Customer Service Survey: You've Got 10 Minutes . . .

A new survey by Mobius Management Systems Inc., a customer service software provider, finds that if forced to wait longer than 10 minutes to reach a customer service representative, online consumers will switch to another company. Rye, N.Y.-based Mobius recently surveyed 200 consumers who use the Internet about customer service: 75% said reliable customer service was key to their choice of a service provider; 91% impose the aforementioned 10-minute rule. "The explosion in retail and business-to-business electronic commerce where human contact has diminished has raised everyone's sensitivity to customer service -- fast customer service," says Mobius CEO and president Mitchell Gross. "Companies are losing customers over how fast they can respond. And once lost, those customers aren't coming back." Gross said one way companies are responding to high customer service demands is to switch from phone- to Web-based systems of response. In the survey, 64% of consumers said they prefer Web-based systems.

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