Ideas & musings about consumer behaviour

The inconsistency of financial services in the digital space

Banking target

Digital Sales Effectiveness benchmark research conducted across credit cards, home loans, personal loans, savings accounts and transactions accounts reveals how differently financial service providers handle and present each of the products they offer. The benchmark follows the customers’ journey, across key brands in the financial services sector, from their initial engagement with the website, when they are locating and considering the products, through to completing the application form.

Within the typical customer journey there is the consideration phase which is made up of four stages, followed by the action phase, made up of two stages:

  • Initial Engagement – where a prospective customer is introduced to the website
  • Introducing Options – process of locating the product options
  • Evaluating Options – considering and comparing the products on offer
  • Facilitating Decisions – making a final selection on which product to choose

  • Channel Selection – choosing how and where to apply for the product
  • Application Form – process of applying for the product online

In looking at the consideration phase across each of the financial services products, home loans was the worst performing product in the first three stages, but came through as the best performer in the fourth stage. In contrast, personal loans was the lead performer with initial engagement and introduction to the products, but then takes a steep dive to end the consideration phase below all of the other products. Whilst this is the industry view across the products, each of the brands captured within the benchmark hold their own individual strengths and weaknesses.

financial services customer journey

It is clear from the above graph where the focus tends to lie within financial service websites. Homepages are largely driven towards the promotion of credit cards, savings accounts and personal loans. The more complex product, home loans, is not promoted quite as enthusiastically. It’s not until consumers get into the nitty gritty of the home loan details do they begin to see a better experience than when they’re at the same stage of research for credit cards, savings/transactions accounts and personal loans.

Given that on average across the financial services industry, 15% of customers would leave a website if they encountered a problem, this leads to the possibility of a lot of bouncing between brands in order to not only find the best product offer, but also a positive website experience, which incidentally is one of the top reasons for shortlisting a brand in their decision making.

Considering many brands within the financial services industry offer two or more of these key products, there’s a lot that they can learn by assessing the highs and lows of each products’ customer experience journey and in turn lessen the risk of losing out to competitors.

Want more information?

Download our latest home loans report for a closer look at why this particular banking product falls short

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View our webinar to see the good, the bad and the opportunities for the financial services industry

Research completed by Global Reviews in November 2014. © 2014 Global Reviews

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