As Banks Suffer, So Does Online Customer Service

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New Report Ranks Bank Web Sites for Ease of Use and Informativeness

Bank marketing and customer service budgets have been hit hard with the financial meltdown. Customers are starting to feel the pinch. According to a new report released today by Change Sciences Group, bank web sites and their users are generally worse off than they were a year ago. Bank web sites are generally harder to use, less informative and less persuasive overall.

Bank home pages have improved to some degree. There are fewer instances of unprofessional design. Home pages are 14% more informative. But home pages have also become 21% less welcoming as more than a few have replaced inviting imagery with notices of takeovers and acquisitions.

Digging below the surface, it has become harder for consumers to get details about products banks offer. Product comparisons and product details are 12% less informative, harder to understand and harder to navigate. The number of annoyances users encounter opening an account online has increased by 10%.

"The savviest banks see the current market conditions as an opportunity to grow deposits and build long term customer relationships, despite budget contraction," said Steve Ellis, a Change Sciences partner.

For more details about the report, including the complete site rankings, more findings, sample data, and methodology visit:
http://www.changesciences.com/banking.

Bright spots overall are Bank of America and BB&T. Bank of America moved up three places to the top position, and BB&T from 6th to 3rd overall.

Other banks covered in the report include: Capital One, Chase, Citibank, Citizens Bank, Fifth Third Bank, HSBC, ING DIRECT, National City, PNC, Regions, SunTrust, US Bank, Wachovia, Washington Mutual, and Wells Fargo.

Change Sciences has been tracking bank web site progress for more than four years.

About Change Sciences Group
Change Sciences was founded in January 2000 to help business, government and non-profit organizations match web development to user needs. Clients include some of the world's most innovative organizations, including the United States Department of Agriculture and Bank of America.

Contact:
Rhonda Mills
Change Sciences Group, Inc.
888-864-1160 x731
http://www.changesciences.com

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