Banks, Stores Top Online, Mobile Satisfaction


While connected consumers love their devices, most of the time, they’re unhappy with the experiences brands provide: A new study from Boston Consulting Group reports that only 30% of  their mobile and digital interactions are seen as “very satisfying.” Banks tend to score the highest, providing double the digital delight, while retailers generally provided an experience that was 40% better.

“We were really surprised at how well banks scored,” Dominic Field, a BCG partner and report coauthor, tells Marketing Daily. “But when we looked at the data, it makes perfect sense. It’s a category that, for many reasons, has had a lot of bad press. And people hated going to the bank and standing on lines. Banks have reengineered their brands by figuring out how to replace a painful process with a pleasant one.”

The worst-performing categories are government services, health care providers, telephone and cable companies. 

Categories that score well do so because “they’ve done a good job thinking about delivering end-to-end solutions, and they’ve done so across multiple platforms. You can carry the transaction from your computer to your phone to your tablet.”

Overall, researching purchases is still what’s most important to consumers, and most companies perform that function fairly well. “People want to find out information quickly, including prices and comparisons to other brands -- that’s simply table stakes. We believe the value is in building a relationship with customers after the purchase, by allowing them to share it with friends, for example, or following up with communications that are meaningful -- not spam.”

And categories where both expectation and satisfaction is low include real estate agencies, automobile dealers, and supermarkets. (Supermarkets provide a special window of opportunity, with online grocery sales expected to rise nearly 10% over the next five years, and companies like Amazon and Walmart moving into the online grocery business.)

The study was based on more than 3,100 “connected” respondents, who access the Internet at least weekly. It measured 16 business segments, using 17 separate drivers of online satisfaction, including getting information and comparing options, transacting business, the quality of ongoing interactions, and the perceived security of personal data.

Researchers also asked consumers how much they value digital access, trading Internet usage in the eight sectors for the opportunity to receive varying amounts of cash. On average, these connected consumers say they get $2,250 in value by accessing companies online -- a sum researchers estimate could nearly triple if all companies lived up to best-in-class standards.

“When it comes to mobile and tablets,” he says, “everyone is still in learning mode.”

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