Data & Analytics

09:38 AM
Connect Directly
Facebook
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Customer Satisfaction With Banks on the Rise

Smaller banks and credit unions continue to outpace their larger competitors in customer satisfaction.

Consumer satisfaction with banks has increased to pre-recession levels, according to a consumer survey conducted by the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based American Customer Satisfaction Index.

According to the survey, which polled some 70,000 consumers in the U.S., customer satisfaction with banks grew by 1.3 percent over the past year to reach a score of 78, out of 100. Overall, customer satisfaction with financial services -- which includes banks, credit unions, health insurance, property and casualty insurance, and life insurance -- rose .3 percent in 2013.

According to the survey, smaller banks (which rose 5 percentage points to a score of 83) and credit unions (up 4 percent to 85) far outdistanced their larger competitors. Among the largest four banks, JPMorgan Chase maintained the highest score with a 3 percent gain to 76, while Citigroup jumped 6 percent to 74, and Wells Fargo edged up 1 percent to 72. Bank of America registered its largest improvement in a decade, to reach a score of 69, but remained in last place, and is the only bank that has yet to restore its pre-recession level of customer satisfaction, said the ACSI.

“Even though banks have raised fees again, the 15th straight year of such increases, no negative repercussions have been detected regarding customer satisfaction,” said Claes Fornell, ACSI founder and chairman, in a statement. “In part, this is because a fair number of consumers are changing their behavior to avoid the fees by exclusively using their own bank’s ATMs and maintaining sufficiently large account balances.”

Banks and credit unions both received high marks for their customer service at branches and for online banking. However, customers gave a failing grade to the competitiveness of bank interest rates, while credit union customers find the lack of convenient ATMs and branches to be the most troublesome aspect of the experience.

[Related Content: To Bolster Customer Engagement, Take a Page from Retailers’ Playbook]

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as a municipal and courts reporter for daily newspapers in upstate New York, Bryan has ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Becca L
50%
50%
Becca L,
User Rank: Author
12/16/2013 | 5:21:16 AM
re: Customer Satisfaction With Banks on the Rise
I would like to see a comparison of the changes in customer satisfaction and customer trust. Has trust fully recovered since the recession? I speculate trust levels are still low, but significantly higher for smaller banks and credit unions, which would sort of sway any customer satisfaction surveys, no?
Becca L
50%
50%
Becca L,
User Rank: Author
12/16/2013 | 5:18:42 AM
re: Customer Satisfaction With Banks on the Rise
Great point. Big or small, It's interesting how so much has changed for banks in terms of the services they offer, including better fee structures, mobile applications, mobile payment, etc etc but customer satisfaction hasn't exactly reflected those (expensive) changes. Perhaps today we see these things more as must-haves, not nice-to-haves, leaving us only moderately satisfied. I guess it shows banks have a steep uphill battle to win customers over.
Yaldez4FSI
50%
50%
Yaldez4FSI,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/10/2013 | 5:45:34 PM
re: Customer Satisfaction With Banks on the Rise
I would think that the interesting point of the report is not comparisons of large to small, but how each institution has changed over time; maybe especially true for the big banks that still have a lot of negative news out there.
Kelly22
50%
50%
Kelly22,
User Rank: Author
12/10/2013 | 5:13:07 PM
re: Customer Satisfaction With Banks on the Rise
It's true that measuring satisfaction is tough with firms of different sizes, especially since they all have different qualities. You have a point about comparing big and small banks. I did think it was interesting that the insurance portion of the report also showed that smaller companies outranked larger ones when it came to customer satisfaction.
Byurcan
50%
50%
Byurcan,
User Rank: Author
12/10/2013 | 5:04:56 PM
re: Customer Satisfaction With Banks on the Rise
Yes, and measuring overall satisfaction in financial services in general, including banks and insurance, is even more difficult. People could have vastly different experiences with their bank and insurer.
KBurger
50%
50%
KBurger,
User Rank: Strategist
12/10/2013 | 4:02:46 PM
re: Customer Satisfaction With Banks on the Rise
There seems to be a bit of "apples and oranges" in this analysis. Does it even make sense to compare big banks and small banks? They have respective strengths and weaknesses in terms of customer insight, customer service, product development, pricing flexibility, etc. Also, big banks inevitably are going to get more coverage than smaller banks and CUs do for everything they do, good or bad, which obviously shapes public perception. Also, how a bank approaches rates and pricing doesn't necessarily correlate to customer service, etc. Finally, it seems ironic that one of the factors that reduces (potential) disatisfaction is consumerization -- customers taking more control over the ways they interact with their banks. I guess I'm saying that the concept of customer satisfaction in financial services appears to be an increasingly complex concept.
Register for Bank Systems & Technology Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Bank Systems & Technology - August 2014
Modern core systems are emerging as the foundations of effective channel integration and customer engagement initiatives.
Slideshows
Video