The latest report from the Customer Respect Group, a research firm focusing on how corporations treat online customers, gave online retailers high marks overall. The Third Quarter 2006 Online Customer Respect Study of Retailers said the industry as a whole scored 6.2 on the 10-point Customer Respect Index. That CRI(TM) is equal to that of the telecommunications industry, which ranked at the top of the industry table.
Five of the 51 major retail companies analyzed in the report performed well enough to gain the Excellent Online Customer Respect designation. These retailers included:
Sears Roebuck, with a score of 7.9
Payless Shoesource, 7.3
L.L. Bean, selling apparel, 7.2
CVS Corporation, which operates food and drug stores, 7.1
Also near the top of the list were:
Circuit City, consumer electronics, 6.8
Staples, office equipment and supplies, 6.8
In the report's three subcategories, Saks was the best site for Communications, Sears Roebuck was best for Trust and Walgreens was best overall for Site Usability.
The Question of Trust
While it credited the retail industry for responding well to online visitors and their questions, the report said the retail industry is also using the process to collect and then re-use information without the expressed permission or wishes of those customers. Many of these factors are collected in the Trust criteria, where the industry scores less well overall: just 4.7 on the 10-point scale.
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