Clients often engage us to benchmark their capabilities/experience versus competitors, identifying key opportunities for improvement and revealing industry best practices. We have recently conducted benchmarking and competitive intelligence studies on the IRA opening and onboarding experience, fixed income inventory and pricing, Hispanic consumer banking services, web/mobile/phone channel security and more.
Guidance vs Advice Mystery Shop
A top financial institution was interested in better delineating its product and service offerings for its different customer segments. To that end, the firm wanted to gain a holistic understanding of its competitors’ service offerings for self-directed investors. The firm contracted Corporate Insight to perform a series of mystery shops to identify the level of investment advice and guidance that competitors’ investment consultants offered self-directed prospects and clients, as well as the types of investment products available to these kinds of investors.
A leading multinational brokerage firm with over $1.5 trillion in assets wanted to understand bond pricing for commission- and markup-based firms across municipal and corporate bond markets. The goal was to find out how the firm’s fixed income pricing and depth of bond inventory compare to their core self-directed competitors and a few major full-service brokerage firms.
Our client made the strategic decision to increase its share of the individual retirement account (IRA) marketplace. To support that goal, the firm decided it needed to improve its IRA-opening process and client experience. This required insight into the current effectiveness of its account-opening process relative to key competitors across three key channels–-the branch office, on the phone and on the Web. The firm was also interested in understanding how competitors sell related products and services to mass-affluent investors during the account-opening process.
An executive at a leading retail brokerage firm was interested in significantly bolstering the firm’s online educational resources as part of the company’s long-term strategy to help clients become better investors. She asked Corporate Insight to perform an objective, in-depth assessment of the educational material provided by competitors to help make the case for investment in this area.
A leading defined contribution recordkeeper wanted to overhaul its participant messaging to encourage better saving and investing habits among its customers. Before starting the overhaul process, the firm needed to understand how—and how much—competitors used targeted messages to influence participant behavior.
A leading retail brokerage firm was concerned that sales of its fixed income products lagged the industry and didn’t reflect the products’ high quality. The firm believed that the problem was how its sales force positioned and sold the products.
A banking client was planning to upgrade its ATM user interface and wanted us to benchmark its own offering against those of its competitors.
There were two goals:
1. Identify where the client’s platform needed improvement
2. Determine flaws in its competitors’ ATM interfaces that the client could exploit.