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Excel in the digital arena

At WUA we want to help businesses organize the very best digital experience across all digital touchpoints and all customer journeys within these touchpoints. We believe that this can only be achieved by benchmarking and optimizing at customer journey level. Together with our customers we spend every day working on the most comprehensive, high-quality digital experience benchmark in the world to support our customers with their digital roadmap. Every study that we conduct makes our benchmark more valuable, and our customers benefit from that on a daily basis.

Free eBook: The Digital Excellence Challenge

The Digital Excellence Challenge. Last year, we held 23 in-depth interviews with the winners of our benchmark studies. What do they have in common? What is their secret? What are the most important challenges they face? What is their magic formula to excel in digital? What can you learn from them?

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Latest News & Rankings

Vodafone.de wins digital customer experience study fixed line contract Germany

AMSTERDAM – German consumers favour Vodafone.de the most when it comes to online orientation on a fixed line contract. This is the outcome of the latest WUA digital customer experience study which was carried out independently among n=600 potential customers (n=300 on desktop & n=3oo on mobile) in the German market in January 2017.

Potential customers in the German market were instructed to go online to look for a fixed line contract. Which providers do they encounter? Which parties are found? Do they continue their customer journey on a website, or do they give up? Why do they continue, and why do they give up? Which parties get preference? What do potential customers like about the order process, and what do they dislike?

With this study, WUA maps out the entire German fixed line market from potential customers’ perspectives. Vodafone.de is the winner of this study with a WPS score of 75. Telekom.de gets second place with 72 points, followed by 1und1.de in 3rd place with 65 points. Vodafone.de has the highest findability (80%), followed by Telekom.de (76%). The other providers were found by 55% or less.

The number 1 Vodafone.de and the number 2 Telekom.de were both picked by 20% of respondents as their first choice. The number 3 1und1.de was first choice for 16% of respondents. The other providers were put in first place by 9% or lower.

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Is your organization in the above ranking?

We have a razor sharp image of your position and results. For more information and results download the free Sneak Preview of the full report.

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Digital Excellence: Who gets the highest preference?

This study shows once again that Digital Excellence is an absolute necessity. To beat the competition, you have to offer an excellent digital experience in the entire customer journey, and take the number 1 position in preference. Being found and scoring high in Google isn’t enough.

Below are some interesting insights from the study:

  • The number 1 Vodafone.de was second choice for 24% of respondents and third choice for 17%. Relatively little effort is required to get preference from these groups of consumers as well.
  • There is a large gap of 21 percentage points in findability between the number 2 Telekom.de (76%) and the other providers (55% or lower). Then there is another large gap of 23 percentage points between the number 4 O2online.de (50%) and the other providers (27% or lower).
  • The number 5 CHECK24.de has a lower findability (19%) than the number 6 Verivox.de (27%). CHECK24.de has by far the highest conversion (45%) however, followed by the number 3 1und1.de (28%) and the number 2 Telekom.de (26%). CHECK24.de has a relatively low findability, which shows that the few people who managed to find this provider were positive about it.
  • The number 1 Vodafone.de has the highest findability (80%) but comes fourth on conversion (25%).
  • The number 1 Vodafone.nl gets the highest scores on Look & Feel (72) and, together with the number 7 Unitymedia.de, on Brand (both 74). The number 5 CHECK24.de scores highest on Product Offer here (76).

Aim of this study

The aim of the study is to precisely identify the digital experience of consumers, when they search for a fixed line contract, who they choose to buy from, and especially: why. Using a proven model WUA has worked on over the past eight years, we map out what it is exactly exactly that consumers want, what the best practices are, and what the areas of improvement are. The following websites were assessed by consumers in the study:

  • 1und1.de
  • Billiger-Telefonieren.de
  • CHECK24.de
  • Congstar.de
  • Mobilcom-Debitel.de
  • O2online.de
  • Preis24.de
  • Telekom.de
  • Teltarif.de
  • Unitymedia.de
  • Verivox.de
  • Vodafone.de

Who can benefit from this study?

In the study, WUA’s online experts reveal problem areas and areas for improvement on all topics based on the Digital Sales Scan model. For each provider, conclusions and concrete recommendations are provided in a tailor-made report. At WUA we know that in order to achieve digital excellence, it is extremely important that the following people and departments are involved with / benefit from this study:

  • Everyone who is commercially responsible within the organisation: The winner takes it all.
  • Management: for the right direction and mind set in the organisation.
  • Online marketing professionals: get started immediately with the recommendations for higher conversion.
  • Research: Thorough research with validated model is the foundation for digital success.
  • Proposition/marketing: In addition to Look & Feel, the Product Offer and Brand topics are key factors in the buying process.

The level of cooperation of the above stakeholders can make or break digital success!

Contact our online telecom expert, Ivo Bakhuys directly and discover how WUA can help you with your digital challenges.

+31 20 531 97 10

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O2online.de wins digital customer experience study mobile phone and plan Germany

AMSTERDAM – German consumers favour O2online.de the most when it comes to the online orientation on a mobile phone and plan. This is the outcome of the latest WUA digital customer experience study which was carried out independently among 600 potential customers (300 desktop & 300 mobile) in the German mobile phone market in January 2017.

Potential customers in the German market were instructed to go online to look for a mobile phone and plan. Which providers do they encounter? Which parties are found? Do they continue their customer journey on a website, or do they give up? Why do they continue, and why do they give up? Which parties get preference? What do potential customers like about the order process, and what do they dislike?

