Although credit card satisfaction continues to improve, a large percentage of customers indicate they do not fully understand their card’s terms, benefits and rewards program, according to our J.D. Power 2013 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction StudySM released today.
Satisfaction in each factor has increased, as have ratings for Brand Image. However, it is important to note that opportunities for further improvements remain. Recommendations for additional focus areas for credit card issuers include:
Deepening customer awareness and understanding of terms, benefits, and rewards, potentially through proactive communication campaigns. Issuers should use consistent messages via all available channels to deepen understanding and awareness of offerings.
Continuing to invest in functionality of self-service interaction channels. Given the continued shift toward digital interaction channels, customers areconsistently looking for advancements in technology. Therefore, websites need to be maintained and upgraded as necessary to ensure easy navigation and availability of clear and concise information. Mobile apps are becoming more widely used; thus, the focus on improving functionality will become increasingly important going forward. Finally, clear processes for handling customer questions/requests submitted via email or online chat must be developed. Issuers must provide the same level of service courtesy and knowledge that is delivered through personal channels, such as the branch and call center.
Maintaining focus on delivering a high level of service during every interaction, given the importance of call center. Although customer contact via this channel is infrequent, every interaction carries a larger weight in overall satisfaction compared to the other interaction methods. Issuers must implement a customer experience framework that addresses customers’ needs and expectations by focusing on employee recruitment, training, coaching, and recognition in order to achieve the desired experience levels.
Preventing problems, as well as eliminating barriers for resolution. Analysis of problem data and determination of problem root causes may help banks adjust policies and procedures.
The 2013 Credit Card Satisfaction Study includes responses from more than 14,000 credit card customers and was fielded from May through June 2013
From our J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Credit Card Website Evaulation Study, the following viewing account history best practices highlight some of the exceptional techniques utilized by credit card issuer websites.
1. Recent Activity Link
Chase and Discover Card offer a link to recent activity from the website’s landing page
2. Offer Multiple Formats for Statements
Discover Card allows customers to download statements in multiple formats. Citi Cards offers customers navigation links from the log in field on the home page
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From our J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Credit Card Website Evaulation Study, the following account log in best practices highlight some of the exceptional techniques utilized by credit card issuer websites.
1. Offer Prominent Log-in Fields
Citi Cards and Chase use color and shading to draw attention to log-in fields
2. Streamline Navigation
Citi Cards offers customers navigation links from the log in field on the home page
The proportion of credit card customers who use online channels to perform basic tasks continues to increase, with those who use a smartphone or tablet preferring different experiences from those who use a computer, according to our J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Credit Card Website Evaluation StudySM (CCWES) released today.
The inaugural study examines the usefulness of credit card company websites across six attributes (in order of importance) utilized in our J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction StudySM:
- Speed of completing desired activity
- Appearance of website
- Ease of navigating the website
- Ranges of service that can be performed online
- Usefulness of information provided via the website
- Clarity of information provided
During the past three years, credit card customers’ usage rates for self-service interaction (online and mobile) with their card issuer have increased, while usage rates of all other channels, such as mail and live and automated phone calls, have decreased.
Most notably, 78 percent of credit card customers use their computer to go online and interact with their issuer in 2012, compared with 76 percent in 2011 and 75 percent in 2010. Mobile phone usage has increased to 7 percent in 2012, compared with 4 percent in both 2011 and 2010.
Questions? For more information about this study, please contact Holly Zagresky at 248-680-6319 or Holly_Zagresky@jdpa.com.
As appeared in The Financial Brand on September 11, 2012. The Financial Brand, written and published by Jeffry Pilcher, is an online publication focusing on issues and advice that affect bank and credit union brands.
Customers are happier now that credit card companies are making less changes to the ways their programs are structured.
Credit card customers say they are more satisfied this year, according to the US Credit Card Satisfaction Study from JD Power & Associates. The reason why? Nothing changed. Credit card companies have stopped tinkering with rates, fees and rewards programs, which has come as welcome relief to customers who have come to dread the onslaught of surprise changes.
