SAN MATEO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Keynote® (KEYN), the global leader in Internet and mobile cloud testing and monitoring, today announced the results of a new study examining the business effectiveness of U.S. retail bank marketing websites. In the latest Keynote web banking study, BB&T took first place for Overall Customer Experience for the second year in a row, while Citibank scored highest for Responsiveness (Speed) and U.S. Bank took first for Reliability. The entire study is available for immediate purchase. To request more information please visit: http://bit.ly/BankingStudy.
The study was conducted by the Competitive Research group within Keynote. Winners of Keynote Competitive Research studies are eligible for Keynote’s Online Excellence Program which recognizes the "best of the best" websites as ranked in the studies. The rankings are based on responses from real users, who access websites in their normal settings and are asked to perform tasks on each of the sites studied, as well as real data collected through Keynote website monitoring to assess the technical quality of the sites. For each study, Keynote recognizes the companies with the overall top ranking, as well as those exhibiting excellence in specific categories.
According to a recent study from industry research group Novantas LLC, the most common types of in-branch banking transactions, from opening bank accounts to making deposits and resolving problems, have been declining steadily every year since 2006. Some analysts are even predicting as much as a 50% reduction in the number of U.S. branches by end of decade. With such a precipitous decline in the number of in-person customer transactions and interactions, the already important goal of providing great online customer experience will become paramount as more and more transactions occur online. With this background, Keynote’s 2013 study of the business and technical effectiveness of the websites of 10 of the top U.S. retail banks should hold added significance for all those in the banking industry charged with ensuring the health and vibrancy of their online offerings.
For the ‘Customer Experience’ portion of the study, Keynote conducted online user testing sessions with 2,000 prospective customers (200 per site) from across the United States as each interacted with the website of one of 10 retail banking websites: Bank of America, BB&T, Chase, Citibank, PNC, Regions, SunTrust, TD Bank, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo.
Keynote Competitive Research produces leading industry research using the company’s commercially available Web performance monitoring and real user experience testing products. Keynote regularly evaluates the current state of online customer experience, technical quality (responsiveness/reliability) and implementation of best practices on leading websites across a wide variety of vertical markets including financial services, automotive, media/entertainment, retail, travel and technology. For the ‘Customer Experience’ component of the study, Keynote sent 200 U.S. resident Internet users to each of the 10 banking websites. Panelists were invited to evaluate a banking site where they are not a current customer.
The online panelists were asked to evaluate the site’s home page and think about how helpful the home page was for understanding what they are able to do on the site, as well as which specific aspects of the home page were helpful and/or appealing. Panelists were then asked to use the site to find a checking or savings account that might suit their needs. Next, panelists were asked to proceed through the process of opening that account on the site, going as far as possible in the process without actually submitting the application. Finally, participants were asked to spend a few minutes trying to answer a question they might have about the bank’s online banking services, fees, branch location, support hours or other services or policies that may influence their decision to open an account with the bank.
The study revealed that when tested by actual consumers BB&T’s website (www.bbt.com) offered the strongest Overall Customer Experience, finishing first across the board in the Brand Impact, Acquisition, Online Adoption and Customer Satisfaction categories. Other key findings include:
- Design & Organization continues to be the most important aspect of the customer experience, predicting Brand Perceptions and Customer Acquisition;
- Customer Support and Privacy & Security continued to increase in importance in 2013;
- Offering Interest and Other Financial Accounts Interest declined slightly in importance;
- Ease of Opening Account, Ease of Finding Account, and Site Performance remain influential drivers.
“Just as you wouldn’t want to do your in-person banking in a dingy, cramped and cluttered physical space, our quantitative analysis revealed that when actual users visited the banking sites in our study, having a well-designed and logically organized site continues to be the most important predictor of a positive customer experience. Similarly, providing good customer support along with the level of interest in the bank’s offerings (i.e., satisfaction with the available accounts including fees, minimum balance requirements, interest rates, etc.) and ease of opening an account online, were also very important to our panel of testers,” said Ben Rushlo, senior director of performance management at Keynote. “In the Technical Quality portion of the study,” Rushlo continued, “U.S. Bank showed extremely good uptime, averaging 99.9 percent, which for a banking transaction that includes authentication is extremely hard to do. The variation in average load time was also surprising, with the top-performing sites showing average page download times of less than two seconds and the lower tier of sites showing average page load times of more than three seconds. Such a wide gap in response times is surprising for an industry that has been and continues to be rightly focused on providing their customers with high performing websites.”
