With "net satisfaction" of 80 percent -- 81 percent of investors who called were satisfied and one percent were unsatisfied -- T. Rowe topped the list overall, followed by Schwab at 77 percent and Vanguard at 76 percent, and compared to a 71 percent average for all nine firms.
"T. Rowe Price, Charles Schwab and Vanguard score high in satisfaction because they are able to meet their clients' transactional and emotional needs," stated Jim Miller, president of Prime Performance. "They score well in making clients feel their business is important, effectively meeting their needs and minimizing the effort required by clients."
In the study Prime Performance also broke the results down by age, income and wealth, and examined investors' satisfaction with specific parts of their calls.
Company Press Release
T. Rowe Price leads other major investment call centers in client satisfaction according to the Prime Performance 2011 Investment Call Center Satisfaction Survey released today.
Prime Performance data shows that T. Rowe Price clients give the firm a Net Satisfaction Score of 80 percent, followed by Charles Schwab, 77 percent and Vanguard, 76 percent. The average Net Satisfaction Score for the nine firms included in the survey is 71 percent. A Net Satisfaction Score is the percent of satisfied customers minus the percent of dissatisfied ones. A score of 100 percent is perfect.
These findings and others come from the Prime Performance 2011 Investment Call Center Satisfaction Survey. The survey polled 2,359 clients of nine major investment firms who recently spoke to a call center representative. The nine investment firms include; E-Trade, Fidelity Investments, JP Morgan Chase, Merrill Lynch, Charles Schwab, T. Rowe Price, TD Ameritrade, Vanguard and Wells Fargo/Wachovia.
In addition to the highest overall satisfaction score, T. Rowe Price had the highest scores in a number of key demographic categories. T. Rowe Price ranked highest among Gen X and Gen Y clients, clients with net worth of less than $500,000, clients with income of $75,000 or more and among men. Charles Schwab followed in overall client satisfaction, while leading among Boomer and Pre-Boomer clients as well as with clients with net worth $500,000 or more. Vanguard scored third highest in overall satisfaction and first in several other key client measures. TD Ameritrade scored highest in satisfaction among women and clients with income below $75,000.
Vanguard clients are the most likely to recommend the firm to a friend or colleague and also say they are most likely to continue using the firm during the next 12 months. Eighty two percent of Vanguard clients claim they are likely to recommend the firm and only 2 percent say they are unlikely to make a recommendation, resulting in a net score of 80 percent. Vanguard is followed by Charles Schwab with a net score of 76 percent and Fidelity at 74 percent. Ninety one percent of Vanguard’s clients believe they will continue to use the firm in the next 12 months, 87 percent at T. Rowe Price and 86 percent at Fidelity.
“T. Rowe Price, Charles Schwab and Vanguard score high in satisfaction because they are able to meet their clients’ transactional and emotional needs. They score well in making clients feel their business is important, effectively meeting their needs and minimizing the effort required by the clients. The emotional aspects are often overlooked in the quest for efficiency, but this is a mistake because clients will remember how the representative made them feel long after they have forgotten the reason for their call. Quick, accurate transactions are crucial, but most firms excel at this. So, it isn’t a competitive advantage,” said Jim Miller, Prime Performance president.
Prime Performance survey results measured precisely how various representative actions affected client satisfaction:
•First contact resolution. Ninety-three percent of clients responded that their inquiry was resolved to their satisfaction during their most recent contact with the call center representative and these clients have a Net Satisfaction Score of 78% (79% satisfied, 1% dissatisfied) compared to -28% (13% satisfied, 40% dissatisfied) when their inquiry was not resolved. Vanguard led all firms with 97% of clients stating their inquiry was resolved satisfactorily.
•Wait time. Ninety-four percent of clients found their wait time acceptable. When clients find the wait time acceptable, the Net Satisfaction Score is 74% (77% satisfied, 2% dissatisfied). When wait time is not acceptable, the Net Satisfaction Score drops to 5% (29% satisfied, 23% dissatisfied). Fidelity scored highest with 96% of clients finding the wait time acceptable followed by Vanguard at 95%.