(2012 J.D. Power and Associates U.S. Credit Card Custom Satisfaction Study©. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.)
Do you know about our inaugural J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Credit Card Website Evaluation Study? We’ll publish it on October 4th, and we’re excited to share some of the research details with you!
The websites of credit card issuers serve as a major portal for customers to service their accounts and obtain information throughout their relationship with the credit card company. This study provides an analysis of cardholders’ perceptions of their issuer’s website and explores the correlation between website usability and customer loyalty and advocacy.
We invite you to join us for a complimentary webcast during which attendees will learn how the insights gleaned from the study may help credit card issuers to:
- Increase website effectiveness
- Create websites that excel in content, appearance, navigation, and speed
- Estimate return on investment for proposed site changes and enhancements
- Compare competitive site features across multiple industries
Complementary Webcast Details:
Date: Tuesday, September 25 - 2:00 PM EST
For more information, please contact: Holly Zagresky at Holly_Zagresky@jdpa.com
Rewards is a primary driver of switching and selection in the credit card industry. This is especially true among Transactors,(1) who cite rewards as the primary reason for selecting their primary card, as well as the primary reason for leaving their previous credit card issuer. Notably, rewards has also become an important driver of selection and defection among Revolvers.(2)
According to the 2012 J.D. Power and Associates US Credit Card Satisfaction Study, during the past 3 years, the percentage of Revolvers who have shopped for a better rewards program has increased (27% vs. 25% in 2011 and 23% in 2010). Rewards programs are now the second-most-important reason why Revolvers have switched credit card issuers in 2012, behind only a low APR, which is down to 28% from 43% in 2010. As with switching, selection is also driven by rewards, as the rewards program is the primary reason Transactors selected their new card (72%) and the second-most-important reason Revolvers selected (33%), following a lower APR (37%).
So yes, rewards programs are rewarding for both customers and issuers! In fact, overall satisfaction is significantly higher among customers who have a rewards program than among those who do not have a rewards program (770 vs. 700, respectively). More importantly, rewards programs have a positive impact on customer advocacy and retention, as customers with rewards are considerably more likely to say they “definitely will” recommend their credit card issuer, compared to those without a rewards program (30% vs. 18%, respectively), and are considerably less likely to switch primary credit card issuers (31% vs. 23% “definitely will not” switch).
Rewards programs also have a positive impact on both customer spend and usage. On average, customers with rewards programs spend in excess of three times more per month on their primary card and conduct nearly three times the number of transactions per month than do those without a rewards programs.
2012 J.D. Power and Associates U.S. Credit Card Custom Satisfaction Study©. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Make sure they Understand the program
Not clearly communicating a card’s rewards program may have a larger detrimental impact on satisfaction vs. not offering a rewards program at all. Satisfaction is lower among customers who say they do “not at all” understand how rewards are earned than among those who do not have a rewards program associated with their card. Moreover, satisfaction among customers who either “partially” or do “not at all” understand how to redeem rewards is lower than among those without a rewards program (692 vs. 700, respectively). Consequently, it is critical that customers are aware of how rewards are earned and even more critical that they understand how rewards are redeemed. ©
The Bottom Line:
- Rewards during the past 3 years has become a main driver of selection and satisfaction among Revolvers, who historically have selected cards based on APR.
- The root cause of reward dissatisfaction is a lack of clarity regarding what rewards can be earned…..which is driven by vague and confusing messaging on billing statements and online Web portals.
- Keep rewards programs simple, display rewards earned, provide information on reward promotions and special offers; and implement and/or promote rewards tracking tools via the Web portal.
- When there are different rates at which rewards are accumulated based on purchase categories, clearly communicate them to customers via billing statements, website, and email.
FOR MORE INFO regarding our 2012 US Credit Card Customer Satisfaction Study, please contact Holly Zagresky at (248) 680-6319 or via email at Holly_Zagresky@jdpa.com
1 Transactors are customers who always or usually pay their entire credit card balance each month.
2 Revolvers are customers who typically pay less than their total monthly balance.