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British companies are failing to provide adequate online support to cope with e-commerce queries, according to research by Sunrise Software. Although more than 55 per cent of businesses say they have witnessed an increase in the number of Net-generated enquiries since launching their Web services, less than 40 per cent offer a Web-based support function. Half of the companies questioned provided an e-mail contact service and only ten per cent had a Web-link direct to a support centre. Almost two thirds of companies with integrated Net support found customer enquiries quicker and easier to deal with, it said. "Email is a step forward in Web support, but too many companies still aren't offering fast enough problem resolution for their online customers," said Nick Payne, sales and marketing manager at Sunrise Software. "Companies have been quick to set up Web sites, but forgotten that Internet users need service too," he said. "Lack of customer support provided by e-commerce companies is causing customers to become one hit Web wonders," he said. Surrey-based Sunrise Software makes help desk software solutions.

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