With this study, WUA maps out the entire German mobile phone market from potential customers’ perspectives. O2online.de is the winner of this study with a WPS score of 61. Vodafone.de and Telekom.de get second and third place with 60 points, followed by CHECK24.de in 4th place with 57 points. The number 3 Telekom.de has the highest findability (53%), followed by the number 2 Vodafone.de (51%). The number 1 O2online.de gets third place when it comes to findability (49%). The other providers are found by 35% or less.

 

 

The number 2 Vodafone.de and the number 3 Telekom.de were both picked by 10% of respondents as their first choice. The number 1 O2online.de was first choice for 9% of respondents. In fact, the entire top 6 was first choice for between 8% and 10% of respondents. The other providers were put in first place by 3% or lower.

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Is your organization in the above ranking?

We have a razor sharp image of your position and results. For more information and results download the free Sneak Preview of the full report.

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Digital Excellence: Who gets the highest preference?

This study shows once again that Digital Excellence is an absolute necessity. To beat the competition, you have to offer an excellent digital experience in the entire customer journey, and take the number 1 position in preference. Being found and scoring high in Google isn’t enough.

Below are some interesting insights from the study:

  • The providers in the top 3 were second choice for 9% to 10% of respondents, and third choice for 9% to 11%. Relatively little effort is required to get preference from these groups of consumers as well.
  • There is a gap of 14 percentage points in findability between the top 3 and the other providers (35% or lower).
  • The number 3 Telekom.de has a higher findability (53%) than the number 2 Vodafone.de (51%) and the number 1 O2online.de (49%).
  • The number 1 O2online.de comes seventh on conversion (23%).
  • The number 4 CHECK24.de has a low findability (22%), but by far the highest conversion (43%), followed by the number 8 Verivox.de and the number 6 Congstar.de (both 31%) whose findability is also relatively low (10% and 31% respectively). This shows that the few people who managed to find these providers were positive about them.

Aim of the study

The aim of the study is to precisely identify the digital experience of consumers, when they search for a mobile phone and plan, who they choose to buy from, and especially: why. Using a proven model WUA has worked on over the past eight years, we map out what it is exactly exactly that consumers want, what the best practices are, and what the areas of improvement are. The following websites were assessed by consumers in the study:

  • 1und1.de
  • BASE.de
  • Blau.de
  • CHECK24.de
  • Congstar.de
  • Handy-Deutschland.de
  • Klarmobil.de
  • MediaMarkt.de
  • Mobilcom-Debitel.de
  • O2online.de
  • Preis24.de
  • SATURN.de
  • Sparhandy.de
  • Telekom.de
  • Verivox.de
  • Vodafone.de

Who can benefit from this study?

In the study, WUA’s online experts reveal problem areas and areas for improvement on all topics based on the Digital Sales Scan model. For each provider, conclusions and concrete recommendations are provided in a tailor-made report. At WUA we know that in order to achieve digital excellence, it is extremely important that the following people and departments are involved with / benefit from this study:

  • Everyone who is commercially responsible within the organisation: The winner takes it all.
  • Management: for the right direction and mind set in the organisation.
  • Online marketing professionals: get started immediately with the recommendations for higher conversion.
  • Research: Thorough research with validated model is the foundation for digital success.
  • Proposition/marketing: In addition to Look & Feel, the Product Offer and Brand topics are key factors in the buying process.

The level of cooperation of the above stakeholders can make or break digital success!

Contact our online telecom expert, Ivo Bakhuys, directly and discover how WUA can help you with your digital challenges.

+31 20 531 97 10

Contact Us

Vodafone wins digital customer experience study SIM only plan Germany

This article is also available in German and Dutch

AMSTERDAM – 22. Juni 2016. German consumers favor Vodafone.de the most when it comes to online orientation on a SIM only plan. This is the outcome of the latest WUA digital customer experience study which was carried out independently among 300 potential customers in the German telecom market in October 2016.

Potential customers in the German market were instructed to go online to look for a SIM only plan. Which providers do they encounter? Which parties are found? Do they continue their customer journey on a website, or do they give up? Why do they continue, and why do they give up? Which parties get preference? What do potential customers like about the ordering process, and what do they dislike?

ranking-handytarif-ohne-handy-oktober-2016

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Is your organization in the above ranking?

We have a razor sharp image of your position and results. For more information and results download the free Sneak Preview of the full report.

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With this study, WUA maps out the entire German telecom market on desktop/laptop from potential customers’ perspectives. In this study, based on fieldwork conducted in October 2016, Vodafone.de is the winner with a score of 66 points, followed by Telekom.de (63). CHECK24.de and O2online.de came third and fourth with scores of 61 and 60 points respectively. Vodafone has a high findability of 55%, the difference with Telekom.de (51%) is 4 percentage points. O2online.de follows with a findability of 45%.

“The sim only market (Handytarif ohne Handy) in Germany has rapidly changed in the last couple of years. In the past only a few smaller players were active. Nowadays competition is getting more and more intense: low cost providers, comparison websites and mobile operators are actively competing each other in the digital arena. An excellent digital customer experience is essential to survive, especially because of the fact that 85% of customers is orienting online.”

Ivo Bakhuys, CCO & Head of Industry Telecom at WUA

Digital Excellence: Who gets the highest preference?

