Forrester Research Inc. has named Discover Financial Services the best among the top six credit card issuers for its secure website for customers. In its May 2012 “2012 US Credit Card Secure Website Rankings,” Discover beat out the competition with the highest overall scores in a rating system consisting of over 50 diverging criteria.
Discover’s ranking as the best of the Big Six cements it as a truly rising and dominant force within the credit card industry.
With a score of 80/100, Discover achieved the highest overall score after careful examination of the evaluations taking place earlier in the year, including high marks in the online servicing category (91) and transactional content and functionality (84). An elevated customer service experience, coupled with security standards “significantly above minimum” also helped push Discover to the top.
Recognized Skills (to Pay the Bills)
Discover Financial Services leads the pack of card websites today with their innovative functionality and cross-touchpoint offers that appeal to all manner of cardholders. Discover’s selection of alert types and dynamic preference settings were also recognized by Forrester, a positive note added to the glowing words by vice president of e-business for Discover Financial Services Mike Boush:
“Offering a best-in-class online experience for cardmembers is an extension of the exceptional customer service for which Discover is known,the company is continuously recognized for such achievements and has been ranked #1 in customer loyalty among leading credit card brands for the past 16 years by Brand Keys. Whether customers are looking to manage their account online, redeem their rewards or take advantage of many customized benefits, we are committed to delivering an easy and helpful online experience.”
Forrester Research Inc. made note of possible areas of improvement for all issuers, one of the most important being user experience design and secure website cross-selling. As noted by Analyst Peter Wannemacher: “eBusiness teams need to enhance their websites’ navigation, task flow efficiency, and location cues while improving the contextual cross-selling & upselling on the secure site.”
Not to downplay their rightfully earned achievements, but Discover financial Services’ success is nowhere near as complicated as some make it out to be. Put your customers first, and they shall parade you down the street on their shoulders en masse for the rest of the industry to see – a lesson that holds true if you’re selling golf balls or offering thousands of rewards miles with purchases.
Predicting the Future
As the rest of the industry looks on, there are lessons that can be learned, even from the outside looking in. The aforementioned (and rightfully most important) customer service standards are the biggest concern for other credit card issuers, but so is the ease at which your customers can contact you (as well as be contacted themselves). Remember that as you habitually reach for your smartphone at the conclusion of this sentence.