Technology News: Study: Most Consumers Do Not Trust Services Online

Register now

Most financial services firms, on average, have failed all criteria for establishing trust with consumers during their electronic interactions, according to a new study by Forrester Research Inc. The firm conducted the study to examine how effective firms are in designing trust-building practices into the digital interaction process.

According to Forrester, the problems include:

* Websites failed five of six trust criteria, with the biggest problems noted as poor contextual help and missing links to privacy and security policies.

* E-mails failed all trust criteria, with the biggest problems being missing privacy policies and message headers that provided no value.

* Phone self-service failed all trust criteria. The biggest problem: Systems didn't help users recover from errors.

* Kiosk software failed three out of four trust criteria. Biggest problems: Systems didn't provide enough feedback and didn't help users recover from errors.

Forrester recommends:

* Be clear about security and privacy policies. Don't make users hunt for privacy information.

* Anticipate questions and let users get answers in context. Map those queries back to specific areas and place answers where users may have the questions.

* Help users avoid and recover from errors. Look for instances where errors are likely to occur, like inputting the wrong e-mail address.

* Treat interactions as part of a dialogue taking place between a human and the computer, instead of having static web pages, kiosk screens, etc.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.