This study once again shows that Digital Excellence is an absolute necessity. To beat the competition as a company, you have to offer an excellent digital experience in the entire customer journey, and take the number one position in preference. Being found and scoring high in Google, just isn’t enough. Below are some interesting insights from the study:

  • Vodafone manages to secure the highest preference: 15% of potential customers put Vodafone in first place, 12% in second place, and 10% in third place.
  • Vodafone.de scores highest on findability (55%), followed by Telekom.de (51%) and O2online.de (45%).
  • The number 4 in this study, O2online.de has a much higher findability (45%) than the number 3 CHECK24.de (31%), but gets lower scores on all other themes and has a lower conversion (22% versus 31%).
  • The number 6 in this study, ALDITALK.de scores by far the highest on conversion (54%) but is only found by 8% of respondents. This shows that the few people who do manage to find ALDITALK.de are very satisfied with their experience with this provider. CHECK24.de follows with a conversion of 31%, followed by Klarmobil.de (29%) and Verivox.de and Vodafone.de (both 27%).
  • ALDITALK.de scores highest on all topics, in both First Impression phase and in Further Look. The biggest differences in points are related to Product Offer (First Impression as well as Further Look).
  • Vodafone.de doesn’t score highest on any of the themes, but the high findability and decent conversion enable Vodafone to secure first place in this WUA customer experience study.

For each provider found in this study, WUA has asked why this provider was given second or third place on preference, instead of first place. These insights can be found in the full report, including a comprehensive funnel analysis of each provider. For many WUA customers, this is one of the most important sources for setting priorities to improve conversion.

Also read: What you can learn from Alditalk’s Product Offer

The aim of the study is to precisely identify the digital experience of consumers when they search for a SIM only plan, who they choose to buy from, and especially: why. Using a proven model WUA has worked on over the past eight years, we map out what it is exactly exactly that consumers want, what the best practices are, and what the areas of improvement are.

Ijsberg plaatje_EN

Who can benefit from this study?

In the study, WUA’s online experts reveal problem areas and areas for improvement on all topics based on the Digital Sales Scan model. For each provider, conclusions and concrete recommendations are provided in a tailor-made report. At WUA we know that in order to achieve digital excellence, it is extremely important that the following people and departments are involved with / benefit from this study:

  • Everyone who is commercially responsible within the organisation: The winner takes it all.
  • Management: for the right direction and mind set in the organisation.
  • Online marketing professionals: get started immediately with the recommendations for higher conversion.
  • Research: Thorough research with validated model is the foundation for digital success.
  • Proposition/marketing: In addition to Look&Feel, the topics Product Offer and Brand are key factors in the buying process.

The level of cooperation of the above stakeholders can make or break digital success!

handytarif-ohne-handy-report

The complete report Digital Sales Scan SIM only (DE) – October 2016 is available, including all scores, custom qualitative analysis, best practices, benchmark, and concrete recommendations to immediately improve your website and increase your conversion.

Contact our online telecom expert, Ivo Bakhuys directly and discover how WUA! can help you with your digital challenges.

+31 20 531 97 10

Download Free Sneak Preview

Sparkasse wins digital customer experience study savings account in Germany

AMSTERDAM – September 1st, 2016 – Sparkasse.de is the favourite financial service provider for a savings account in Germany. This is the result of an independent extensive online study in July 2016 among 300 German consumers conducted by international research agency WUA.

Consumers were asked to look for a savings account on the internet. To stay as close to reality as possible,  they were completely free in their orientation behaviour and in choosing websites to visit in their digital customer journey.

The qualitative and quantitative data in this study give a rich view on themes like Findability, Look&Feel, Product Offer and Order Process. The research lets you understand what works best in a digital customer journey and what does not and how. With the report, we show which financial service providers consumers encounter, why do consumers continue their online journey on a certain provider’s website and why other websites are clicked away in a matter of seconds. The research also shows what providers made it to the short list and – at the end of the orientation process –  which financial service provider is their favourite, and why.

Ranking-sparen-Germany-2016

 

Sparkasse tops the ranking

With this study, WUA! maps the entire German market for a savings account on desktop/laptop from customers’ perspectives. Sparkasse.de is the winner with a score of 66 points, followed by ING-DiBa.de with a score of 64. Commerzbank.de and VR.de come third and fourth. Sparkasse.de’s strongest asset is their high brand awareness and long-established trust in the German market which led to the highest findability of all service providers of 63%. ING-DiBa.de’s findability is much lower, but consumers are convinced by their good product offer and a very user-friendly website.

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Is your organization in the above ranking?

We have a razor sharp image of your position and results. For more information, please contact us and get free extra results tailored to your organization.
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WUA!-rapportage-recruitment

The complete report Digital Sales Scan Savings Account (DE) – July 2016 is available, including all scores, custom qualitative analysis, best practices, benchmarks, and actionable recommendations to immediately improve your website and increase your conversion.

Digital Excellence: Who gets the highest preference?

This study shows once again that Digital Excellence is an absolute necessity. To beat the competition, you have to offer an excellent digital experience in the entire customer journey, and take the number one position in preference. Being found and scoring high in Google isn’t enough. Below are some interesting insights from the study:

  • Sparkasse.de and ING-DiBa.de reach the highest preferences: For 18% of the respondents Sparkasse.de would be the 1st choice if they had to decide where to open a savings account, 17 % would choose ING-DiBa.de
  • The online banks DKB.de, ING-DiBa.de and Consorsbank.de score highest on conversion, but a lot lower on findability than Sparkasse.de.
  • Compared to the previous measurement in April 2015, Sparkasse.de maintains the top position. The difference with the current measurement is +2 points.
  • For each provider found in this study, WUA! asked the participants why this provider was given second or third place on preference instead of first place. These insights can be found in the full report, including a comprehensive funnel analysis of each provider. For many WUA! customers, this is one of the most important sources for setting priorities to improve conversion.

