Online, Mobile Customer Satisfaction Varies Within Financial Industry, ForeSee Shows

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ANN ARBOR — Credit unions lead and stockbrokers trail when it comes to online and mobile customer satisfaction with the financial services industry.

That’s according to the Financial Services Benchmark, which reports on online and mobile customer satisfaction trends for banks, credit unions, investment firms and lending companies, released Wednesday by the Ann Arbor customer satisfaction analysts at ForeSee Results.

ForeSee, the leader in technology-driven customer experience analytics, developed this benchmark with data from more than 335,000 surveys from the first quarter of 2013 in which customers shared their experiences with online websites, mobile websites and mobile applications.

Measuring Online Satisfaction

Overall, average customer satisfaction with financial websites is at 72 on ForeSee’s 100-point scale. With ForeSee’s methodology, scores of 80 and higher are classified as “highly satisfied,” while scores of 69 and lower are considered “dissatisfied.” While the industry average score of 72 indicates that many consumers are satisfied with their online banking experience, it leaves room for improvement across the industry.

Of the five financial segments measured, credit union sites scored the highest, with average satisfaction scores of 82. Investments and lending organizations scored much lower with average satisfaction scores of 69 and 70, respectively. Banking and miscellaneous financially focused organizations (such as financial media sites), fell in the middle of the range, with average satisfaction scores of 71 and 74.

“Within the financial industry, keeping a pulse on consumers’ experiences is critical to retaining and growing a satisfied customer base while simultaneously claiming a greater share of wallet,” said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee. “By measuring and improving satisfaction, a financial organization is better able to position themselves as a trusted partner, while encouraging customers to take a hands-on approach to their financial futures.”

A wide range of individual company scores within industry segments indicates that many financial organizations are placing a strong emphasis on creating a satisfactory customer experience, while others should make greater effort to improve. For example, the low-scoring investment segment had a 40-point difference between the organization with the highest score (82) and that with the lowest score (42), an extremely large difference that emphasizes the importance of creating a positive customer engagement to remain competitive. Some companies are well-loved for the online experiences they provide, while others are strongly disliked.

Likelihood to Recommend and Return

As a pioneer in customer experience analytics, ForeSee’s technology is founded on a scientific methodology that has demonstrated a strong relationship between customer satisfaction and a company’s financial future. When customer satisfaction is scientifically measured, it can be used to predict key outcomes such as future purchase, recommendations and loyalty.

“Our readers turn to us for valuable information to help inform their financial decision-making, so it is essential to understand which features and content are most valuable to them when engaging on our website,” said Bruce Rogers, Forbes’ chief insights officer. “The insights we receive from ForeSee’s web measure has been crucial to pinpointing issues and identifying potential solutions, which has ultimately led to a seamless and highly satisfactory experience for our readers.”

ForeSee’s benchmark provides insights into the value of a highly satisfied customer (those who rated their satisfaction at 80 or higher) by comparing their likely future behaviors to those of less-satisfied customers (with satisfaction below 70). This comparison illustrates the impact that customer satisfaction with online experiences can have on a company’s future success.

Based on likelihood scores, highly satisfied customers report being more likely to recommend the company to a friend, family member or colleague, which means more business and increased loyalty.

Across all industry segments, highly satisfied customers are more likely to recommend than less-satisfied customers:
* Banking customers are 120 percent more likely to recommend.
* Credit union customers are 92 percent more likely to recommend.
* Investment customers are 139 percent more likely to recommend.
* Lending customers are 126 percent more likely to recommend.
* Customers of miscellaneous financial companies are 96 percent more likely to recommend.

Additionally, highly satisfied customers are much more likely than less-satisfied customers to use again, resulting in higher frequency of interaction, improved engagement and increased share of mind and wallet.

Broken down by the industry segments above, highly satisfied customers are more likely to use the website in the future:
* Banking customers are 38 percent more likely to use again.
* Credit Union customers are 29 percent more likely to use again.
* Investment customers are 56 percent more likely to use again.
* Lending customers are 52 percent more likely to use again.
* Customers of miscellaneous financial companies are 56 percent more likely to use again.

Additionally, three financial industry segments were measured to calculate customers’ “likelihood to use more services,” which is a key marker for future growth and long-term satisfaction:
* Highly satisfied banking customers are 68 percent more likely than less-satisfied customers to use more products/services in the future.
* Credit Union customers are 75 percent more likely than less-satisfied customers to use more products/services in the future.
* Investment customers are 67 percent more likely than less-satisfied customers to use more products/services in the future.

Mobile

ForeSee also benchmarked satisfaction with mobile financial sites and applications, which scored on the high end of the spectrum compared to customer satisfaction with websites. The average customer satisfaction with mobile financial websites and applications is at 82, a superior score that shows customers generally are highly satisfied with financial mobile sites. Additionally, highly satisfied mobile users are 41 percent more likely than less-satisfied users to recommend to a friend, family member or colleague and are 78 percent more likely to use again.

“Today’s banking consumers are becoming increasingly mobile, and this shift brings higher expectations for more convenient and easily accessible mobile service offerings from their banks, credit unions and investment firms,” said Eric Feinberg, ForeSee’s senior director of mobile, media and entertainment. “Leaders in the financial industry are getting a leg up by measuring their customers’ satisfaction on mobile platforms and making necessary changes, which is essential to serving as a valuable and trusted partner.”

As a pioneer in customer experience analytics, ForeSee continuously measures satisfaction across customer touch points and delivers critical insights on where to prioritize improvements for maximum impact. Because ForeSee’s superior technology and proven methodology connect the customer experience to the bottom line, executives and managers are able to drive future success by confidently optimizing the efforts that will achieve business and brand objectives. The result is better business for companies and a better experience for consumers. Visit us at www.foresee.com for customer experience solutions and original research.

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