Don’t bank on internet service, research finds

24 Aug 2007

Bank customers in the UK are finding it easier to call their bank than to use the net to find out basic information, a new survey has found.

According to research from e-service provider Transversal, only 50pc of routine questions asked online are answered satisfactorily. Most websites are relying on static and complex FAQ pages rather than interacting with customers, Transversal said.

Some 30pc of bank websites fail to provide adequate answers to more than two out of 10 product and service questions. Some 30pc of sites still don’t offer the facility to email questions and of those that did the average reply time was 30 hours. Even then only three out of 10 emailed responses answered the question satisfactorily, necessitating the customer phone a call centre for more information.

“Banks have invested heavily in the internet channel but our research shows that in the majority of cases it is very much the poor relation when it comes to customer service,” commented Davin Yap, CEO of Transversal.

“While previously online customers have had to cope with a lack of information we’re now seeing more content but this makes finding the right answer as difficult as looking for a needle in a haystack. With the advent of Web 2.0 providing the ability to deliver a personalised service and improved interaction banks need to wake up to the changing needs of their customers or suffer the consequences as they shift accounts.”

By Niall Byrne