The aim of the study is to map and analyse the digital experience of consumers, when they search for a savings account, who they choose to open an account, and especially: why. Using a proven model WUA has been working on over the past eight years, we map out what it is exactly that consumers want, what the best practices are, and what areas can be improved.

Who can benefit from this study?

In this study WUA’s online experts reveal problem areas and areas for improvement on all topics based on the Digital Sales model. For each provider, conclusions and actionable recommendations are provided in a tailor-made report. At WUA, we know that in order to achieve digital excellence, it is extremely important that the following people and departments are involved with / benefit from this study:

  • Everyone who is commercially responsible: The winner takes it all.
  • Management: for the right direction and mind-set in the organisation.
  • Online marketing professionals: get started immediately with the recommendations for a higher conversion.
  • Research: Thorough research with a validated model is the foundation for digital success.
  • Proposition/marketing: In addition to Look & Feel, the topics Product Offer and Brand are key factors in the buying process.

Contact our online expert for this research, Marjolein van Ballegooij, and find out how WUA! can help you with your digital challenges.

+31 20 531 97 10

Marjolein van Ballegooij

Marjolein van Ballegooij works as Head of Research at WUA! with special attention to the sectors Banking & Insurance.

This is how you create the best digital experience for your customers

Change your perspective. Discover what your potential customers experience on your website and look at what they experience on your competitors’ websites. Only then you can ensure that your website meets the needs of your potential customers. With the Digital Sales Scan, you will get insight into the entire online customer journey; which websites are being visited, why do visitors give up or continue, how do your potential customers experience the websites they have visited, and what website do they eventually use to make their purchase. Benefit immediately from the WUA Digital Experience Benchmark with more than 100,000 unique ratings of over 10,000 websites. Choose the Digital Sales Scan and discover:

  • How your website performs compared to your competitors’ sites and apps
  • Which concrete improvements can be made to increase your conversion immediately
  • What you can learn from the best practices from other markets (WUA Global Benchmark)
  • Learn more about the Digital Sales Scan

A Global Benchmark

At WUA we offer a truly global perspective on your customers digital experience with benchmarking in 15 key countries including; United Kingdom, United States, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, Turkey, Australia, Brazil, India, South Africa, Czech Republic and Russia. New countries are being added all the time. Are you a multinational company and want an in-depth analysis into the online market, WUA has got you covered.

Global Digital Experience Benchmark

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Recent Insights & Best Practices

  • Lucien Schut en Niels van den Hoogen Athlon Car Lease

Niels van den Hoogen & Lucien Schut (Athlon): “We need to stretch and challenge ourselves from A to Z!”

In the eyes of potential customers, Athlon is the best in WUA’s tracker study of the online orientation on a private lease car in November and December 2016. This interview is a talk with Niels van den Hoogen, commercial director with Athlon, and Lucien Schut, manager online. About building a team, the maturation of the market, pioneering, the standard for sales and service set by bol.com and Coolblue, and the gaining of control over the personal mobility of 17 million Dutch people.

Niels van den Hoogen and Lucien Schut, congratulations on winning this WUA study. How important is it for you to be the best in the digital arena? What is the role of having a winning mentality in this?

Niels van den Hoogen (NH): “In a commercial environment, winning feels just great. That is the shortest answer, haha. But I’d like to tell you some more about our winning mentality and the place our team currently has within the organisation. In 2013, we organised our system in such a way that we had the ability to offer private lease. The market was very premature at the time. The department dealing with private lease was organised separately from the current business, it grew and it was business as usual. At least, that’s how we viewed it. As it turned out, we’d put the private lease operation back into our daily business far too early. That was the biggest mistake we ever made. It didn’t work, we had no traction. At that point, we brought in Lucien. His first piece of advice was: move private lease away from your existing operations, separate the two. This is the first new step we made back then, in September 2015.”

>>> Download our free ebook The Digital Excellence Challenge for 23 interviews with digital winners.

Lucien Schut (LS): “Athlon’s website for private lease was already there, but we decided to sit down with the four of us, and we got to work. Then, you observe that in the first month, nothing happens. In the second month things improved slightly, in the third month sales stabilised, and in the fourth month (which was December) we got as many sales as we’d had in the entire previous year. With a small team. That’s winning, and that’s cool.

“However, for me the question is: do you want to be the number 1 because you want to be the best, or do you want to be the number 1 through a combination of the best terms and conditions, the best online performance, or do you want to be the best at EVERYTHING? That is where we began a journey. We needed to ensure that certain things were in order. Not just online sales. Also delivering cars, making appointments, bookings, invoicing: you need to be really good at various operational matters!”

What is your approach, what is going so well? What could other digital leaders learn from your approach?

NH: “The answer lies in our proposition, but also in digital specialism. The latter accelerated with the arrival of Lucien as manager. We also recruited other people for this. With different DNA, tried and tested in the digital world. So we have our permanent staff and an external shell of professionals. The size of this external shell depends on campaigns, but sometimes we are sat here with 25 to 30 people!”

