December 2 , 2010
Extensive survey reveals best of Canada’s banking web sites
SAN MATEO--Keynote Competitive Research, the industry research group of Keynote® Systems (Nasdaq:KEYN), today announced the results of its 2nd Annual Keynote Competitive Research Industry Study for Canadian Banking Prospects. In the 2010 Canadian Banking Prospects study President’s Choice Financial took first place for Best Overall Customer Experience and TD Canada Trust came in first for Best Overall Technical Quality. The entire study is available for immediate purchase by visiting online: http://bit.ly/cq3XhN.
Winners of Keynote Competitive Research studies are invited to participate in the company’s Online Excellence Program which recognizes the "best of the best" Web sites as ranked in the studies. The rankings are based on responses from real users, who were observed as they accomplished tasks on each of the sites studied, as well as real data collected through Keynote Web site monitoring to assess the technical quality of the sites. For each study, Keynote recognizes the companies with the overall top ranking, as well as those exhibiting excellence in specific categories.
For the ‘Customer Experience’ portion of the study, Keynote observed and interviewed 1,750 prospective banking customers as they interacted with the Web sites of a total of seven leading Canadian banks: BMO Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, President’s Choice Financial, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank, and TD Canada Trust. For the ‘Technical Quality’ portion of the study, Keynote performed 2,000 instances of a representative banking transaction on each site, for a total of 14,000 transactions, from 4 cities in Canada: Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.
Keynote Competitive Research produces leading industry research using the company’s commercially available Web performance monitoring products. Keynote regularly evaluates the current state of online customer experience, technical quality (responsiveness/reliability) and implementation of best practices on leading Web sites across a wide variety of vertical markets including financial services, automotive, media/entertainment, retail, travel, and technology.
For the customer experience component of the study, Keynote sent 250 online users to each bank’s Web site, each a Canadian adult not already a customer of that bank. The users viewed the homepage, looked for a chequing or other deposit account, started the process of opening the account online, learned about the bank’s commitment to privacy and security and evaluated the site’s customer support.
The study revealed that when tested by actual users President’s Choice Financial offers the strongest Overall Customer Experience for prospects. President’s Choice Financial finished the clear winner against the other six sites in one component of Overall Customer Experience: Acquisition Impact. For the other two components, Brand Impact and Customer Satisfaction, President’s Choice Financial tied with BMO, RBC, CIBC and TD Canada Trust.
Keynote analysis of user sessions revealed seven areas of site design and content that matter the most to Brand and Acquisition. President’s Choice Financial, BMO, and TD Canada Trust led all other banks for the leading driver, Help and Support. For Site Organization, President’s Choice Financial improved significantly in 2010, and, along with BMO, outperformed the field. CIBC and BMO both improved significantly in 2010 in Visual Appeal and were the top two banks for that Driver.
“To see how effective banks’ marketing sites are with the consumers that will actually use the sites, you have to interact with actual consumers as they use the sites. It’s that simple,” noted Christopher Musto, general manager of the Keynote Competitive Research group at Keynote. “Based on our analysts’ observations and interviews with our panel of actual users, our second annual study of Canadian Banking Web Sites revealed that Help and Support is the most important aspect of the customer experience, predicting brand perceptions and customer acquisition. In this important category, President’s Choice was our winner, while BMO improved over 2009 in several key Help and Support metrics.”
In addition to evaluating Overall Customer Experience with its panel of actual users, the Keynote study also examined two broad aspects of technical quality: Responsiveness and Reliability. Responsiveness comprises: High Speed Response, DSL (midband) Response, Response Time Consistency, Geographic Uniformity and Load Handling, while Reliability is comprised of Availability and Outages.
Keynote measurement computers, across Canada, measured a typical online banking transaction of visiting the homepage, finding a chequing account, reviewing that chequing account and starting the application process. Now that Keynote has conducted this quantitatively rigorous study two years in a row it is able to accurately measure the business and technical impact of site design changes.
TD Canada Trust ranked first in Overall Technical Quality. In the two components of ‘Technical Quality’ Scotiabank set the standard for Responsiveness (or speed), while TD Canada Trust lead the group in Reliability (or availability; TD Canada reported only 0.05% errors during the entire study).
In order to collect the Technical Quality data Keynote used its Transaction Perspective® product, the leading subscription-based service for measuring and monitoring Web site performance from the end user perspective. With Keynote Transaction Perspective the company was able to examine Web site performance from multiple geographic locations by simulating users clicking through transactions on a Web site. Keynote collected more than 6,500 data points that detailed each of the Canadian banking sites’ online technical performance in terms of page responsiveness and reliability.
With its unique ability to monitor sites using an actual browser session—just the way consumers experience sites—and with its locations across Canada, Keynote revealed compelling trends in site performance. Using a real Web browser when assessing site performance is the most valid and accurate way to capture representative end-user experience. “While most of the sites in the study were operationally excellent, achieving near-perfect Reliability scores, some continued to struggle with Responsiveness levels, most-often related to capacity issues and/or geographic distribution of resources,” noted Musto.
The study is available for purchase from Keynote and comes with extensive analysis of Brand Impact, Acquisition Impact, Reliability and Responsiveness and the factors that drive sites’ performance in these areas. Clients will receive an executive presentation, extensive back-up charts and illustrations, and online access to all clickstreams, verbatims, question responses and panel facts for all panelists at all sites for all tasks and can download and use this data in their own research.
Keynote Systems is the global leader in solutions for continuously improving the Internet and mobile experience. Founded in 1995, Keynote provides testing, monitoring and measurement products and services for a variety of enterprises such as online portals, e-commerce sites, B2B sites, mobile operators and mobile infrastructure providers. Keynote products and services help companies improve customer experience in four areas: Web performance, mobile quality, streaming and real user experience testing.