Big Banks Make Big Gains in Customer Satisfaction

*Guest post by Karen Licker, Financial Services Social Media & Marketing (Independent) at J.D. Power and Associates

Overall customer satisfaction with retail banks improved significantly from 2012, largely a result of improvements made by big banks, (1) according to our J.D. Power and Associates 2013 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction StudySM  released today.

“Many of the big banks have made great strides in listening to what their customers are asking for: reducing the number of problems customers encounter and, more importantly, improving satisfaction with fees,” said our own Jim Miller, senior director of banking here at J.D. Power and Associates

Below are a few highlights from the study:

  • Fees have begun to stabilize and banks have helped their customers better understand their fee structures.  Satisfaction in this area has begun to rebound, and is up by 14 points this year from 2012.
  • One-third (33%) of customers say they “completely” understand their fee structure, compared with 26 percent in 2012.
  • Fees also have been a major source of customer problems and complaints. The stability in fees, coupled with banks placing more emphasis on preventing problems, has lowered the proportion of customers experiencing a problem by 3 percentage points year over year, to 18 percent in 2013.
  • While customers appreciate the personal service they receive at their branch, such transactions are slowly declining, while the numbers of online, ATM and mobile banking transactions are increasing.
  • As banks roll out envelope-free ATM deposits and deposits by mobile phone, customers are finding it easier to handle routine transactions without needing to visit their branch.

“Successful banks are not pushing customers out of the branch, but rather providing tools that make it easier to conduct their banking business when and where it is convenient for them,” said Miller. “Customers are quickly adopting mobile banking, making it a critical service channel for banks, not just a ‘nice to have’ option.”

For study results by region, view retail banking satisfaction rankings at JDPower.com

For more information on this 2013 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, please contact Holly Zagresky at (248) 680-6319 or via email at Holly_Zagresky@jdpa.com

(1)Big banks are defined as the six largest financial institutions based on total deposits as reported by the FDIC, averaging $180 billion and above. Regional banks are defined as those with between $180 billion and $33 billion in deposits. Midsize banks are defined as those with between $33 billion and $2 billion in deposits.

Comments

  1. Maria D says:

    Hi Karen,

    I’m glad to learn that customer satisfaction in the banking area has improved this year. I’m one of those few who believe that branches cannot disappear, as I would never exchange human interaction for a screen, especially when I’m dealing with my finances.
    I’ve been reading several studies on retail banking by PwC that talk about how banks, despite all regulatory reforms and other threats for profitability, have plentiful opportunities for growth as long as they focus their efforts in customer satisfaction. Customers will pay for experiences they truly value, and this is the key for bank strategy today: retain customers by delivering exceptional service and developing close relationships.
    I invite you to read further on this study by PwC: http://www.pwc.com/us/en/advisory/customer-impact/publications/2012-retail-bank-experience-radar.jhtml

    Hope it helps!

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