BOSTON: Banks and retailers give their online customers three to four times the levels of satisfaction offered by health care companies, utilities and insurance, a new report has claimed.

Delivering Digital Satisfaction: US Consumers Raise the Ante, from the Boston Consulting Group, drew on the findings of the BCG Digital Satisfaction and Value Survey. This polled 3,135 connected consumers during March 2013 across eight sectors, including automobiles, finance, government services, health care, retail, real estate, travel and utilities.

"The opportunity for companies in many sectors to improve online satisfaction remains vast," said Thierry Chassaing, a BCG senior partner and co-author of the report.

"And the gaps are set to widen as mobile adoption expands and almost 80m Millennial consumers mature," he added.

Banks topped the satisfaction scale by a considerable margin, with a digital satisfaction score of 15.2. Customers said they valued being able to conduct their business with ease and gain ready access to their financial information.

Banks have simplified routine tasks such as paying bills, and saved time in other areas such as depositing checks and transferring funds. Consumers placed an annual value on this of $396, which was 78% more than the next segment.

Online merchants and media retailers also performed well, with respective digital satisfaction scores of 11.8 and 11.1. Customers are happy because these services allow them to compare products and options, find better prices and engage in quick and convenient transactions.

The value consumers placed on the digital channels of these two segments was $222 and $180 respectively.

At the other end of the scale, telcos and real estate recorded digital satisfaction scores of 3.5 and 3.8 respectively. These companies are missing the basics – consumers said they lacked services for simple tasks such as providing information or transacting business online.

Overall, BCG found that the average connected consumer in the US derived a value of $2,250 a year from accessing companies online in the eight sectors surveyed, a sum it noted could nearly triple if all companies matched the best-in-class levels.

"Closing the gap requires companies to identify where they are able to meet consumer demands and, crucially, where they are not – so that they can rapidly build capabilities where they've already begun to fall behind," said Sebastian DiGrande, a BCG senior partner and co-author of the report.

Data sourced from Boston Consulting Group; additional content by Warc staff