In case you missed a few of our recent online events and complementary research reports, we’re including them for you here. We promise, just like the day after 1/2 price Halloween candy, it’s not a trick. Just a heartfelt way for us to treat you, our loyal banking fiends and fans for your continued support. Enjoy!
What Do Small Business Owners Expect From Their Bank?
This exclusive webcast provides an inside look into the results of our J.D. Power and Associates 2012 US and Canadian Small Business Banking Satisfaction Study that will be released next week. Below are only some of the many issues discussed during the webcast:
How customers’ perceptions have changed since 2011
The latest trends emerging in the small business banking industry
Which factors are having the biggest impact on customer satisfaction
The Dividends of Improving Best Practices for Social Media Research
In this whitepaper, we’ll show you that without well-established and proven guidelines on query construction and data extraction, very different results and conclusions can be obtained by different analysts attempting the same social media data search.
In extreme cases, analysts can create such highly divergent queries that the associated data leads to different answers to even simple questions, such as:
Which brand is my main competitor?
Is Product1 more of my brand’s conversation this month centered around product?
Is the sentiment expressed toward my brand this month more or less positive than the sentiment expressed toward my brand last month?
We’d like to share with you a short video featuring elite companies recognized as J.D. Power 2012 Customer Service Champions. They all describe their stories with one common theme, and that is the importance of assuring consistency across service channels. In this video, you’ll hear from:
Rob Hibbard, Enterprise Rent-A-Car – Vice President, Airport Business Development
Dick Evans, Frost Bank – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Kurt McNeil, Cadillac – Vice President of Sales and Service
As economic pressures increase and companies look for ways to improve their bottom line, many brands deploy technology to support the customer experience, as well as to lower overall costs.
Some of the technologies companies use to support the customer experience include automated phone systems and interactive voice response systems. These systems guide customers through standard sales or service processes and procedures to collect information from the customer in advance of a human interaction, while others replace human interaction altogether with a self-service framework.
So which type of support do customers prefer……….human or machine?
Human! J.D. Power’s data collected between 2009 and 2011 indicates the customer experience with a customer service representative continues to have greater impact on overall satisfaction than does an automated system.
There are three practices that a company can employ to assure consistency across their service channels. These practices include:
Next week, we’ll be releasing our 2012 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study (SM).
This study will explore why its a must for banks to understand their customers’ needs on both individual and regional levels, and identify what actions they should take in order to meet their customers’ expectations.
Get an insider’s look!
Join us for the 2012 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study post-publish webcast on Tuesday, April 24th at 2:00pm EST to learn:
How the industry did overall
Which banks performed best-in-class across the 11 geographical regions
Attendees will also gain insights into key findings from the study that address:
Approaches to managing costs without sacrificing customer satisfaction, loyalty or retention
Understanding drivers of attrition and why keeping, or losing customers is not just about fees
Improving revenues and satisfaction with a value proposition that is understood and meaningful to your customers
For more information regarding the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, please contact Holly Zagresky at Holly_Zagresky@jdpa.com
Top Drivers of Customer Satisfaction in the Call Center
Join J.D. Power’s resident Contact Center expert, Mark Miller, for a complimentary webinar where he’ll unveil the top drivers of customer satisfaction with the call center channel for 2012, and help us all take steps to show our customers how much we really love them.
Join us on Tuesday, March 27 at 2:00 pm Eastern (11amPT/NoonMT/1pmCT)
Understand what customers care about most
Learn why who you know is more important than what you know when it comes to providing an outstanding customer experience
Discover the three dynamics that will change, and are changing, the role of the call center forever and what to do to capitalize on this understanding
Next week, we’ll be releasing our 2012 Bank Customer Switching and Acquisition Study (SM). This study will explore the triggers that cause customers to shop for a new bank or a new account, their perceptions of bank brands, and how they make their purchase decision. The study will also include information on those who switched primary financial institutions in the past 12 months.
The customers of the top 25 financial institutions in the industry, as well as customers of small banks and credit unions are targeted in this study.
Focusing on the stages of the purchase process, the 2012 Bank Customer Switching and Acquisition Study will answer the following questions:
The Shopping Process – Who is shopping? What prompts a customer to shop? What are they shopping for?
Awareness – What drives greater awareness?
Consideration – How are customers shopping? What impacts a financial institution’s consideration? Why are financial institutions avoided?
Selection – What drives shoppers to select a financial institution?
