The latest findings from Jupiter Research, a division of Jupitermedia Corporation, reveal that companies are failing to meet basic consumer expectations for service via e-mail which is resulting in shoppers turning to the telephone for customer service.

While 88 percent of consumers surveyed expect a response to e-mail inquiries within 24 hours, only 54 percent of companies sampled in Jupiter Research's latest Customer Service Webtrack met these expectations, the same percentage as in 2001, despite the fact that CRM spending continues to rise. Jupiter Research reports that CRM spending will continue to grow at a rapid rate through 2008, according to its latest Market Forecast Report, "CRM Through 2008."

Jupiter Research Senior Analyst David Daniels warns, "Companies that fail to get serious about their management of customer service e-mail now, will pay the price with higher customer service costs and lost revenues down the line. This issue will be compounded as customer service e-mail inquiries will rise from 1.0 billion in 2001 to 3.3 billion in 2008. Inadequate service in the online channel only accelerates the rate at which customers turn to their telephone – companies without efficient management of their customer service e-mails are better off sending site visitors directly to their phone support center," stated Daniels.

Jupiter Research also recently released its Jupiter Market Forecast Report "CRM Through 2008", which reports that online CRM technology spending will grow from $2.3 billion in 2003 to $4.7 billion in 2008, accounting for 25 percent of the $18.9 billion of overall CRM spending. The spending increase in the CRM market is spurred by the continued growth of contact center employees. Financial services companies will continue to be the largest spenders on CRM, as their expenditures will increase from $3.4 billion in 2003 to $5.9 billion in 2008, accounting for 31 percent of the overall spending on CRM at that time. Daniels adds that "Companies must take an incremental approach to deploying CRM and that successful CRM deployments are more dependent on an organization's ability to attain a coordinated customer focus throughout the enterprise than it is on the CRM technology itself."

The complete findings of these reports are immediately available to Jupiter Research clients online at researchsales@jupitermedia.com or call 1-800-481-1212.

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