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Recently Published Articles

Title: Experience of insurance claimants consumer research report
(Our research appearing on fca.org.uk)
Author: Frances Green - Financial Services Research Director
Publication: FCA
Date: May 2014

Introduction:
Harris Interactive was commissioned to undertake a programme of consumer research to inform the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) thematic review of insurers’ management of claims. This research aimed to understand the expectations of consumers when making a claim, and measure experience and satisfaction with claims handling across the insurers involved in the thematic review.

Overall, almost two-thirds of all claimants were satisfied with the handling of their claim. However, satisfaction was strongly linked to the outcome of the claim with 82% of successful claimants satisfied (85% of those who were fully successful) compared with 23% of those whose claim was rejected and 56% of respondents who had withdrawn their claim. Conversely 41% of rejected claimants were very dissatisfied compared with 6% of successful claimants. Read the full report for more...


Title:  Study into the Sales of Add-on General Insurance Products
(Our research appearing on fca.org.uk)
Author: Frances Green - Financial Services Research Director
Publication: FCA
Date: March 2014

Introduction: 
Towards the end of 2012, the then FSA initiated a competition market study looking into general insurance (GI) products which are sold as add-ons. These are classified as insurance products which are sold alongside other larger purchases, for example cars, holidays, insurance products such as motor / home and electronic equipment.

The objective of the study was to analyse the effectiveness of competition in the add-on GI markets and identify reasons why competition might be ineffective. As part of the overall programme for the study, the FCA commissioned Harris Interactive to undertake quantitative research to investigate consumer behaviours which are important for driving competition in the market, compare the experiences of add-on and standalone purchasers, and to verify the extent to which the findings from an earlier phase of qualitative research held true in the wider population.


 

Title:  The SocialLife of Finance: How Financial Services can use social media to their advantage - (Our article on Global Banking and Finance Review)
Author: Frances Green - Financial Services Research Director
Publication: Global Banking and Finance Review
Date: August 2013

Introduction: 
Financial Services Research Director - Frances Green - explores why, like all businesses, financial services companies need to harness the great power of social media in order to enhance customer service, manage their reputation and obtain a competitive advantage.

Social media provides the opportunity to improve the flow of information between a company and its customers and prospects. Companies can use it to answer customers’ queries, resolve service issues, listen to feedback via forums and online chats, and respond to negative comments. Social media also can be used proactively to understand needs, educate, inspire and target groups of interest.


 

Title: Creating a New Order (Our article on Global Banking and Finance Review)
Author: Philip Brooks - Senior Associate Director - Financial Services Research
Publication: Global Banking and Finance Review
Date: June 2013

Introduction: 
Philip Brooks discusses how banks must now position themselves emotionally and ethically rather than rationally, to appeal to a market of distrust and indifference.

When some of the UK banks aggressively raised their unauthorised overdraft charges by approximately 50% back in 2005 (i), who could have known where it would lead? Although the banks won their case in the Supreme Court, the ruling still left open a number of questions around the transparency of charges and fees, (‘free banking’) as well as switching.

Since then, the UK has suffered the financial crisis and endured an Independent Commission on banking, whose recommendations included a 7-day switching service and greater transparency of fees and charges.  


 

Title: If Gandhi was a banker (pdf copy of the original article - 120kb)
Author: Philip Brooks - Senior Associate Director - Financial Services Research
Publication: Chartered Banker
Date: August 2012

Introduction:
As retail banks try to re-engage customers and restore their faith, says Philip Brooks, they could do worse than take their inspiration from the legendary Mahatma Gandhi.

“A customer,” that legendary Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi once taught, “is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us an opportunity to do so.”  We could do worse, it seems to me, than take inspiration from Gandhi’s words as we try to re-engage customers and restore their faith in the banking sector.


 

Title: No! Not yet! (pdf copy of the original article - 300kb)
Author: Frances Green - Financial Services Research Director
Publication: Argent: Journal of the Financial Services Forum
Date: July 2012

Introduction:
The mutuals score high on all the coventional measures of customer satisfaction reports Frances Green, But, she warns, 'it's too soon for them to start cracking open the champagne'.

A number of studies indicate that mutuals are perceived as offering better customer service than other financial services providers. More recent research, commissioned by the Building Societies Assocation (BSA), confirms that mutuals do provide better service and have more satisfied customers than banks. Some of the interesting statistics thrown up by the study show that for building societies, 71% of savers were ‘very’ or ‘extremely satisfied’ compared to 56% of people saving with other financial institutions, and the figures were similar for mortgage customers. So, what is important to consumers when selecting a financial service? 

 

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