From PC World:
As customers’ expectations rise, giants like Amazon and EBay are finding it harder to keep people happy.
A new study has found that customer satisfaction with online shopping plummeted during the last holiday season. While some experts note that such dissatisfaction is often the result of rising expectations, others suggest that companies such as Amazon and EBay had better take note–or risk losing customers.
In the fourth quarter of 2004, customer satisfaction with online purchases fell by 2.7 percent from the third-quarter figure, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index. That is the largest drop since the ACSI began tracking e-commerce in 2000. Though the index fell slightly in 2001, overall customer satisfaction has generally risen steadily until now.
Among the online retailers that the index tracks, Amazon and EBay took the biggest hits, though both companies still maintained relatively high customer satisfaction scores. On a 100-point scale, Amazon fell from 88 to 84, while EBay dropped from 84 to 80.