•Asking questions about financial needs. Sixty percent of clients said the representative was effective at asking questions about their financial needs and the Net Satisfaction Score for this group is 88% (89% satisfied, 0% dissatisfied). The Net Satisfaction Score for the 8% of clients who felt the representative was not effective at asking questions is 1% (28% satisfied, 27% dissatisfied). Schwab scored the highest with 66% of clients believing the representative was effective at asking questions about financial needs, followed by Wells Fargo/Wachovia at 64%.
•Use their client’s name. Eight percent of clients do not recall if the representative used their name and 7% said their name was not used. Clients who recall their name being used, had a Net Satisfaction Score of 75% (77% satisfied, 3% dissatisfied), but when they said their name was not used, the score drops 38 points to 37% (47% satisfied, 10% dissatisfied). Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo/Wachovia had the highest level of name usage at 89%.
•Thank you. Eighty-seven percent of clients recall being thanked. When clients are thanked, their Net Satisfaction Score is 76% (78% satisfied, 2% dissatisfied). When they were not thanked, the Net Satisfaction Score drops to 15% (37% satisfied, 22% dissatisfied). T. Rowe Price and Schwab had the greatest percentage of clients recalling a “thank you” at 91% and 90%, respectively.
The Prime Performance survey points out key differences in client satisfaction across several demographic groups, including:
•Satisfaction by Generation. Generation Y (“Gen Y”) are the least satisfied, with a Net Satisfaction Score of 53% (59% satisfied and 6% dissatisfied), well below the average of 71%. Generation X (“Gen X”) have a Net Satisfaction Score of 70% (73% satisfied and 3% dissatisfied), Boomers have a Net Satisfaction Score of 78% (81% satisfied and 3% dissatisfied), and Pre-Boomers are the most satisfied with a score of 80% (82% satisfied and 2% dissatisfied).
•Satisfaction by Income. Satisfaction rises slightly with income, but this is likely more to do with generational differences than driven by income. Households with less than $50,000 in annual income are the least satisfied, with a Net Satisfaction Score of 67%, compared to an industry average of 71%. Households with income of $75,000 to $99,999, $100,000 to $149,999 and greater than $150,000 have Net Satisfaction Scores of 72 to 73 percent. The lower level of satisfaction in the lower income categories appears to be driven more by the higher percentage of Gen Y clients in the category than by the influence of lower income.
•Satisfaction by Net Worth. Satisfaction tends to be lower at both ends of the net worth spectrum, while higher in the middle. The Net Satisfaction Score is 65% when net worth is less than $100,000, 72% for net worth between $100,000 and $249,999, 71% for net worth between $250,000 and $499,999, 74% for net worth between $500,000 and $999,999, and 69% for clients with net worth of $1,000,000 or more.
According to Miller, “Generational differences create a new challenge for investment call centers. While Gen Y is often considered the online generation, this study shows that they are also calling their investment firms. Gen Y is a generation with high expectations and can be difficult to satisfy. As they age and their wealth and investable assets increase, they will become an extremely important segment to investment firms. While in some areas of the business, serving Gen Y requires a different approach and strategy, this is not completely true for inbound phone calls from Gen Y. Once on the phone with the representative, their needs are not that different from older generations, but they expect a much higher level of execution. Creating a positive emotional experience is important for all generations, but much more so for Gen Y. Firms that can meet their expectations will be well positioned for the future.”
A full copy of the Prime Performance Client Experience with Investment Call Centers study can be purchased on the company's website.
About Prime Performance
Headquartered in Denver, Prime Performance works with financial institutions to increase profits by developing and implementing a superior client experience. Since 1989, the company has specialized in measuring the customer experience through live phone interviews and providing the tools and training needed for financial institutions to elevate the level of service they provide their clients. Learn more about Prime Performance by visiting the company online.