Face it, most support sites are a pain in the neck. They put all of their answers behind magic curtains customers can’t penetrate. Dangle documents at the end of ugly click streams. Forget they are supposed deliver the answers cranky customers want.
Or do they?
To find out if great support Websites really exist, we evaluated the online support zones operated by 19 companies on the 2011 siteIQ eBusiness Index.
Since opinions are good — but facts are better — we conducted these evaluations using our Online Support Benchmark which is packed full of the types of navigation, features & capabilities (all 138 of them) great support Websites provide.
Of course, lots of companies have a boatload of pieces and parts but can’t put them to together so customers can actually use them. That’s why we conducted a second evaluation to see how easy these sites are to navigate and use.
Then we crunched the numbers — ranked & rated each support site — created cool graphs to tell the story – picked three of our favorite support case studies from the Library — and put them all together in this special report.
If you can’t find good support sites to contemplate during your weekly yoga class, there’s a good reason. There aren’t many of them out there.
This year only five support sites ended up in the good practice winner’s circle – IBM.com, Cisco.com, Dell.com, HP.com, and Symantec.com. The Cisco, Symantec, and IBM support sites turn out to be the most usable. Dell, HP, and IBM have the most stuff. Within this group, HP.com has the only support site on the decline.
Once you line them all up – and kick in a little body English for its truly astonishing integrated support site – IBM.com ends up at the head of the class. Insight, Newegg, and CDW get the dunce cap.
If you’re responsible for a support site smaller than a large continent, setting your sights on the “small but mighty” crowd might make the most sense.
This year, the prize goes to CA.com and Microsoft – who provide just over half of the content, features, & capabilities seen on the largest support sites. CA offers more capabilities – but Microsoft is a lot more usable. CA’s usability ranks 11th out of 19 support sites (yikes!).
So there you have it. Mountains of opportunity in a world where mediocre support rules. The question is, of course, what are you doing to do about it?
We have some suggestions. Look under the tabs on this page to learn more about how you can use this report to up your own support game.
If improving your online support site isn’t one of your penances this year, you’ll probably find some of our other reports more useful. On the other hand, if your customer satisfaction results are telling you that it’s time to get cracking, this report will help you get started. Here’s who will benefit most from this report.
Our clients tell us that they use our reports to:
If you want the inside scoop on the biggest and best online support sites — where they excel and how they do it — you’ve come to the right place. Here’s what’s in this 32-page report.
Think of it as a way to cut through the competitive clutter and laser focus your team on the support Websites that really matter.
Here, we rank and rate each support site based on ten key usability issues (we even define what we’re looking for):
Think of it as ten little things that make a big difference — and create online support sites customers love to love.
Think of it as your master plan to build a perfect support site — and see where the holes are in your competitors’ sites.
Since a picture’s worth a thousand words, we’ve also included three of our favorite support case studies that show why IBM.com and Cisco.com are leading the online support parade. These bonus case studies are our gift to you. We love great customer support.
This report also includes 24 graphs, charts, and tables — perfect to educate your stakeholders and make a business case with executives.
Want to know what’s in the report page-by-page? Check out the simple Table of Contents.
Facts are great – but graphs are better. That’s why all of our reports are packed with graphs you can use to make your case. Here are some interesting facts from this report.
Twice a year, we audit and evaluate the 23 Websites that represent the best-of-the-best on the IT Web. We put them through their usability paces. We score them based on over 1,200 types of content, features, & capabilities across eighteen Website zones & cross-site utilities.
Then we rank and rate them based on the results.