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Michael Ellison
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Turn the Research Panel into an Online Community

Given the socialization of the Internet and how it is transforming the way firms conduct business (read: Web 2.0), we wonder if there isn't an opportunity for banks to take research panels such as Chase's new Chase Panel and make them more of a two-way community.

By Michael Ellison - Corporate Insight

In the course of our weekly research of bank websites, we recently encountered a Chase Panel splash page when logging into our online account. The page announced that customers could join the Chase Panel, a forum designed to collect feedback from customers about Chase products and services through online studies and surveys.To join the panel, customers are asked to complete a registration survey that included details about the user's age, yearly household income, primary checking account and savings accounts, and marital status. At the end of the questionnaire customers are asked to input their name and email address for contact purposes. Members of the panel are contacted on a monthly basis to complete surveys and studies. In addition, customers can sign up for the panel, or view their panel profile, via the standalone Chase Panel sitelet. We completed the registration, but have yet to be contacted.

While this is not as open a forum as Bank of America's site reviews section (see our post about this here), which allows site visitors to post comments about the bank for all to see, it is an interesting way to solicit feedback in more of a controlled environment. What we don't know, however, is whether or not panel members will be able to see results of surveys or what Chase intends to do about them. It is likely that they won't - after all, how many results do you see from telephone surveys you've taken?

Given the socialization of the Internet and how it is transforming the way firms conduct business (read: Web 2.0), we wonder if there isn't an opportunity for banks to take such panels and make them more of a two-way community. Call it an advisory panel or something and allow this select group of customers to receive some form of benefit from it. We're not talking flights on the corporate jet (but that would be a great perk!), but perhaps offer the ability to sign up as a website beta tester for new releases, or share some results of the surveys and provide insights on how that's going to change their experience. The point is, embrace the community and provide them with some recognition for helping out your business.Given the socialization of the Internet and how it is transforming the way firms conduct business (read: Web 2.0), we wonder if there isn't an opportunity for banks to take research panels such as Chase's new Chase Panel and make them more of a two-way community.

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