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Customers Prefer Financial Service Web Sites to Mobile, According to ForeSee

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FORESEE MOBILE FINANCIAL SERVICES
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ANN ARBOR — Released today by ForeSee, the global leader in technology-driven customer experience analytics, a first-of-its-kind study of the customer experience of mobile apps and websites of 17 major financial services companies shows little differentiation and a lot of opportunity.

Only credit unions, measured in aggregate, meet the threshold for excellence with a score 80 on the 100-point scale of the ForeSee Mobile Satisfaction Index: Financial Services Edition, which measured satisfaction of the customer experience with banks, credit unions, credit cards, and brokerage companies.

American Express and Wells Fargo follow credit unions in the banking industry category at 79, while American Express and Discover top the credit card industry with the same score. Charles Schwab is alone on top of the brokerage industry, also scoring 79. The aggregate score for the financial services Index is 77. Banks and credit unions (78), credit cards (76), and brokerages (77) are tightly grouped.

ForeSee’s research shows that apps provide a superior experience to mobile websites and may be the key to competitive differentiation and growth. However, all companies measured have a ways to go to provide a compelling mobile experience: traditional websites (as experienced on personal computers) still provide the best customer experience for financial services companies.

“As consumers put the power of the Internet in their pockets and purses in record numbers, there is no doubt that the future of customer engagement is mobile,” said Eric Feinberg, ForeSee’s director of mobile, media, and entertainment. “The mobile experience represents the biggest opportunity — and the biggest challenge — for financial services companies because consumers are getting more comfortable managing their finances via mobile devices. The company that can best understand how to meet the needs of the mobile consumer is going to succeed, and that’s going to require the right kind of insight. Right now it’s anyone’s game.”

Thus far, there is little differentiation between competitors, since satisfaction with all measured companies’ mobile experiences range between 73 and 79.

Customer Satisfaction with Mobile Experiences: Financial Services
 
Aggregate: All Financial Services Mobile Experiences, 77

Mobile Banks and Credit Unions: Aggregate, 78
Any Credit Union, 80
American Express (Bank). 79
Wells Fargo, 79
Chase (Bank), 78
US Bank, 78
Bank of America (Bank), 76
Citibank (Bank), 76

Mobile Credit Cards: Aggregate, 76
American Express (Credit Card), 79
Discover, 79
Capitol One (Credit Card), 76
Citibank (Credit Card), 75
MasterCard, 75
Visa, 73
 
Mobile Brokerage: Aggregate, 77
Charles Schwab, 79
Fidelity, 78
E*Trade, 77
Scottrade, 77
TD Ameritrade, 76
 
When comparing highly satisfied users of mobile websites and apps to less satisfied users (consumers who scored their experience 80 or higher compared to those scoring 69 or lower), the study found that highly satisfied visitors are more likely to prefer the brand, recommend the mobile channel, use the channel again, or use the mobile channel before any other information resource.

“Apps are an important tool for serving financial services customers, but the mobile website is going to be more important as a mobile channel for serving prospective customers,” said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee. “This underlies the importance of measuring customer satisfaction, which can help a company improve its customer experience. App store customer ratings and 5-star scale reviews might be interesting and entertaining, but they don’t provide the kind of insights necessary for companies to distinguish useful feedback from the squeaky wheel.”

The study is based on 4,500 customer surveys collected in October 2012.

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