Customer Advocacy 2007: USAA wins again

This morning at Forrester's Finance Forum, Bill Doyle released the results of how consumers rate their financial institutions on customer advocacy:

"the perception that a firm does what's best for its customers, not just the firm's bottom line."

Why does customer advocacy matter? Our research shows that it's the strongest predictor of future purchase intent - even more so than customer satisfaction.

For the fourth straight year, USAA has finished with the highest rating in our research.  Insurers in general did well as a group; large banks languish in the bottom third of the list.  The full report shows where 52 other brands ended up; I recently published a case study on USAA's culture as well.

Comments

re: Customer Advocacy 2007: USAA wins again

I have two questions related to the Forrester Consumer Advocacy research:1. What is Forrester’s methodology for this research?2. How does Forrester determine which companies to include (e.g., is there a cutoff based on ranking within industry)?

re: Customer Advocacy 2007: USAA wins again

Hi Mike:1. Methodology: as part of our Consumer Technographics survey, Forrester received responses from 5,005 households on the statement "My financial provider does what's best for me, not just its own bottom line." Firms were ranked by percent of respondents who indicate they are a customer and they agree with that statement.2. Companies included: Not sure how the 53 were chosen. I believe they are the largest firms in each segment.

re: Customer Advocacy 2007: USAA wins again

I've never heard of Forrester (I was linked to you by USAA's website).Are we to take you seriously? Why should I believe this nonsense about USAA being better than the rest just because YOU-- a no name-- say so. I need more credentials to justify your claim about a financial conglomerate that's apparently been going downhill for the past seven years in terms of "the total package"-- that is service, products, convenience, benefits, innovation, trust, and contentment from within. How long have you been around? Who have you been recognized by? What awards do you have? Just who the heck are you? What you're claiming is a bit off to say the least.Did you know that USAA used to be consistantly on the Fortune 500's list ( now there's a well known outfit I can take seriously) of top 100 employers to work for many years under the leadership of Brig. Gen. Robert F. McDermott. For Christ's sake HE was the one who brought USAA to it's conglomerate status of today from just an average insurance company yesterday and also established a "family" mentality amoung the employees. That's when USAA could truly be considerd at it's best game. Was Forrester around back then to research that proudful fact about USAA? The current CEO Bob Davis took over in 2001 and has made USAA financialy plump indeed because that's his expertise-- making money. But at what cost? The people who work there now are generally a 9-5/ TGIF crowd because it's not a pretty place to be at anymore. Needless to say they haven't returned to Fortune's list since Davis has been CEO.USAA is number one at customer service? They may be all right, but nothing as extreme as being the best... not even close. I can tell you that from experience. They are like the JFK administration was-- high on style but low in substance. I'll take substance over style everytime. Your so-called research would have found Allstate number one at everything had you done it right.Where in the devil did you guys even get the money to maintain a website much less a reputation for authority of the facts?Christopher Yale

re: Customer Advocacy 2007: USAA wins again

I'll have to second Mr Yale's consensus of USAA, I've been a customer of theirs for a while and for several years now I have been DISSATISFIED with their insurance products and especially poor customer service. I will be switching insurance companies next month when I move, and it will be specifically because of the lack of customer service from USAA. Don't think you got your facts straight or your "sample" was biased.

re: Customer Advocacy 2007: USAA wins again

Chris and Mike - it's interesting to hear about your dissatisfaction with USAA, especially because I've never met a dissatisfied customer. Maybe you could provide more facts and specifics as to why you've found their service lacking and turn this into a constructive dialogue.Regarding Forrester's methodology, before you start questioning our approach, I recommend you get the facts first. For this research, Forrester conducted an online survey of 5,112 US and Canadian individuals who are members of Survey Sampling's online panel. Forrester weighted the data by country, age, gender, income, broadband adoption, and technology attitude to demographically represent the adult North American population. Survey Sampling fielded the survey in September 2006 and motivated respondents by entering them in a drawing. For results based on a randomly chosen sample of this size (N=5,112), there is 95% confidence that the results have a statistical precision of plus or minus 1.4% of what they would be if the entire adult population of North American households had been polled. The sample used by Survey Sampling is not a random sample; while individuals have been randomly sampled from Survey Sampling's panel for this survey, they have previously chosen to take part in the Survey Sampling online panel.

