Dalbar Says Fidelity And Pacific Life Repeat As Top Web Sites
Fidelity Investments, Boston, remained at the top of consumer-targeted life and annuity company Web sites during the second quarter of 2002, while Pacific Life Insurance Company, Newport Beach, Calif., held onto its lead among sites for agents and financial professionals, says Dalbar Inc., Boston,.
Dalbar, a research firm, ranks sites on ease of use, quality of functions, currency of content and consistency of approach.
Among sites for professionals, Pacific Life has held the top position since the first quarter of 2001, when it edged out Fidelity and John Hancock Financial Services, Boston.
Pacific Life has the only agent-oriented site that earns Dalbars excellent rating, which the firm reserves for insurers that score 80 or better.
Fidelity remains Pacific Lifes closest competitor in Dalbars professional site rankings, increasing its score from 75 to 78, while Hancock slipped to 13th place from third since the first quarter of 2002 as its score fell from 72 to 64.
By far the most improved agent site was Massachusetts Mutual Life, which leaped from 25th place in the first quarter to seventh place in the second. MassMutual completely redesigned its professional site, making significant changes to each of its major sections, Dalbar notes.
“MassMutual also expanded the access to its producer extranet and made it accessible to all MassMutual producers and support staff,” Dalbar states.
Easier navigation and increased news and market information also helped boost the site, according to Dalbar.
“We took a site with a lot of verbiage and made it more graphical and user friendly,” comments Howard Odentz, communications manager for FieldNet, MassMutuals name for its extranet.
The company has also enhanced the sites search engine, allowed personal e-mail access and added more user customization, including quick links that allow agents to append their own favorite links to the site for fast viewing whenever they visit.
The site is available only to MassMutuals own producers, but the company plans to make it open to producers in other channels soon, including banks, says Odentz.
Another big mover among agent sites was Nationwide Financial Services, Columbus, Ohio, which increased its score from 69 to 75.
New site capabilities improved Nationwides standing, Dalbar says. Part of the improvement was a new program to educate financial professionals on fiduciary matters.
Tim Lyons, vice president of technology for Nationwide, says the company put employees in the field with its agents to find out what they wanted to see on the site.