LS: “The automotive industry isn’t particularly ahead in the digital field. Especially when you compare it to, for example, travel. Athlon understands that digital is the future, and from the onset the company has been prepared to pioneer and experiment. That is a huge advantage!”

NH: “We observe that the market is crying out for transparency, and we act on that. Consumers want to know where they stand, what they’ll need to pay for a certain number of kilometers per month. And that if you start driving less, you’ll get some money back. Especially when you compare it to driving an older car and the rather unclear repair costs that come with it. I believe that’s the great success of private lease.”

From a consumer perspective, there shouldn’t be a difference (anymore) between service and sales. Are you able to break through the silos at Athlon, or: are you planning to do so?

LS: “Who sets the standard for online service and sales? I think Coolblue and bol.com do. If consumers place an order before half past nine in the evening, they expect to receive the item the following day. That makes things difficult for us. You can’t just have a car ready the following day with the push of a button, there are quite a few underlying operational processes involved. Every day we look at how we can make the customer’s journey as clear as possible, and every day we look at how we can improve our service.”

NH: “Contract extension is the greatest reward for us. The first 24-month contracts are beginning to expire, and we see the right traction in contract renewal. That, for me, is proof of good service. We observe that not every consumer knows exactly how everything works with private lease, so we need to explain it well, provide proper guidance, and bring the customer into the processes. If we do this well, customers will be satisfied. We operate in a fiercely competitive market, and the real difference will be made by the party that provides the best aftercare, and therefore the best service tailored to the customer.”

LS: “With private lease, we currently find ourselves in some kind of initial or orientation phase. Every month we can see things accelerate because the concept is becoming more commonplace. People no longer want to spend a large lump sum on a car. We’re gradually moving towards a replacement market, which will cause us to accelerate differently. We are currently breaking open the market, which you do together with your competitors. Both next to each other and against each other. Eventually, as the market matures, service will play an increasingly important role.”

What is the role of customer research and customer focus in your daily work and in the teams you are responsible for?

NH: “Previously, the customer was primarily the fleet manager. The fleet manager is still as important, but in the meantime the driver has become just as important. The dynamics between customer, driver, fleet manager, and future customer has changed considerably in recent years, and in the market for pivate lease we’re even dealing with an entirely new dynamic.”

LS: “We’re using different types of customer research. NPS studies are standard with Athlon. We take it a step further every month. Your quality needs to be measured on a daily basis. Continuously sensing, changing, observing, and changing again. We don’t just do this for the consumer part but also the business part of the company. Customer data is essential in this.”

What KPIs do you use for digital, which knobs do you usually twist in order to excel digitally?

LS: “What we’re strongly aiming for is customer satisfaction: we need to keep this very high. At the front, when it comes to sales, we could take a thousand or three thousand orders per month, but if we cannot live up to our promises at the back, there’s absolutely no point. Of course we track our performance in Google and push for it. To us, this WUA Tracker study is also an indication that we are on the right track. I just have to say that we are still at an experimental stage at this time, and that the ‘hard’ KPIs everyone in commercial departments is used to having still haven’t been finalised.”

What are your biggest digital challenges for 2017?

LS: “We constantly challenge ourselves, which we call stretching. For example: we want to double our sales numbers, but without it affecting personnel costs. Where should this come from? From a process optimisation perspective, it should be achieved by improving continuously. At the beginning it was just learning by trial and error. Now it’s all about stretching, new analyses of processes are being made from minute to minute. Where could you shave off an extra minute in operational processes? So if you can handle it cleverly, and are able to increase the volume whilst ensuring that fixed costs remain the same, you get another turning point.”

NH: “Challenging and stretching are common practices here: even the building we’re all in is being challenged by the square metre. Do we need this, can it be done differently? Working conditions need to be perfectly arranged, but we challenge everything on efficiency. This is necessary, because it is a business with relatively low margins. We need to stretch and challenge ourselves from A to Z. So that’s our big, constant challenge, also in the digital field!”

What digital innovations are you currently working on, and what developments are on your roadmap?

LS: “It depends on how you define innovation. If you mean innovation in the context of website optimisation, I see it as an ongoing process. We make one improvement after another, also based on the results of your research. We get pointers and can learn a lot from consumer feedback. We immediately apply it to our existing business.”

NH: “We find ourselves in this phase where we’re working very hard to improve the foundation on which we build. Sometimes things are happening so fast that you have be careful not to lose control. In the past, our new propositions were true innovations. Meanwhile, those innovations are becoming more ‘normal’, and we’re working towards a scalable organization. The danger of innovating and doing lots of new things is that it is not always scalable. Scalability is always on our minds. So sometimes, when it comes to innovation, we have to hold our horses for a little while.”

What do you think will be The Next Big Thing in digital in your market and focus area?

LS: “Basically, our point is: you need to be able to find the customer digitally, and trigger them during their customer journey. Right now, I can’t say how we are going to develop in this regard, because when it comes to private lease, customers themselves are still continuously discovering, experiencing, moving, and orientating. So we’re not quite sure yet ourselves. If you have the answer, do let us know, haha.”

What is your ultimate goal and dream in the business area?

LS: “That’s a very tough question for me to answer… Oh, alright then. My ultimate dream is to further develop Athlon to the point where we’re the Vodafone or KPN (market leaders in the telecom industry in The Netherlands, MvdB) of our market.”

