The customer comes first
Prior to 2010 the criteria by which the personal finance and City press judged companies differed. Up until this year, the personal finance media tended to focus on product and service quality and customer service. The City press, meanwhile, believed that financial performance, the quality of the management team and the corporate strategy of a company were key. Given that personal finance journalists typically write about products on one hand and City journalists report on markets and companies on the other, this division in attitudes makes sense.
In the past year, however, things have changed. The personal finance press is now placing more importance on financial performance and the stability of companies than they have in the past. In parallel to this, City journalists are now placing more importance of quality of products and customer service levels than they once were.
Company’s profit margins are under increasing pressure due to economic uncertainty, low growth and structural changes. For this reason, Personal finance journalists are taking a wider view of the market to see if strong financial performance will translate into to a more competitive product offer for the customer. In contrast, City journalists feel that in a period of low growth, customer retention and service are crucial for businesses – in recent research three-quarters of City journalists agreed that “improving customer service is key for the success of the UK banking industry”*.
The UK financial press are moving to a common ground where focus on the customer – either through more competitive products or improved service levels – is now increasingly important. With competition set to increase, customer loyalty, retention and an increasing focus on the customer, will be critical to the future success of financial providers.
Ipsos MORI has a unique level of insight into the changing opinions and interests of the UK’s financial press and other key influencers from our in-depth syndicated surveys. By understanding how key influencers rate and judge companies, we help our clients tailor communications to each audience.
*Ipsos MORI Business & Financial Journalist Survey – Summer 2011