DoubleClick and 24/7 investigate service claims

Two of the largest online sales houses are commissioning client satisfaction surveys amid accusations by buyers that web sales operations are providing a poor service.

Two of the largest online sales houses are commissioning client

satisfaction surveys amid accusations by buyers that web sales

operations are providing a poor service.



DoubleClick and 24/7 are poised to hire third-party specialists to quiz

clients and determine how customer service could be improved.



Online buyers last week banded together to launch an attack on sales

houses, accusing them of chasing volume rather than concentrating on

service (Media Business, last week).



DoubleClick’s new managing director Eric Stein said the company had come

top of an independent survey in the US assessing service levels.



’We now want to carry out a survey among our clients here in the UK,’

said Stein.



He expressed surprise that agencies had problems with DoubleClick’s

service, stating: ’We set ourselves very high standards and work hard to

deliver them.’



24/7 will also appoint an objective third party to conduct its survey,

which will begin ’in the next few months’. Sales director Mark Nall said

the company was aware that service was an important issue, but said the

sector’s rapid growth was partly to blame.



’The last quarter of 1999 - when the demand for space reached an

unprecedented high - was an important test period for anyone selling

online,’ he said.



Charlie Dobres, chief executive of i-Level, welcomed the moves but said:

’The question is whether the UK arms of US companies will be given the

power to resolve the problems they identify, particularly staffing

ratios.’



Dobres said the US market was more commodity driven, so there was a

smaller ratio of staff to billings. ’Here more time is spent setting up

and servicing deals. By following US models, sales houses may have built

poor service into their structures.’



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