21 June 2018

Devil's Advocate

Roger Elwell - Yes Please

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Innovation in Financial Services

Innovation in Financial Services

A discussion of trends in innovation management within financial institutions, and the key processes, technology and cultural shifts driving innovation.

How Not To Sell Online...

13 July 2009  |  3294 views  |  1

I was reviewing my investments this weekend, like you do.  Not that there’s much to review, especially after having been Gordoned over the last 12-18 months.  Anyway, I decided that one of my ISAs wasn’t performing very well, so, after having a good ferret around Trustnet, I settled on a replacement to switch to.  I chose one of Fidelity’s funds.

So far so good.  The problem emerged when I landed on their website.  Naturally, I was looking for a click-through to some pages where I could download an ISA switch form.  Nowhere to be found.   The home page had nothing easily identifiable as a link to any downloadable collateral, unlike many of the other investment houses.  I tried the ‘Products and Services’ link, as possibly the most likely.  Still nothing obvious.  Links to buying investments, the different types, and a link to ‘investment options’.  I clicked on that.  Still nothing there.  The link to ‘switching’ was about switching within Fidelity; nothing at all about how to download a document to fill in and send off.

Much more clicking around later, and the closest I got was a downloadable form that I couldn’t understand, that gave me no option to decide what fund to invest into, nor any section top fill in to show what fund/provider I wanted to transfer from.  Eventually, I gave up; life's too short and it was a Sunday...  If they can’t make it easy to get to a page that enables me to download a simple form that allows me to transfer a fund to them, then they don’t get the business.  The fund is moving elsewhere, to a fund provider that does do that.

Maybe it’s me that’s just got confused and there is a form somewhere on the site, though that’s not really the point, is it?  Everyone who lands on the site should surely be routed to a page where they can actually do one of the core activities in managing their investments – transfer an ISA?  Why can’t they have a home page with some easy links to these core activities?  Do they think through what visitors are likely to want, put it together and then ask a few to try out what they have designed?  It felt a bit like being on one of those IVRs that lead you through some interminable menus that leave you exasperated and eventually not where you wanted to be.

This is one sale they haven’t got, because the site is impenetrable for that particular activity.  How many more have they lost?


Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 13 July, 2009, 22:26

I don't think that difficulty is limited to online. AMP had great difficulty transferring an investment with several forms, faxes, phone calls and confirmations. That was before the crash. They were just like a shellshocked soldier, and I can only assume still so.

I wouldn't trust any of them with the tea money.

It is highly likely the (web) system is designed thus. It is difficult to believe they are that incompetent - isn't it?

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job title Consultant
location Colchester
member since 2008
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Consulting to the financial services industry with a specific expertise in the cards business - issuing and acquiring.

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