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Dixons bottom of ‘customer respect’ index

Research flawed, says retailer

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When it comes to winning the respect of your customers, it seems Dixons just isn't making the grade.

So says a new batch of research which measures people's experience while interacting with companies online.

The Customer Respect Index (CRI) ranked the Web sites of the UK's top 100 companies according to 90 different factors that combine to create the entire online customer experience.

While companies including Legal & General, Abbey National, Yell and BT topped the list with a CRI of 9.0 or more, Dixons ranked at the bottom with a score of just 2.0.

Dixons has already contacted the outfit behind the CRI over its concerns that the "self-styled Web analysis" is deeply flawed.

"Is this analysis representative of the way we interact with our customers? Absolutely not," said a spokesman for Dixons.

According to the CRI, UK firms just don't have the same respect among consumers as their US counterparts. While the average CRI score for the top 100 US companies is 7.0, the UK's FTSE 100 only manages 6.3.

"The worst issue that the report highlights is a lack of responsiveness," said James MacAonghus, research director at Aqute Research, a company that supplies the Customer Respect Index in the UK.

"A company Web site is increasingly becoming the first point of contact for many customers. If you email a company from its Web site and receive no reply, it's the equivalent of being ignored by a shop assistant when you ask a question. That's no way for a company to treat its online customers,"

The research found that a fifth of UK companies failed to respond to online queries while two in ten took more than three days to respond. ®

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