DIRECT NEWS: Clients miss internet chance, DMA claims

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 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.



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