More Information about the Technical Quality Rankings in the 2013 Bank Marketing Study
In addition to evaluating customer experience with its panel of actual users, the Keynote study also examined two broad aspects of technical quality: responsiveness and reliability. Responsiveness comprises: high speed response, DSL (midband) response, response time consistency, geographic uniformity and load handling, while reliability is comprised of availability and outages.
For the ‘Technical Quality’ portion of the study, using measurement computers located in 12 locations across the US, Keynote measured a typical transaction of searching for, researching and applying for a bank account online. Each measured transaction began at the site’s Home Page then followed the process of searching for, selecting and applying for an account on the bank’s site. Based on the thousands of transactions monitored over the course of the study, U.S. Bank ranked first for Reliability, while Citibank ranked first for Responsiveness (Speed).
In order to collect the Technical Quality data Keynote used its Transaction Perspective® product, the leading real browser-based service for measuring and monitoring website performance from the end user perspective. With Keynote Transaction Perspective the company examines website performance from multiple geographic locations by simulating users clicking through transactions on a website. Keynote collected approximately 6,000 data points that detailed each of the sites’ technical performance in terms of page responsiveness and reliability.
The study is available for purchase from Keynote and comes with extensive analysis of brand impact and acquisition impact and the customer experiences driving sites’ performance in these areas. Clients will receive an executive presentation, extensive back-up charts and illustrations, and online access to all clickstreams, verbatims, question responses and panel facts for all panelists at all sites for all tasks and can download and use this data in their own research. To inquire about a copy view: http://bit.ly/BankingStudy.
Keynote® (KEYN) is the global leader in Internet and mobile cloud testing & monitoring. The company maintains the world’s largest on-demand performance monitoring and testing infrastructure for Web and mobile sites comprised of over 7,000 measurement computers and mobile devices in over 275 locations around the world that enable companies to continuously improve the online and mobile experience. Keynote currently collects over 700 million mobile and Web performance measurements daily and in 2012 was recognized by Forbes as “One of the Best 100 Companies in America” with under one billion in revenue. Known as ‘The Mobile and Internet Performance Authority™,’ Keynote offers three market-leading product platforms:
Keynote Perspective® provides on-demand performance monitoring for enterprise Web and mobile sites including online portals, e-commerce sites and B2B sites. Over 2,000 customers rely on Keynote Perspective services to know precisely how their websites, content, and applications perform on actual browsers, networks, and mobile devices.
Keynote DeviceAnywhere® is the industry's leading cloud-based software platform for automated QA testing and monitoring of mobile applications and websites on real smartphones and tablets. DeviceAnywhere is used by over 1,000 mobile enterprises and developers to assure the highest quality experience of their connected mobile users.
Keynote SIGOS® offers active end-to-end Quality of Service (QoS) testing and monitoring solutions for mobile, fixed and VoIP communications. Its SITE and Global Roamer products are used by over 200 network operators, content providers, carriers and regulators in over 100 countries worldwide.
Keynote's 4,000 customers represent top Internet and mobile companies and include AT&T, Disney, eBay, E*TRADE, Expedia, Google, Microsoft, Sony Mobile Communications AB, T-Mobile and Vodafone. Keynote Systems, Inc. is headquartered in San Mateo, California and can be reached at http://www.keynote.com/ or by phone in the U.S. at 1-800-KEYNOTE (1-800-539-6683).
The trademarks or registered trademarks of Keynote Systems, Inc. in the United States and other countries include Keynote®, DataPulse®, Keynote Customer Experience Rankings®, Perspective®, Keynote Red Alert®, Keynote WebEffective®, The Internet Performance Authority®, MyKeynote®, SIGOS®, SITE®, keynote® The Mobile & Internet Performance Authority™, Keynote FlexUse®, Keynote DeviceAnywhere®, Keynote DeviceAnywhere Test Center®, Keynote DemoAnywhere® and Keynote MonitorAnywhere® All related trademarks, trade names, logos, characters, design and trade dress are trademarks or registered trademarks of Keynote Systems, Inc. in the United States and other countries and may not be used without written permission. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. © 2013 Keynote Systems, Inc.
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Dan Berkowitz, 650-403-3305