Study: Hewlett-Packard Treats Online Customers the Best

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Hewlett-Packard treats its online customers the best, while Ingram Micro treats them the worst, according to the 2003 Online Customer Respect Study of the country's 100 largest companies.


The study, published by Bellevue, WA-based research and consulting firm The Customer Respect Group, analyzes corporate performance from an online customer's perspective. It assigns a Customer Respect Index to each company, which is a qualitative and quantitative measure based on a maximum of 10 of a customer's online experience when interacting with companies.


Hewlett-Packard scored a CRI of 9.7 while Ingram Micro had just a 2.8. American Express showed the greatest gain, 8.4 this year compared with 4.3 last year.


Other findings:


· Overall, the companies improved online customer interactions slightly from last year: 7.0 vs. 6.5.


· Thirty-one percent of surveyed companies still do not respond to online inquiries, down from 37 percent last year.


· About 10 percent still do not post privacy policies.


· The top scoring industry sector is hi-tech. The lowest-scoring sector is food, beverage and tobacco.


· The retail sector focuses more on customer privacy than financial services and insurance companies.


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