New Account Initiation and On-Boarding – What are the new account initiation best practices? What experience differences improve share of wallet?
Cool Hand Luke coined one of the most memorable lines in movie history. It’s also fair to say that it reflects one of the sources of problems associated with customer problems and dissatisfaction. In all three of J.D. Power’s Syndicated Banking Studies this year, there was a remarkable level of consistency among customers who completely Understand their fees, service charges, and/or account terms. This means roughly two out of three customers do not have a solid comprehension of the rules of the game for which they are held accountable. In many ways, “what we have got here is failure to communicate.”
J.D. Power’s research across these three studies demonstrate the importance associated with high levels of customer comprehension around fees and terms, and why it’s in the institution’s best interest to do everything possible to educate customers.
Customers who lack complete understanding of fees are:
Overall less satisfied
More likely to have problems or complaints
Have higher attrition or likely to switch primary providers
Educating customers about their terms and agreements must begin with account initiation. Frontline employees (branch and call center alike), however, often avoid this conversation because it’s not positive and uplifting. Customers opening new accounts often just hear about the wonderful benefits and services associated with their new accounts. After all, who would want to spoil the mood of bringing a new customer on board with talk about fees and other negative stuff?
That’s the problem. In presentations, I liken this to the well-intentioned parent who avoids having the ‘facts of life’ discussion with an adolescent child because it’s an uncomfortable and often emotional conversation. However, many (grand)parents can attest to the unfortunate consequences of not educating children early on about these facts. The same can be said about our customers. Eventually they will learn the facts about their accounts on their own…and the results are often unpleasant.
So banks and credit card issuers need to make sure they make customer education and proactive communication around fees and account terms a high priority. As for the discomfort of talking about these things….GET OVER IT!!
Frontline employees however, need to have the right resources and training to communicate effectively with customers. These include:
Simple collateral: Customers can still get the 30 or 40 page disclosure, but if they also get a 1 or 2 page summary sheet describing exactly what fees, requirements, balances, charges, etc. are associated with their accounts, it’s much more likely they will grasp at least the most important elements.
Proactive communication and listening: Representatives should not assume that customers grasp what has been described during account initiation. There are so many disclosures, policies and procedures associated with the process that their heads are likely spinning by the end of the session. Therefore, the banker needs to ask, and ask again about the customer’s understanding of key fees. Repetition is a good thing.
Follow-up in 2-3 days: Highest satisfaction occurs when the agent who opened the account calls the customer back in 2-3 days to both thank them for their business and to ask if there are additional questions. It would also be a good time to check to see if they read the disclosure (or at least the summary sheet) and to remind them of any key minimum balance or transaction requirements, etc.
If frontline employees can be trained to overcome their aversion to discussing fees and charges with customers, then a major hurdle will be overcome and it will be less likely that we will continue to have “failure to communicate!”
This past weekend, I visited an actual bank branch for the first time in over 6 months. As part of the MTV generation (the late half of course), I witnessed the introduction of the home computer, the growth of the video game era, the boom of cable television and the construction of the information superhighway we refer to as the internet. Growing up on digital technology, it’s probably not a shocker that I prefer to do much if not all of my banking via online channels whenever possible or available.
So, it was a Saturday morning, and I needed to cash a check written on a large regional bank where I am currently not a customer. Finding a branch location was a synch, as this bank has a huge national footprint with a well-recognized and distinguished brand image. Convenience was definitely key for me, so I went with easy, and chose to visit the small branch close to my home. After all, I had passed it a thousand times on my way to somewhere else, but never had a reason to pop in.
As I entered the branch, nobody acknowledged my presence, but finding the teller line was easy……4 steps and I was already inside the roped off area waiting for a teller to motion to me that it was my turn to be assisted. In less than a minute, I got the combo hand signal and slight arm waive to “come on down”, and was greeting with a hearty “hello” by the teller. I told her I wanted to cash a check, and she promptly asked me for identification. As she processed my transaction, counted and double counted the cash she was about to hand me, I took a few moments to glance around the rest of the office to just soak up the atmosphere. I can’t help it. I’ve done thousands of retail bank and branch assessments over the years, so you could say that I’m almost conditioned to automatically make note of wait times, observe service behaviors of branch staff and read non-verbal cues of branch customers. In fact, according to the 2010 J.D. Power Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, the in-person customer experience is the largest contributing factor to Account Activity satisfaction in the entire Study!
