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US communications providers improve slightly in subscriber service overall, but channel silos get deeper

Assessment of providers finds improvement in some aspects of service but cross-channel experience goes from bad to worse, according to “mystery shopping” research from eGain

Mountain View, Calif. (March 10, 2010): eGain Communications Corporation (OTC BB: EGAN.OB), the leading provider of multichannel customer service and knowledge management software for on-site and on-demand deployment, today announced that North American communications providers improved overall in customer service in 2010, when compared to 2009. However, cross-channel customer experience declined with more instances of inconsistencies in answers to questions, query handling process, and service policy. Overall, service performance for the sector increased slightly from a score of 1.9 (“below average”) out of 4.0 in 2009 to 2.2 (“above average”) in 2010, and multichannel or cross-channel customer experience fell from an already low score of 1.2 (“below average”) to 0.7 (“poor”).

eGain’s 2010 State of Customer Service Study evaluated multiple aspects of web self-service and contact center customer service of 175 leading enterprises in the U.S. and Canada. These companies are equally distributed across eight sectors: financial services, retail, communications, consumer goods manufacturing, insurance, healthcare, and pharmaceuticals. The communications sector included telecom, cable, satellite, and internet service pure-play as well as multi-play providers.

Analysts used a “mystery shopping” approach. Customer service performance was measured along multiple dimensions: choice of communication channels, email response, web self-service, cross-channel consistency, single-channel (phone) cross-agent consistency and phone customer service*. Scores in these metrics were then abstracted to an overall Service Quotient (SQ) on a scale of 0.0 to 4.0, for each of the companies that were assessed, as well as for each industry sector and the overall market.

The numeric scores map to the following ratings:

  • Poor (<1.0)
  • Below average (>=1.0 and <2.0)
  • Above average (>=2.0 and <3.0)
  • Exceptional (3.0 to 4.0)

2009-2010 Performance Comparison

  • Overall performance of the sector improved from a score of 1.9 (“below average”) in 2009 to 2.2 (“above average”) in 2010.
  • Web self-service improved from 2.0 (barely “above average”) to 2.3 (“above average”).
  • Cross-agent (phone) consistency increased from 1.7 (“below average”) to 2.2 (“above average”), the most significant improvement.
  • Surprisingly, email customer service dropped from 2.5 (“above average”) to 2.1 (barely “above average”).
  • Cross-channel experience dropped from 1.2 (“below average”) to 0.7 (“poor”).

“While it is a concern that cross-channel experience went from bad to worse in 2010, it also presents an opportunity for smart communications providers to get ahead of competitors by fixing the problem,” said Ashu Roy, Chairman and CEO for eGain. “Leading providers are adopting a Customer Interaction Hub (CIH) strategy to deliver superior multichannel experiences, while improving key business metrics such as subscriber churn, Average Revenue per User (ARPU), and Average Margin Per User (ARPU).”

Details of findings can be obtained by sending an email request to info@egain.com.

* Telephone customer service included criteria such as the number of transfers and hold time.

About eGain

eGain (OTC BB: EGAN.OB) is the leading provider of multichannel customer service and knowledge management software for on-site or on-demand deployment. For over a decade, hundreds of the world’s largest companies have relied on eGain to transform their traditional call centers, help desks, and web customer service operations into multichannel customer interaction hubs (CIHs). Based on the Power of One™, the concept of one unified platform for multichannel customer interaction and knowledge management, eGain solutions improve customer experience, optimize service processes end to end, increase sales, and enhance contact center performance.

Headquartered in Mountain View, California, eGain has operating presence in North America, EMEA and APAC. To learn more about us, visit www.eGain.com or call our offices: +1-800-821-4358 (US), +44-(0)-1753-464646 (EMEA), or +91-(0)-20-6608-9200 (APAC). Also, follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/egain) and Facebook (http://facebook.com/egain).

eGain, the eGain logo, and all other eGain product names and slogans are trademarks or registered trademarks of eGain Communications Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. All other company names and products mentioned in this release may be trademarks or registered trademarks of the respective companies.

eGain media contact:

Phone: 408-636-4505
Email: press@egain.com