Britain’s most powerful credit card brand
Barclaycard was the most powerful credit card brand in the UK in 2007 beating Capital One into second spot
This is according to the Issuer Brand Index (IBI) monitored in Cardbeat, a syndicated market research tracking study run by the Auriemma Consulting Group (ACG). This study considers the strength of the brand to be driven by a combination of card ownership and usage, perceived brand quality, brand awareness, and general brand characteristics. The study evaluates the strength of 17 top UK credit card brands.
Highlights from the study include:
* Barclaycard is the most powerful UK card issuer brand beating Capital One into second spot. Its top position came as a result of having the highest brand awareness and second highest card usage ratings. Wide card ownership also contributed to Barclaycard capturing the number one spot.
* Lloyds TSB’s customers have higher outstanding balances and use their card more for purchases than any other brand
* Marks and Spencer’s card brand holds the top spot driven by high perceived quality and general brand characteristics but languishes at number 11 spot in the research due to its low card usage and moderate brand awareness.
* Egg’s card brand was at number 3 in terms of general brand characteristics, just behind the Co-op and Marks & Spencer’s card brand. It will be interesting to see if it has been adversely affected by the negative publicity following its “sacking” of unprofitable customers earlier this year, when the next study is carried out.
* MBNA and Barclaycard’s card brands are joint first in card ownership market share but with a marked difference in usage and brand awareness.
* The least widely held card brand tracked in the study was issued by the Post Office.
Matt Simester, Director at Auriemma Consulting Group commented, ‘as the credit crunch continues to dominate the consumer agenda, a powerful brand is critical to maintaining high quality recruitment and retention. While consumers with a poor credit history will find it hard to move issuer, those with stronger credit histories will demand better quality propositions from their current provider. Pressure to reduce costs of servicing, higher average APRs and lower investment into marketing may also impact perceived brand quality this year. I anticipate that there will be a different set of winners and losers at the end of 2008.’
Methodology and detailed results
The Issuer Brand Index is designed to capture brand strength of top UK card issuers in 4 separate categories:
Card Usage – Captures share of usage in terms of spending volume and reported outstanding balances
Brand Awareness – Represents familiarity with the issuer’s brand name
Quality – The perceived quality of the product and customer service provided
Brand Characteristics – perceptions of the brand by both existing customers and non-owners
Issuer Brand Index: Top Ten Overall Ranking:
2. Capital One
4. Lloyds TSB
7. American Express
10. Co-operative Bank
Companies lacking customer experience management
How good was your customer experience the last time you made a purchase. Would you go back to the same store, company or website. Did you complete the transaction feeling satisfied and valued?
A new study by Ventana Research has found that around the world, companies are managing the purchasing experience of their customers extremely badly, not least because they don’t have the management capabilities to do so.
Only 12% of organizations for example, in the global survey of over 250 companies, were found to be mature in their focus on ensuring the optimal customer experience.
So what exactly does this mean?
“Reinvigorating efforts to manage customer experience is absolutely essential in today’s highly competitive business environment, and doing so requires a laser-sharp focus on the customer and all his or her interactions,” explained Richard Snow, Ventana Research’s VP of customer performance management research. “The research found that many organizations have yet to invest in new processes and in technology that can help improve customer interactions and provide information employees can use to fine-tune customer behavior.”
On the surface, the research results show a high degree of understanding of the customer experience management as a serious business strategy with more than half the participants identifying the term as the process of improving customer interactions and a quarter recognizing it as a strategy for influencing customer behavior.
But Ventana argues that its study shows that while companies are aware of the positive impact that customer experience management can have on business outcomes, also shows that most companies have yet to properly implement the basic processes and technologies that can help them begin to realize the benefits of CEM.
Paul White, director, ciboodle a CEM software company that sponsored the research said. “These observations are in keeping with our experience in the market, although we are seeing a change as companies are increasingly looking for process-based solutions to their customer service challenges.”
In the study, key themes emerged around multiple channels, the single customer view and the agent desktop:
The Ventana study found that nearly all interactions occur through a customer service agent in a call center or through the Web, and the research shows that customers are less than satisfied with the results of their calls, and few participants reported that issues usually are resolved during the first call.
Despite the growing prevalence of multi-channel customer service amongst the organizations surveyed, less than a quarter of organizations record handoffs between communication channels, and only about two-thirds are capable of tracking interactions across channels.
“As companies transition to a multi-channel environment, it is vital that they establish and maintain consistency across channels,” said White. “This report shows that a third of companies out there are not currently able to do this – they will need to address this as more channels come into play.”
Single customer view
Creating a single, comprehensive (or 360-degree) view of the customer is an objective that companies have talked about for many years. Yet the Ventana study shows that it remains a dream for most organizations, barely a third companies reported that they have currently achieved this.
“The industry is definitely waking up to the fact that achieving a single customer view is a highly desirable goal,” said White. “Standard Bank of South Africa was recently voted the CRM Excellence Award winner by delegates at Gartner’s CRM Summit in London, and a significant part of that project was the consolidation of 14 desktop applications into one.”
More than one-third of the organizations participating in the research said they intend to upgrade the desktop technology on which agents rely in the next 12 months.
“The typical agent desktop is a significant point of concern for both agents and customers,” said White. “We find that agent applications often lack the depth of information, simplicity and context needed to effectively handle customer interactions and deliver an experience that meets customers’ expectations.”
Only about one-third of respondents said their current desktop provides agents with relevant information that depends on the caller’s profile and circumstances.
Download the full sponsor report at: www.ciboodle.com/ventanacemresearch