Best-in-class Websites deliver online support in two ways:
Publicly accessible support content, which includes vendor-created technical documents and access to customer communities & forums; and/or,
Fee-based support programs (per incident; contract-based).
To assess how effectively a Website delivers publicly accessible support content and support program(s) information, the siteIQ evaluation team identifies and measures 109 types of support content, features Usability reviews focus on how easy it is to find and navigate through support content; support program content quality and clarity; and how effectively the site encourages customers to explore or purchase fee– and contract-based support offerings.
This case study announces 2015’s leaders, laggers — and fast movers in the Online Support category. Note: Professional services companies do not operate online support zones. For this reason they have been omitted from this category.
Support | Drum Roll Please!
Online Support is a category on the move. Over half of the sites evaluated are making tracks up the rankings. But progress is slow. Where we see sites leaping from low positions to the top in other Index categories, the sites moving up the Support rankings take a more leisurely stroll of two to three spots at a time.
This year, Dell.com reigns as king of the Support hill, stealing the top spot from its formidable competitor IBM.com. But this isn’t a two man race. HP.com looms large in IBM.com’s rear view mirror. The world beyond the Top 3 is bleak. All other sites land squarely in the competitive quadrant miles away from the Good Practice line.
So who will take the hill next year? Dell.com’s Support site is stout competitor that isn’t likely to give up the top spot easily. But IBM.com is in the process of building a new Support site, which makes it a real threat. HP.com may be thisclose to taking second place today, but with its Support resources being dismantled to send over to HPE.com it will have a challenging time holding on to third place.
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About the siteIQ eBusiness Index
siteIQ evaluated the twenty-three Websites listed on the 2015 siteIQ eBusiness Index. These Websites are categorized into six industry-specific segments including:
- Business Software (Adobe.com, Microsoft.com, Symantec.com, Citrix.com)
- Cloud (Salesforce.com, Netsuite.com, Netapp.com)
- Enterprise Software (CA.com, IBM Software, Oracle.com, SAP.com)
- Enterprise Systems (Dell.com, HP.com, IBM.com, Apple.com)
- Network Systems (Brocade.com, Cisco.com, Juniper.net)
- Professional Services (Accenture.com, Cognizant.com, IBM Global Services)
These in-depth evaluations were conducted using the 2015 edition of the siteIQ eBusiness Index Best Practices Benchmark.
This benchmark identifies and tracks over 1,500 types of content, features, capabilities, navigation, and design elements that represent current requirements for typical IT industry Websites. These requirements are organized into 18 categories that correspond to different areas of a Website and site-wide utilities.
During these evaluations, siteIQ analysts also score each site based on 140 metrics that measure usability & effectiveness from the visitor’s point of view. These metrics align to the 18 categories mentioned above.
The 2015 evaluations were performed during the fourth quarter of 2015 and released in 2016
Category: Index Rankings
Class: Website Reviews and Rankings
Websites Profiled: siteIQ eBusiness Index Websites
Index by Category:
- Navigation & Architecture | IBM, Cisco, and Oracle rule the navigation roost
- Search | Cisco hits the trifecta while Dell and IBM search for footing
- Product Marketing | IBM makes a clean sweep while HP and Oracle follow behind
- Services Marketing | HP.com hits the ranking trifecta while IBM and Cisco trail behind
- Channel Marketing | IBM and Oracle duke it out for first place with surprising results
- eCommerce | Dell hangs onto 1st, while Apple and Oracle steal 2nd and 3rd
- Call To Action | Dell leaps up to first, Symantec slips down to second, and Cisco slides into third
- Support | Dell, IBM, and HP play king of the hill
- Training | IBM is king of content but EMC is queen of usability
- Navigation | 5 reasons why Dell.com’s support navigation dashboard is a best practice
- Design | 3 reasons why Dell.com’s support zone is always at the head of the pack
- Support Rankings | IBM.com is number one, but Dell takes 2nd and 3rd
- Design & Architecture | IBM.com’s Support portal refresh puts more distance between it and competitors
- The new IBM.com Support Portal | This budding best practice puts all products and services under a single roof
- Tips & Traps | A year after the 3Com acquisition, HP.com’s networking support zone is a muddled mess
- Tips & Traps | Too many acquisitions turns the HP networking support zone into a Chernobyl-class disaster
- Tips & Traps | HP.com support’s navigation sleight of hand can’t mask its deadly rabbit hole architecture
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