NH: “My ultimate dream in business is for Athlon to manage the entire mobility of individual people in the best possible way. A private lease car is only part of your personal mobility. If Athlon is allowed  to gain full control over personal mobility, then we are spot on with the vision and strategy of Athlon. So then we’d be looking at 8 million vehicles in the Netherlands, and 17 million Dutch people. That’s a very different view of the matter. Bear in mind that we currently have around 110,000 lease contracts running. Behold the potential of my ultimate dream ;)”

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Matthijs van den Broek

Since October 1, 2015 Matthijs is active as Head of Thought Leadership at WUA. In that role he is responsible for the brand, social media, content marketing and a lot of other fun stuff!

How CHECK24.de creates an excellent digital brand image through trust, confirmation and availability

In January 2017, WUA carried out a digital customer experience study of the online orientation on a mobile phone and contract in Germany. WUA’s orientation studies focus strongly on three key themes: Look & Feel, Product Offer, and Brand. This particular study was won by O2online.de, however this provider didn’t get the highest score on any of the themes from the WUA Digital Sales Scan model.

CHECK24.de got the highest scores on Brand in the First Impression phase as well as in the Further Look phase (5 points above average in both phases), and on Overall Opinion (81 points, 9 points higher than the winner of the study O2online.de). Despite CHECK24.de’s low findability (22%), this comparison site also achieved the highest conversion rate by far (44%), 13 percentage points higher than the second highest conversion rate in the study.

Respondents were very positive about CHECK24.de as a brand. Which aspects of the brand did consumers appreciate the most, and what can we learn from the way CHECK24.de is presenting its brand image?

1 Trust

CHECK24.de builds trust by clearly showing that they have won awards, which are clickable to view more information about these prizes and/or claims, and by showing customer ratings. It gives visitors an impression of openness and trustworthiness. Or, as one of the consumers says in the open comment section:

“Seriös und erfahren.”

The fact that the information provided is clear and transparent also positively contributes to a feeling of trust. The website immediately shows which mobile phone providers are included in the comparison. One of the consumers remarks:

“Es kommt sehr seriös rüber, alles rein informativ und objektiv dargestellt.”

2 Reassurance

Respondents noted that they found it reassuring that CHECK24.de shows the differences between the offers it compares in a very clear and transparent way. It gives the impression that CHECK24.de cares about the customer by clearly showing the details of every option to ensure they are sufficiently informed to make a good decision. Also, the way in which this comparison site displays the information about the offers it provides gives the impression that CHECK24.de is neutral and independent.

“CHECK24 ist quasi neutral und sucht für mich passende Angebote.”

“Wirkt sehr neutral den Angeboten gegenüber.”

3 Accessibility

CHECK24.de offers expert advice through a call-back service in four different languages, and with rather long opening hours (8am to 10pm, seven days a week). This gives the impression the company is willing to accommodate their customers by addressing them in their own language and outside normal business hours.

“Man kommt leicht zu den Kontaktmöglichkeiten für den jeweiligen Bereich.” 

“Erreichbarkeit, Transparenz.”

4 Benefits

The cashback offer shown on the start page gives customers the impression that they are getting a better deal by choosing CHECK24.de. The website clearly shows how customers can claim their cashback in three easy steps, supported by intuitive icons and transparent information. This makes customers feel appreciated as CHECK24 customers. “Dass es ein Cashback gibt.” “Sorgfalt, seriös, professionell, Bonusprogramm, interessante Angebote.”

Conclusion

Brand image is very important to convince potential customers to make a purchase. They can be persuaded if the website manages to build trust by displaying recommendations and awards, and by making potential customers feel like being properly informed to ensure that they are able to make the right decision, for example through the use of clear language, good overviews, and intuitive design. Another key issue is being contactable and showing willingness to accommodate the customer, which CHECK24.de achieves through offering extensive opening hours and support in multiple languages.

The main thing that holds this comparison site back is its low findability of 22%. The respondents who did manage to find CHECK24.de were very positive about the website and the company behind it, which is reflected by the highest conversion rate and Overall Opinion score, and the highest scores on all themes of the WUA Digital Sales model.

What Vodafone.de and CHECK24.de can teach us on clarity

In January 2017, WUA carried out a digital customer experience study of the online orientation on a fixed line contract in the German telecom market. WUA’s orientation studies have a strong focus on three key themes: Look&Feel, Product Offer and Brand. This particular study was won by Vodafone.de, which scored highest on findability (80%), and received really high scores on Look & Feel and Product Offer.

Comparison site CHECK24.de ended up in fifth place in this study, but this provider achieved by far the highest conversion (45%, 17 percentage points higher than the second highest conversion rate) and Overall Opinion (79 points, 7 points above average). All this, despite a low findability (19%). CHECK24.de also got the highest scores on Product Offer, and received above average scores on Look & Feel.

Also read: Vodafone.de wins Customer Experience Study Fixed Line Contract Germany

Respondents in this study were very positive about the clarity of Check24.com and Vodafone.de, and the way in which the product offer was organised and presented. So, what can we learn from Vodafone.de and CHECK24.de when it comes to the subject clarity?

Colours, icons, and legibility

CHECK24.de got the highest score on Look & Feel in the Further Look phase (82 points), which is 4 points above average. Respondents mentioned that the text on CHECK24.de is very clear and easy to read due to the font and text size used on the website. As one of the consumers remarks:

“Font size is good, the ratio of imaging and text works well.”

