consumer Reports Web site reported that their company's response to a service inquiry was very helpful, and only 40 percent reported that billing inquiry responses were very helpful. More than one-third, 35 percent, admitted to seriously considering switching carriers.
In a report sponsored by Service Support Professionals Association (SSPA) and Tech Strategy Partners, called "2005 Support Demand Consumer Series: Accelerating Consumer Acceptance of Your Offshoring Strategy," 32 percent of respondents prefer Web-based self-service as opposed to phone and email-based support. Also, 45 percent responded that they discourage vendors from offshoring support completely.
Holiday season search engine advertising ROI outpaced Q3 numbers, according to the third installment of the "DoubleClick Holiday 2004 Shopping Report" series. During December 2004 the average client conversion rate increased 124 percent, and the unweighted daily client average for total gross revenue that search marketing programs generated for merchants rose 375 percent, compared to their third quarter 2004 counterparts. The average ROI climbed 58 percent in December, compared with the late-summer-months' average.
Dissatisfied self-service consumers spend 35 percent more online than their satisfied counterparts, accounting for 41 percent of total revenue from all consumers who contact customer service.
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