A new report by ACA Research has found that despite the added convenience and accessibility of online brokers, comparison websites and other digital loan services, clients are routinely less satisfied than those opting for more face-to-face alternatives.
“Customers that use online brokers are a lot less happy than those that are using the traditional relationship-based broker,” James Organ, the firm’s managing director told Australian Broker
“Ultimately those customers at this moment in time are not particularly happy with the service that those people are providing compared to other channels and particularly compared to the services provided by the more traditional brokers.”
The report looked at the Net Promoter Score (NPS) for different types of brokers across the automotive finance industry and found a marked difference between the online and traditional channels.
The NPS is an index ranging from -100 to +100 and measures the willingness of customers to recommend a company’s products and services to others.
“The NPS for the traditional broker channel is +37, which is a very high score within the financial services sector. The NPS for online brokers is -34 so it was a huge difference,” Organ said.
This means online brokers need to improve their service models rather than focusing too much on search engine optimisation to get deals, he suggested.
“On the other hand for traditional brokers, it’s harder to get found and therefore they need to work on this. However, when they do get found, they provide a greater level of service.”
This is because traditional brokers may be more established, more price sensitive and offer a more personalised relationship.
In order to increase visibility among online competitors, Organ suggested that traditional brokers supplement referrals and word-of-mouth with more sophisticated digital marketing by ensuring a better web presence, database marketing and search engine optimisation are higher up the priority list.
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