October 28, 2010

Two of the most effective banking websites belong to Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks and Winston-Salem, N.C.-based BB&T, according to a comprehensive research study conducted by Keynote Competitive Research Studies, a subsidiary of mobile and Internet solutions provider Keynote Systems.

Announced today, the results of two Keynote Competitive Research Studies — U.S. Banking Prospects and U.S. Banking Customers — cover the marketing and online banking websites of U.S. banks through 3,369 user tests involving either existing or prospective banking customers. Keynote claims they are the most comprehensive look at banking website user behavior and attitudes ever compiled.

"To see how effective bank marketing sites are with the consumers that will actually use the sites, you have to interact with actual consumers as they use the sites. It's that simple," noted Christopher Musto, general manager of Keynote's competitive research group at Keynote. "It may sound impractical to run 3,369 live user sessions across 10 sites while interviewing the users, collecting clickstreams, verbatims, rankable responses and panel facts and to then calculate the relationships between site experiences and business outcomes, but with our Keynote WebEffective remote user testing technology and our experience measuring sites around the world, we can do just that."

In the Banking Prospects study, SunTrust led in the categories of most effective online banking offering as measured by overall customer experience, particularly in the category of brand impact. In the Banking Prospects study users felt BB&T offers the strongest overall customer experience. The survey also examined the websites of Bank of America, Chase, Citibank, U.S. Bank, Wachovia and Wells Fargo, as well as the marketing sites of 10 banks.

Online banking sites drive business outcomes in seven ways, according to the Banking Customer study, with customer support weighing the most on user experience. In Keynote's study, SunTrust performed highest in customer support, with Wells Fargo showing the most improvement since last year. The Banking Prospect user tests showed eight ways in which marketing sites drive business outcomes. Design and organization was the biggest driver in marketing sites. Birmingham, Ala.-based Regions Bank performed highest in that regard.

The full results of Keynote's survey are available for purchase online.