Customer confidence was low for US financial services firms, 2022

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How well did U.S. financial services firms rank in terms of customer trust in 2022?

Our new research reveals the scores and rankings of 54 U.S. brands across auto and home insurance, banking, credit card issuers, and investment firms, analyzed as part of the U.S. Index Forrester Financial Services Trust, 2022.

Overall customer trust was relatively low in US financial services companies in 2022. Only 2% of brands fell into the strong category and 57% were considered weak. Inflation and market volatility have likely had an impact on customer sentiment, but more importantly, it seems that many financial services firms don’t understand what drives trust, and efforts to build trust can be misplaced.

Why is trust important? When customer trust is strong, financial services firms reap financial, competitive, and reputational benefits that allow them to extend and expand relationships with their customers. When weak, they lose these advantages and have to fight harder to win business.

Analyzing customer perceptions of US financial services brands in our 2022 survey, we found that:

  • Leaders in customer trust are also leaders in customer experience (CX). Providing a great customer experience can help businesses earn trust, as a customer’s perceptions and experiences accumulate over time to produce trust. It’s no surprise, then, that the top companies in Forrester’s FS Customer Trust Index are also leaders for their respective industries in Forrester’s US Customer Experience (CX Index™).
  • Insurance customers have the least confidence in their suppliers. Compared to other financial services sectors we studied in the United States, trust was, on average, lowest among auto and home insurance customers. Insurance held an industry average of 62.7, compared to banks (63.9), credit card issuers (64.9) and investment firms (65.0). In fact, eight of the 12 insurers in our Trust Index fell into the “low” category for trust. Considering that this industry is built on the expectation that the company will help its customers through emotionally and financially difficult experiences, low trust could limit revenue opportunities.
  • Banking brands show the greatest disparity in customer trust. In our confidence rankings for banks, we found substantial deviations from the industry average of 63.9. The two brands with the highest customer trust scores in banking also received the second and third highest scores among all financial services brands in the United States. At the bottom of the pack, the lowest-ranked bank was 18 points behind the leader. Customers are very demanding when it comes to trusting banks, and this is a major opportunity for trusted banks to differentiate themselves from the competition.
  • Trust in investment firms is high, on average, but few brands excel. With an industry average of 65.0, the investment industry has the highest average trust score for 2022. Yet investment firms struggle to excel in trust: none of the 12 The brands we analyzed only hit the “strong” category, with nine earning “moderate” trust scores and the rest in the “weak” category. strong networks of financial advisers who offer personalized one-on-one advice Self-directed brokerage firms, however, have filled the bottom of the pack It seems that when it comes to trust in investment firms, relationships and personalized advice always counts.
  • Credit card issuers were mostly undifferentiated. Of the 13 credit card brands we analyzed, only one passed the 75-point trust threshold. However, the rest of the field was within a range of less than nine points, indicating that levels of customer trust in credit card issuers are more uniform than trust in banks, insurers or investment firms. .

Trust is Hard to Earn and Easy to Burn — How Forrester Can Help

Trust is not abstract – you can earn it and build it. Every engagement with a customer is an opportunity to earn, build or destroy trust in your brand. To further earn the trust of their customers, financial services firms must design and execute deliberate trust strategies. But first, they need to stop guessing and: 1) measure trust in their brand and 2) understand what drives customer trust in it. While data alone can’t tell business leaders what and how to improve, there are many ways to use data to identify opportunities to build trust and avoid damaging it.

To see the rankings of the 54 brands in the US FS Trust Index – and a much more detailed analysis of the results by sector – check out our report: The US Financial Services Customer Trust Index Rankings, 2022. To learn more about how these scores were calculated (including descriptions of the seven trust levers) and how you can use them, read: Introducing the Forrester Financial Services Client Trust Index.

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