USAA and Edward Jones are among the financial services firms that fare particularly well, according to a new report of consumer attitudes.
Stores & Success Metrics: Winning the “Hearts & Wallets” of Customers takes a close look at customer ratings of the top 26 financial services firms. Findings are based on an analysis of 40,000 American households’ consumer attitudes, behaviors and buying patterns.
Overall consumer trust is up 6 percentage points from five years ago, with USAA and Edward Jones earning Hearts & Wallets Top Performers status. The firms received more 9- or 10-point rankings (on a 10-point scale where 10 indicates “very high trust”) by customers than any other stores.
Consumers are increasingly satisfied with the service they’re receiving, too. Intent to recommend the firms they’re using is on the rise “with 42 percent saying they were extremely likely to recommend and 31 percent saying they might.”
Data show consumers “intent to invest” more has risen, too, albeit to a lesser degree. When compared to five years ago, “intent to recommend” is up 6 percentage points compared to a 3-percentage point increase in “intent to invest.” Thirty-three percent of consumers say they intend to invest more this year.
“The continued improvement in consumer trust opens the door to building stronger relationships for stores with their customers,” Laura Varas, CEO and founder of Hearts & Wallets, said in a statement.
“The trend of consumers seeking out more stores despite the rise in satisfaction is also a positive,” she said, as the average consumer now uses 1.9 stores, compared to 1.7 stores four years ago. “Firms have an opportunity to identify the unmet needs that prompt consumers to add stores. Recognize consumers may want to fund goals beyond retirement, like college savings or obtain assistance in taking income tax efficiently during retirement. Firms who excel in solving these needs with niche accounts will be able to expand their relationship with the customer.”
Other Top Performers highlighted within the report include:
- Main Source of Retirement Advice: Edward Jones
- Intent to Invest More: Edward Jones, Scottrade
- Intent to Recommend: Charles Schwab, Edward Jones, Scottrade, Vanguard
- Hearts & Wallets Loyalty Predictor: Charles Schwab, Edward Jones, Fidelity, USAA. (The Hearts & Wallets Loyalty Predictor combines intent to invest more and intent to recommend in order to gauge happy customers who are actively increasing business.)