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Customers Say Branch, Online Channels More Important Than Mobile

The eighth annual Retail Banking Consumer Experience Index, released today by Capgemini, UniCredit and Efma, finds that customers are generally satisfied with their banks, and are turning back to branches for high-quality services.

Customers might not be terribly confident in the banking industry, but more than half are satisfied with their banks.

Capgemini, UniCredit and Efma today published the eighth annual World Retail Banking Report, which showed that 59 percent of customers are satisfied with their banks. Customer experience and the evolution of branch banking were identified as key areas where banks can improve.

The Capgemini Retail Banking Customer Experience Index (CEI), a new feature in the World Retail Banking Report, serves as a barometer for how customers perceive the quality of their banking interactions through products, channels and transactions. The new index found that banks are succeeding in proving positive customer experiences. Worldwide, banks scored an average CEI rating of 72.2 out of 100, with U.S. banks scoring highest at 78.0.

"Capgemini's CEI was built with the understanding that a gap exists between what banks perceive as important to customers and what customers say is most important," said Jean Lassignardie, global head of sales and marketing, Capgemini Financial Services. "The CEI seeks to align the product, life cycle and delivery channel capabilities of banks with the values and standards of their customers, providing banks with additional insights to set better business and channel strategies."

The CEI was based on a survey of about 14,000 bank customers in 25 countries, along with 50 in-depth interviews with senior banking execs worldwide, Capgemini says.

Customer perception is not always consistent, and varies by region or channel. The largest gap in the CEI was in banks' ability to meet customer needs across banking channels. While branch and Internet are universally viewed as the most important channels, outside of North America, less than half of the customers surveyed reported having a positive experience.

Branch banking is seeing a revival in terms of customer usage for advisory and relationship management services. Capgemini's report found that customer usage of the branch for those services will go from 28 percent in 2010 to 31 percent in 2015.

Mobile was considered the least important channel in all regions, but was valued more highly by Latin Americans than customers elsewhere.

"The industry can be commended for maintaining overall sound satisfaction levels, but indeed banks need to move towards providing more positive experiences in the areas that matter most to customers," said Alessandro Decio, Senior Executive Vice President, Head of Family and SME Division, UniCredit. "Overall, the goal for any bank is to direct the right product to the right customer through the right channel, assuring ease-of-use, transparency and flawless execution. This can only be achieved through careful analysis of customer needs, expectations and channel usage patterns, and requires complete dedication to process excellence and efficiency in every client interaction."

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