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Building society sector blighted by poor online experience

29 May 2014  |  4693 views  |  0 Bank Branch Desk with Customer

A failure to keep up with changing technology trends could cost UK building societies more than just their customer-friendly credentials warns a report by consultancy Transform.

Analysis of the online CX of all 53 building societies in the UK by Transform found that less than half (47%) enabled customers to purchase products online and many are struggling to get the basics right.

Online search tools are delivering poor results for the majority of building society websites (80%), says the consultancy, pointing to one case in which the top result for the search term 'savings' was about the proximity of airport parking to the society's head office. And although smartphone penetration is at almost 75% in the UK, only 15% have optimised their websites for mobile.

Johan Hogsander, deputy MD at Transform UK, comments: "Building societies were effectively the Kickstarter of their day; pooling finance for working people to access property. However a lack of digital innovation is creating a divide between society and customer and consumers are having to interact with websites that deliver poor search results, limited product availability and aren't optimised for mobile."

The top three performers in the study were Nationwide (16/22), Yorkshire (14/22) and Saffron (14/22).

The Saffron Building Society is around 190 times smaller (in terms of total assets) than Nationwide, points out Hogsander, demonstrating that good, customer-centred digital performance does not require corporate scale.

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