The Direct Marketing Association will reveal this week that
companies fail to respond to nearly half of all requests for information
received via the internet.
The results come from the largest ever UK study into relationship
marketing on the internet. It found that 40 per cent of requests for
information received no response, often because companies were unable to
provide the information customers needed or lacked the mechanism to let
them order products.
Despite an overall willingness by customers to receive relevant e-mails,
most companies seem reluctant to use them and customers subsequently
revert to faster telephone-based services.
The value of a positive experience on a website, however, is
considerable, with people likely to make an average of at least two
recommendations to others about a site that interests them.
Colin Lloyd, chief executive of the DMA, said: ’Many of the hard-learned
lessons in direct marketing have not migrated to new media. We will be
using these findings to ensure that the consumer can enjoy identical
service levels on- and off-line.’
The research was based on 850 responses to a questionnaire on the
internet, 20 in-depth telephone interviews, a chat room group and the
response to requests for information from 100 companies randomly
selected from the internet.