Vanguard And Credit Unions Top Investment Experiences

In Forrester’s 2008 Customer Experience Index (CxPi), we ranked 113 companies across 12 industries. I recently published a snapshot of the investment industry looking at the results from the seven firms on the list (Charles Schwab, credit unions, Edward Jones, Fidelity, Merrill Lynch, Vanguard, and “other” full service brokers). Here’s some of what we found:

  • Experiences are “okay.” As a group, the seven firms ended up with an “okay” rating of 69%; a drop of three percentage points from the 2007 CxPi results.
  • Vanguard and credit unions lead the pack. With the only “good” scores on the list, Vanguard and credit unions ended up with a rating of 77%. Not only were these the highest rated investment firms, but they were also the only ones to show an improvement from 2007.
  • Merrill Lynch takes the bottom. With the only poor rating in the group, Merrill Lynch ended up with the lowest score. It also ended up with the largest drop from 2007, eight percentage points. Edward Jones’ decline wasn’t far behind, dropping seven points.
  • Enjoyability took a hit. Three of the four double-digit declines in the underlying CxPi elements were in the enjoyability components for Edward Jones, Merrill Lynch, and “other” full service brokers. The other large decline came in Merrill Lynch’s meeting needs score.

The bottom line: Investment firms should get bullish on customer experience

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I'm an experience (XM) management catalyst; helping organizations improve results by engaging the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and partners. I enjoy researching and speaking about leading-edge XM topics. I lead the Qualtrics XM Institute, which is the world's best job. We're igniting a global community of XM Professionals who are inspired and empowered to radically improve the human experience. To achieve this goal, my team focuses on thought leadership, training, and community building. My work is driven by a set of fundamental beliefs: 1) Everything starts and ends with human beings, so you need to understand how people think, feel, and behave; 2) XM is a discipline that needs to be woven throughout an organization's entire operating fabric; and 3) Building the XM discipline requires a combination of culture, competency, and technology.

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