At the top of the page, a list with reasons for choosing CHECK24.de is shown, together with some awards won by this provider that can be clicked for more information about each of the awards. This makes it clear at first glance that the visitor is dealing with a reputable provider.

A little further to the right, a highly visible icon informs visitors that there is a special cashback offer (300 euro) which is only available when they make their purchase via CHECK24. On mouse-over, a pop-up appears with information on how to claim this cashback in three easy steps that also feature icons that clarify the actions required. As one of the consumers in the study notices:

“There are special offers, that seem only available on this site.”

Other icons on the product page also show more information on mouse-over: the price shown is clarified with a cost breakdown, contract length further explained on mouse-over, and the ticks and crosses that immediately show availability of certain options are also clarified when the mouse is hovered over them.

“Good, simple design, all texts are big enough, the controls are well placed.”

Vodafone.de respondents also commented on the use to colours, noting that they are fresh, clear, and give the site a pleasant feel.

“Pleasant colors, text size and composition are also pleasant.”

Structure

Vodafone.de got the highest score on Look & Feel in the First Impression phase (72 points), and in the Further Look phase this provider got the second highest score on Look & Feel with 80 points, only slightly behind CHECK24.de. Vodafone.de customers mainly commented on the clear structure of the website. They mention clear menus that immediately guide you to the right place through the use of meaningful text labels, and the way in which the site shows the information in a clear table. Consumers’s quotes on this subject are (among others):

“The menus are clearly structured and are therefore easy to work with.”

Clear comparison

Vodafone.de customers are happy about the clear differences between various options and the ability to see at a glance which are better suited to them, which relates to both Look & Feel and Product offer.

“Unambiguous information about the price-performance ratio.”

“Clear prices, they offer differing packages.”

Comparison site CHECK24.de makes it very easy to compare various results. When tariff details are clicked in a search result, the details remain visible when tariff details for another search result are clicked, which allows for easy comparison. CHECK24.de customers also noted that the information on the site was clearly structured and that the site was uncluttered.

Conclusion

Both Vodafone.de and CHECK24.de make use of clear fonts, icons, and menu structure to guide visitors towards a product that suits their needs. Vodafone.de shows tariff details in a table, which gives users a quick overview at a glance, so they can immediately rule out less preferable options based on specific features. CHECK24.de keeps its pages clear and uncluttered by locating further information behind intuitive icons that display more information on mouse-over.

Vodafone.de does something similar by showing certain terms and conditions behind a mouse-over icon. Clear, concise information in and of itself is not enough. All this information needs to be presented in such a way that it is supported by an uncluttered design that enables visitors to quickly see whether they are in the right place, allows them to find the information they are looking for, makes it possible for them to easily differentiate between various options.

Jan-Pieter Schrier (ABN AMRO): “The voice of the customer leads us”

In the eyes of potential customers, ABN AMRO is the number one in the WUA online orientation study of taking out a mortgage, as well as in the study of taking out a loan. This interview is a chat with Jan-Pieter Schrier, e-commerce director at ABN AMRO. About maintaining speed, fail-fast principles, winning and team empowerment, the digital exemplary role, sales and service growing towards each other, and a future full of FinTech and robots.

Jan-Pieter Schrier, congratulations on winning these WUA studies. How important is it for you to be the best in the digital arena? What is the role of having a winning mentality in this?
“This is the third time we’ve won a WUA study, thus creating the impression that we are extremely keen to win here, and of course that’s true. However, our primary focus is to serve the customer to the best of our ability. Winning over customers: that is in fact the most important task we face here at ABN AMRO. I think that if we do this very well, we can eventually beat our competitors.

“Winning is nice, and we want to win from the perspective of doing well for the customer. What I’m looking for, is people who are very motivated to participate in this ‘race’. People who really go for it, who want to put down real results for the customer. In my opinion, you could call that a winning mentality!”

What is your approach, what is going so well? What could other digital leaders learn from your approach?
“I think our biggest success factor is that we work in a very decentralised manner. We try to put as many responsibilities ‘low down’ in the team, i.e. close to the people who do the real work and who are very close to the customer. And those teams, we empower them to really make their own choices. We try to put the responsibility where it really happens. We work with multidisciplinary teams, so our digital professionals sit around the table with colleagues from other areas of expertise, and together they can immediately get everything they need in order. That’s very powerful in terms of execution strength and agility.

“Of course, we remain a financial service provider, so we have to deal with certain frames. But within those frames, we go all-out on testing! And we do that according to the fail-fast principle. Not that that failure is a goal in and of itself, but speed really is a goal. And then we have to hope that we don’t make too many mistakes. I don’t mind if that does happen, by the way. As long as we can maintain the executive power.”

From a consumer perspective, there shouldn’t be a difference (anymore) between service and sales. Are you able to break through the silos at ABN AMRO, or: are you planning to do so?
“We’ve been making huge changes here for quite some time now. In digital banking, at least, service and sales are on the same level. Our main goal is NPS. It doesn’t really matter to us whether a customer recommends us because they were able to buy a product in a perfect way, or because they applied for a new debit card digitally in a brilliant way. To us, what matters most is the fact that they recommend us. Our main goal is to help our customers get one step further digitally in what they are trying to do. Their recommendation is basically a result, so our actual aim is: how do we help the customer to get a step further each time? That can be achieved with both sales and service. With our web shop teams we have two objectives of the same level, in the area of service and in the area of commerce. They are both of equal importance.

