Tuesday, January 30, 2007; 05:17 AM
A new report released today by Change Sciences Group looks at how banks
are doing when it comes to meeting the needs of small business
prospects online. Increasingly banks are learning that providing state
of the art online services to businesses equals both lower servicing
costs and more satisfied customers.
To jump to details on the report visit:
"It's a win-win for banks and customers if the online services are easy to use, informative and convenient," said Steve Ellis, a Change Sciences Partner.
Most leading banks are working hard to improve their services to small business customers. More than 73% of the sites had at least a partial change to their small business web presence since Q2 2006 when the research was last conducted.
Yet performing on a par with the best sites is a target that continues to elude most of the top 40 national and regional banks. The best site is more than four times easier to use and more informative than the worst site, according to the research, and more than two and a half times better than the average.
Most banks can improve their sites in a number of critical ways:
-- Of those banks that offer online applications, all but four exhibit well-understood usability problems.
-- Of those banks that offer automated product suggestion tools, only three make suggestions persuasively.
-- Only a little over 10% of the banks reviewed provide a first impression that addresses all of the immediate questions small business prospects have.
-- Although most sites provide a way to compare deposit accounts, only two sites answer all the questions small business prospects have on the comparison page. This is one less than last review.
-- Only 22% of the banks make it easy to learn about and provide compelling content on business services other than deposit accounts.
-- Only one bank makes it truly easy for the online prospect to switch to its services through its web site.
-- 70% of the banks reviewed miss opportunities to send key messages about the value of online banking -- a key small business service.
The three best sites overall are:
1. Wells Fargo
2. National City
Other bank web sites covered in the report include: Associated Bank, Bank of America, BB&T, Chase, Citizens Bank, Colonial Bank, Comerica, Commerce Bancshares, Compass Bank, Fifth Third Bank, First Citizens Bank, First Horizon, FirstMerit, Frost Bank, Huntington, Key Bank, LaSalle Bank, M&T Bank, Marshall & Ilsley, NetBank, PNC, RBC Centura, Regions, Royal Bank of Canada, Royal Bank of Scotland, Sky, Sovereign Bank, SunTrust, Synovus, TD Banknorth, US Bank, Wachovia, Washington Mutual, and Zions Bank.
For the complete site ranking, sample data, and report table of contents visit:
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