March 07, 2005

Like most banks, when Wachovia Bank (Charlotte, N.C., $493.3 billion in assets) launched a new Web site in November 2002, its goal was to provide a superior online banking experience. And, like many banks, "We did not have a view of our customers," says Ilieva Ageenko, the bank's vice president of emerging technologies. "As a result, it was difficult to learn if we delivered value."

Historically, Wachovia created reports based on Web logs. But the cumbersome process did not provide strategic customer information. "We wanted to prioritize Web pages based on customer visits," explains Ageenko. "However, we had no way to track their visits," she says. "We were blind to their activity."

As Wachovia created a solution criteria list, the bank consulted its IT team and marketing department as well as the e-commerce division. "Each different business segment required different needs from this new tool," Ageenko says. "We needed input from all groups to understand what functionality we needed."

Most important, Wachovia needed a system with a quick deployment time, a reasonable price tag, superior reporting functionality and scalability. The bank evaluated vendors in early 2003 and selected San Diego-based WebSideStory's HBX analytics service.

The HBX system establishes business metrics that measure customer navigation activity across Wachovia's Web site. HBX's detailed reports help Wachovia streamline online navigation and improve usability.

Though WebSideStory hosts the tool, the bank had to make some in-house modifications. In June 2003, Wachovia began adding HTML tags to its site's page templates. Next, Wachovia added an interface that would connect the bank with the outsourced application. By July, Wachovia began using HBX to capture online customer activity.

As customers visit Web pages, HBX aggregates their behavior, including preferred navigation tools and most-visited pages. HBX analyzes the data and delivers reports through Wachovia's Web-based interface. "There are dashboards for different groups," Ageenko says. For example, the marketing department can monitor online campaigns, while IT can access a dashboard that reveals customer browsers.

"Our internal departments see everything our visitors see," Ageenko says. "Now, we can eliminate things that do not work and improve areas that see a lot of volume."

Specifically, HBX has made significant improvements in Wachovia's online marketing efforts. "The ability to understand the number of audience impressions across different sections of the site allows Wachovia to maximize marketing ad placements," Ageenko explains. This analysis helped the marketing team increase the customer response rate by almost 20 times compared to previous campaigns, she adds.

Wachovia is beginning to integrate HBX's Report Builder tool into corporate systems. "Report Builder helps us understand the effectiveness of using collaboration technologies," Ageenko says. "Now, we can evaluate how well we are assisting customers during the online application process for complex financial products, such as mortgages." According to Ageenko, Wachovia plans to expand the use of the module later this year.

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Snapshot

INSTITUTION: Wachovia Bank (Charlotte, N.C.).

ASSETS: $493.3 billion.

BUSINESS CHALLENGE: Track and analyze customer activity across the bank's Web site.

SOLUTION: WebSideStory's (San Diego) HBX analytics service.