How is the financial services sector doing when it comes to implementing e-business practices and identifying e-business opportunities?
Andersen's Business Consulting practice has just released the results of "Today's eBusiness Mandate: Enhance Profitability Across the Enterprise," a study that evaluates the financial services industry's eBusiness effectiveness.
The verdict? Large strides have been made in the past year but customer expectations are rising.
The survey was conducted earlier this spring and targeted 150 asset management, banking, brokerage, insurance and lending firms.
The main findings include:
- Companies across the sector have made significant improvements in their effectiveness rating over the past year, frequently increasing their rating by 15% over last year's numbers.
- Companies with both a physical presence as well as a web presence are better leveraging the Web than their pure dot-com counterparts.
- Consumer expectations have risen, and the bar is continually being raised on companies to deliver enhancements to their web presence. Continual upgrades need to be the operational standard.
- Partnering with other best-of-breed service providers help companies build a one-stop shop to keep customers coming back for more.
- Company ability to provide instant service and product delivery falls far short of customer demand. Customers often become frustrated when they encounter "archaic" transactional procedures, especially since it has become so easy to purchase products like books and electronics over the web.
For financial services companies to succeed, Andersen recommends the following:
- "Make eBusiness an integrated part of a multi-channel delivery strategy. Online capabilities should complement other channels without sacrificing speed and simplicity. As customers interact with the organization across channels, they should be presented with a consistent customer experience.
- "Provide the same level of serviceâor betterâthat is offered through traditional channels by providing timely responses to online inquiries, a choice of service options that includes both online and offline channels, and online self-service capabilities leveraging new technologies such as wireless account access and electronic statement delivery.
- "Go beyond the basics to differentiate overall product offerings. For instance, consider providing âbest-of-breedâ product offerings to meet a broader range of customer needs and offering value-added services and tailored solutions. Employ process and policy changes, workflow automation, and systems integration to meet customer demand for instant product delivery."