Future Trends in Credit Card Customer Satisfaction

According to our 2012 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study released late last week, the competitive environment is stabilizing and credit card issuers are making substantial strides in improving areas that were previously problematic—particularly communication and problem resolution.  So, what comes next? How are customer expectations changing, and what are the implications for issuers? Where should issuers focus their efforts in the future?

1.  Digital channels and self-service

The shift to online use and away from phone and mail continues. Customers are performing more routine activities online, such as reward-related activities, and are contacting call centers less often with questions or requests and are beginning to seek answers via self-serve channels, such as online. In fact, data from our 2012 Credit Card Satisfaction Study indicates that customers are attempting to resolve problems on their own and are moving away from contacting the call center for simple problems, but contacting the call center to deal with more complex issues.

 

2012 J.D. Power and Associates U.S. Credit Card Custom Satisfaction Study©.  The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

In addition, 7% of customers indicate using a mobile device to interact with their credit card issuer, and 5% have used social media for service transactions.  Another emerging trend related to the increased use of digital channels for routine transactions and greater reliance on self-service tools is that the issues about which customers contact the call center are becoming increasingly complex. This has important implications for the role of the call center and the requirements for call center representatives.

THE POINT:  Not only will issuers need to continue to commit resources to online as the workhorse for routine transactions, but they will also need to simultaneously invest in and develop these emerging online channels since customers prefer this method of communication above all others.  Knowledgeable employees that are able handle complex problems are a necessity.

2.  Rewards and Communication

An examination of recent success in the market, as defined by the highest-performing issuers, American Express and Discover Card, and the most improved issuers, Chase and Barclaycard, shows that two drivers of advantage in the past—rewards programs and customer communications—will continue to provide an expanding competitive edge in the future. Continue reading ›

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