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Industry Research : eGain Communications Corporation Publishes Its 2008 International Benchmarking Report For The Retail Sector

California - November 20, 2008 - eGain Communications Corporation, a provider of multichannel customer service and knowledge management software on-premise or on-demand, today published its 2008 international benchmarking report for the retail sector. The report benchmarks and compares email customer service and web self-service offered by retail companies in North America (the US and Canada) and the UK. The research found that North American retailers performed worse than the UK in email response quality, but better in web self-service and speed of email response. However, the research shows that there is significant room for improvement in both these areas.

eGain used a "mystery shopping" approach to evaluate customer service performance. Posing as prospective buyers of high-value products and services, eGain researchers contacted retail businesses through email, showing an obvious intent to buy, and also evaluated the self-service capabilities offered by these businesses. The objectives were to assess the responsiveness and quality of email customer service, the range of "web self-service" options offered, and the ability to easily escalate to agent-assisted service. The North America research also included other aspects of customer service including interaction channels offered, and multichannel and multi-agent service consistency.

The following key statistics emerged from the study:

- North America findings:

o 25% of the companies failed to respond to customer emails

o 65% responded to emails within 24 hours, but 55% of the responses were "poor" or "below average" in quality

o 45% scored "above average" or "exceptional" in web self-service but 55% received "poor" or "below average"

- North America-UK comparison:

o North America trailed the UK in email response "quality"

§ Only 45% of the North America sample received an "above average" or "exceptional" rating in email quality, compared to 56% in the UK

o North America performed better than the UK in email responsiveness

§ 65% of the North America sample responded to emails within 24 hours compared to only 36% in the UK

§ Only 25% of the North America sample completely failed to respond to customer emails compared to 35% in the UK

o Web self-service performance was poor across the board, although North America was ahead of the UK

§ 45% of North American companies scored "above average" or "exceptional", compared to only 16% in the UK

"These scores are concerning, especially since email customer service and web self-service are key requirements to attract and retain customers in today’s volatile macroeconomic environment and increasing movement of brick-and-mortar purchases to online channels," said Ashu Roy, Chairman and CEO of eGain. "It is crucial that retailers invest in robust customer service management solutions that will not only improve online customer service but also unify the customer service experience across channels."

"Retailers must optimize service performance across existing touch points, particularly e-mail and online self-service. Adherence to best practices within both channels will go a long way toward meeting customers’ needs this holiday season," writes Zach McGeary, Associate Analyst for JupiterResearch, a Forrester Research company, in the research report "Customer Service During the Holidays", dated December 10, 2007.

About eGain Corporation:
Company LogoeGain customer engagement platform automates digital-first, omnichannel experiences across all touch points. Powered by AI, machine learning, knowledge, and analytics, our top-rated software optimizes customer journeys with virtual assistance, messaging hub, and desktop to serve customers, reduce cost, and improve compliance.
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