re: Customer Advocacy 2007: USAA wins again

"I've never met a dissatisfied customer" is what the respondant said.Sir/ Missy, you are being hyperbolic when you say that. It's like Muhammed Ali saying, "I'm the greatest in the world". Obviously he was not the "the greatest". And you certainly could not have heard from EVERYONE from USAA that had an appreciative word for customet service.Your bogus ranking for USAA was issued on June 26. I see nobody has commented in the affirmative since then. Matter of factly, only two peeople seem to care enough to respond at all. Why's that, I wonder?Who are you, Forrester?I wonder also why Mike's original questions bout methodology were addressed twice. Could it be indeed that, as Mike would suggest, a bias exists? You felt a need to expound on the subject after apparently not making clear something.I feel you're defending USAA and your decision of making them number one at something, thus making you somewhat illegitamite.Again, your credentials Forrester. You need to back up your efforts.BTW, surveys are of the most inexact sciences on Earth. I wouldn't put too much into them if I were you.Christopher Yale

re: Customer Advocacy 2007: USAA wins again

Sorry Christopher, if you have some sort of personal grievance against USAA or Forrester, you should go ahead and explain that here. Otherwise, if you're not going to move the conversation forward, there's no reason for me to respond.

re: Customer Advocacy 2007: USAA wins again

You're assuming something, my friend.No grievance exits. USAA has it's good points and it's negative. I'm being objective. Do you understand that concept? No matter what I feel personally about something I put that feeling aside and weigh in on a topic honestly.You apparently have difficulty dealing with the contra of issues.Forrester is disapponiting to me. I wanted to get to know this entity just a little. But, instead of speaking to inform I'm confronted by her sensitivity and arrogance.I think I have learned enough about Forrester. I'll not return for any further comment about USAA or anything else regarding Forrester's intellectual worth.Good day.Christopher Yale

re: Customer Advocacy 2007: USAA wins again

I am a long time USAA member, over 40 years. USAA has always offered superior service through all three of their service sectors, Banking, Insurance and Investment Services. I am very happy with them.

re: Customer Advocacy 2007: USAA wins again

I echo those who say that USAA has taken a bad turn recently. I was satisfied with their service for years but I recently went through an absolute travesty of service when trying to refinance a loan. I have not had service this bad in 15 years - it was truly laughable and I have it all documented. They are now in the mortgage industry and they are completely inept. I also have insurance, banking, retirement, and money market through them and am on the verge of pulling them all. They have slid downhill and quickly. My guess is somebody decided that they needed to earn more return on the dollar and cut a bunch of positions to be "leaner" and then added more work to everybody's plate. It used to be when you called the employees loved their jobs. Now I frequently get people who complain about being overworked and don't have time to deal with customer issues. Having worked in the corporate environment for 12 years I can say with honesty that such problems come from the top down - so you know who to blame. They now receive good reviews based on past good deeds only - these are not reflecting the current reality. If they continue they'll be gone - remember who IBM used to be and who they are now. Nobody is immune from giving bad service and treating their employees badly.

re: Customer Advocacy 2007: USAA wins again

Well, Forrester... now what do you think of your boy Robert Davis after he was fired by the Board of Directors at USAA?Employees and customers alike hated the man with a passion. You lost credibility with this lame award of yours for customer service.You were wrong... it was always bottom line that counted with Davis, you damn jerks.Just goes to show you had ulterior motives for awarding them your junk recognition.I agree with Yale. WHO ARE YOU, Forrester?Max

re: Customer Advocacy 2007: USAA wins again

Revisiting this thread from recent comments. I'm surprised but not shocked at the arrogance hiding behind veils of anonymity.

re: Customer Advocacy 2007: USAA wins again

USAA has turned its back on those who serve. If you've been down and out with a bankruptcy, expect to be locked out of your on-line banking, no new services what so ever. Imagine our vets coming back from Iraq or Afghanistan and run into misfortune. USAA will say tough S#$@! Go somewhere else, USAA's bottom line comes first. I've asked Business Week to investigate USAA's new policy. USAA is disgusting to me.

re: Customer Advocacy 2007: USAA wins again

Forrester is suppose to be highly respectable.I have doubts about the research pool and methodology. Who cares about Canadian USAA members. The research should target USAA's military customers at home and abroad in war zones. See what results you get then. Is it really possible USAA is perfect in every way with nothing but accolades free of faults and problems. That's highly suspect and cause your additional investigation.

re: Customer Advocacy 2007: USAA wins again

I'm very unhappy with USAA too. I've been a member for almost five years, but over the past year USAA has seriously gone down hill in the customer service department. Anytime I've called in with a question or complaint, the customer service reps have been rude, and snotty. USAA auto insurance is particularly bad. Their insurance agents (if you're lucky to get an actual licensed insurance agent) misrepresent facts and insurance law just to make a sale. Whenever I've gone so far as to speak to a supervisor, they have been unhelpful and just repeat that empty mantra of, "we're the best in the business." For the most part, I try to minimize my contact with anyone at USAA because I know that what I think or feel is of no consequence as far as USAA is concerned. Unfortunately, I have a very large life insurance policy with USAA. I've completely lost my trust in USAA, so much so that I'm considering terminating my life insurance policy since I have reason to fear that my beneficiaries will have to sue USAA before they ever see any of that money. Pretty sad...