Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited
The concept of customer service is well-established and in most industries and service sectors, the components of good service are reasonably well understood. The growth of eCommerce is shaking up some of the established conventions. What is good service online? Many organisations produce flashy Websites which look great but get in the way of both providing information (it takes too long to navigate to what you want to know) and of making a purchase. B&Q (a large retail chain selling DIY/home improvement products) actually set up quite a good site which requires customers to move through the product range filling their shopping basket - and then print it out and take it to the store! Even the largest organisations are not exempt from this failure to realise what online customers want. Sony, for example, has an attractive Website (or set of them) but sometimes getting past the flash movies and great images does not seem worth the bother. There is a need to separate the marketing from the buying - the big CD sites (like CD Universe) seem to have hit on a successful model - but perhaps that is because the product is simple and known. I do not have answers - but I know the question needs asking.