“We translated the NPS objective into Customer Effort Score (CES) ourselves. We have done so because we believe that CES is more actionable within the digital domain, so that provides us with a lot more feedback about where we can really make changes. Which processes do customers get stuck on, what do they think is complicated? Based on that CES, we have formulated commercial targets as well as service targets.

“Sales and service are very close together. If someone who has a mortgage with us wants to do some building work, is making that possible with a construction depot service or is it sales? If someone who has European cover on their travel insurance goes to America, and as they get off the plane we send them an alert: ‘Attention, please enable your World cover’, is that sales or is that service?

“We are very close to the other channels here: there is a lot of interaction with the contact centre and the branch network. When we are helping the customer get a step further digitally, at a certain moment an appropriate next step could be to visit a branch, or to make a phone call with the call centre. And this applies vice versa. If there’s noise there, or if it isn’t properly aligned, this is reflected in the NPS…”

What is the role of customer research and customer focus in your daily work and with the teams you are responsible for?
“For us, it isn’t so much about customer research. What it’s all about is a feedback loop. The voice of the customer leads us. That’s where it starts. The customer tells us whether we’re doing things right or not. And it’s up to us to decide how we gather this information. The most obvious way is Analytics, everyone uses that, but aside from that we also use feedback from other channels and we use more qualitative questionnaires that we offer on the site. Of course we also use the WUA benchmark, and we have our own UX Lab where we test various things. In practice, we try to keep all doors and windows open in order to listen, feel, and experience what the customer is thinking as much as we can.

“Every day during performance meetings Analytics are discussed. Of course that’s more customer behaviour than direct customer feedback: you don’t get a picture of what consumers or customers really think, but you do see that certain steps they take end in a certain place, or that funnels are performing less well than before. Another thing that comes up in our performance meetings as a topic is once again CES: What percentage in your store has completed their task, and how many people thought that task was easy or difficult? In addition, we have closed feedback loops within our branch network, where branch staff do call-backs for customers with whom there has been a lot of contact to ask what they thought of it and what we could improve on. If they then get feedback about the digital service delivery, that feedback is passed on to us.”

What KPIs do you use for digital, which knobs do you usually twist in order to excel digitally?
“We use NPS and CES. In order to make it actionable, we translate the latter into a CES for service and a CES for commerce. The CES for commerce focuses on helping the customer to the best of our ability when they apply for a new product, the one for service focuses on helping the customer find a solution to a service question. And of course, there are many derived indicators and KPIs that contribute to a high CES and NPS…”

What are your biggest digital challenges for 2017?
“In 2016 we won four first prizes with WUA over a relatively short period of time. In my opinion, that is indicative of the growth and development we are going through. In addition to the feedback given by consumers in your studies, we also see in other areas that things are going pretty well for digital banking at ABN AMRO.

“If things are going well, this will naturally be in the spotlight more, and you’ll get an increasing number of people who find it interesting and who also want to something with it. I think the biggest challenge for 2017 is to ensure that we maintain the high speed at which we make beautiful things for our customers, and to stay really focused on the customer. Eventually, ‘digital banking’ will of course become just ‘banking’. It is going to be one big mix of everything. Before all this becomes a reality, I feel that with an extreme focus on digital, we can make great strides. We are on our way to the top, how do we continue this growth? How do we ensure that next year we will be having multiple winner’s interviews with WUA again?

“What I do not want, is that the inclusion of the rest of the organisation comes at the expense of focus on the customers and on e-commerce. So how can we properly unite those worlds? It’s about choices, allocation of resources, attention. The fact that I consider this to be a challenge has to do with the phase we’re currently in. Because: I feel that we have an important exemplary role towards the rest of the organisation, and I would like to include everyone in the change.”

What digital innovations are you currently working on, and what developments are on your roadmap?
“We are continually working to improve the service delivery for the customer in the digital domain. Innovations that jump out are Tikkie and Grip: paying through WhatsApp and a more complete overview of your expenses. This is where we’re expecting a lot to happen over the coming period.

“Something I am very excited about, but which probably doesn’t classify as innovation, is the remote advice we deliver through a video solution. We’re ahead of the game with this, a customer can get advice anytime, anywhere, whatever way they wish. At the same time, this presents the challenge to get all customer contact channels and possibilities in sync so that customers get a truly seamless experience. That is extremely complicated.”

What do you think will be The Next Big Thing in digital in your market and focus area?
“Whilst you might have previously described financial services as stable and calm, there’s a lot going on right now. Developments in FinTech follow each other in quick succession, there are new entrants to the market, new ways of financial service delivery, large out-of-sector parties entering the world of finance… There really is a multitude of developments, which have a lot to do with new technology. What truly is The Next Big Thing, I don’t really know. What I do know, is that in these exciting times, as a bank we need to be ready to help our customers to the best of our ability, for example with a seamless integration of various contact channels. This will certainly be a topic right now, and in the coming years!”

What is your ultimate goal and dream in the business area?
“Soon, everything will be technology, everywhere. My dream is to really help customers along, with the aid of technology. How do you ensure that technological developments or possibilities that seem extremely complex remain extremely simple to use for a customer? How do you give a customer control and grip in a world that is constantly changing? How do we uphold the human dimension at a time when robotics is taking off? It is a tension field and an intersection I like to get involved in, and where I like to take the lead with the ultimate goal of customer satisfaction!”

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