Here’s what I observed:
One customer was waiting to be helped on the platform while a CSR was training another CSR on the computer system. Did I mention that it was a Saturday? Did I mention that there was only one CSR on duty?
There were no customers in line at the teller counter, yet there were 3 other tellers on duty chatting amongst themselves. Did I mention that they were chatting behind the teller counter right in front of the customer waiting to be helped on the platform?
The teller finished processing my transaction, handed back my ID with the cash and a receipt and said “thank you”.
Here’s what I wondered:
Why didn’t the teller thank me by name or use my name at all during the transaction? After all, she had my ID, so she knew my name by now.
Why didn’t the teller ask me if there was anything more she could assist me with? I was thinking the obvious, like why was I not already a bank customer or inquire if I would like to be. Why didn’t they want me as a customer? Did they already have too many?
Why wasn’t I greeted by anyone when I entered the branch?
Why was platform training being facilitated on a Saturday with no other platform staff present?
Why was a customer waiting to be helped when almost all employees in the branch were visibly available?
Now, I know what you’re probably thinking……I’ve been conducting comprehensive branch assessments for over 15 years, so how could I possibly be unbiased in my branch observations? I’m trained to notice the subtleties of customer service and can help banks build and implement customer satisfaction programs in my sleep, so maybe my observations were exaggerated or just too critical? Well in this case, I was just an average bank customer processing a simple transaction on a Saturday morning. Continue reading ›
USA Today ran an interesting article last week entitled“Will Bank Branches Wither Away?” It always catches my eye when someone even suggests the demise of brick-and-mortar branches, even in this day and age of iPhones, Droids, ATMs, etc. The article does cover some interesting perspectives on how banks like Citibank are going greener by eliminating paper and other banks like Chase continue to expand branch presence into new geographies. So IS the branch going the way of the Dodo Bird and buggy whip? Not necessarily.
But the raison d’être of the branch has certainly evolved and reflects the changing needs and preferences of a more mobile and self-serving consumer population. In contrast to the ABA research quoted in the article, which reported 62% of customers prefer online versus only 20% branch, J.D. Power and Associates’ 2011 Retail Banking Study found a slightly narrower gap. In the 2011 study, preference to online was 52%, 23 percentage points higher than branch. While that still reflects a significant tilt towards online, it also shows that “…the report of the branch’s death was an exaggeration.” (our thanks to Mark Twain).
What role does the branch seem to play in today’s increasingly technological world? Continue reading ›
A lot has been said about the Bank Transfer Day recently and its success (or lack thereof). In a recent interview by the Credit Union Times, I was asked how J.D. Power’s research supports or refutes the recent noise about customers moving their banking relationships from the large banks to credit unions and community banks. I would love to say that data shows customers are embracing Frank Capra’s rendition of the struggling but good-hearted Bedford Falls Building and Loan Association (“It’s a Wonderful Life”, for those who may not see the movie a dozen times over the next six weeks), but it’s simply too early to judge. The question at the heart of the matter is whether or not customers will suddenly decide to switch banks out of fee frustration and media encouragement? Obviously the big banks feel that at least their better customers will not while credit unions hope the opposite is true. While it is still too early for J.D. Power to define a point of view on the voice of the customer on this issue, there are some data points from the 2011 Retail Banking Study which may lead us to make some bets.
If we just look at customers who are largely dissatisfied (satisfaction under 600, based on J.D. Power’s 1,000 point scale) AND have had at least one problem or complaint in the last year, 55% of them STILL say they probably or definitely will NOT switch banks in the next 12 months! Whether it’s because of the hassle associated with switching or just because their bank still meets their needs, if these customers won’t switch, how likely will it be that a general satisfied customer will go out on a Saturday morning and move their accounts just because of a threatened $5 fee or online encouragement? If those dissatisfied customers in the Retail Banking Study are further segmented by income, there is still little support for the either argument as High, Moderate and Low income groups vary by only 4 percentage points on their inclination to NOT switch banks.
However, if problems are taken out of the equation and those dissatisfied customers are instead viewed by whether or not they have been charged a maintenance fee in the last year, inclination to switch does change. 30% of unhappy customers (overall satisfaction < 600) who have not been charged a monthly fee say they probably or definitely WILL switch banks in the next year. However, that number jumps 13 percentage points, to 43%, if a customer HAS been charged at least one monthly fee over the last year. That could argue in favor of the Bank Transfer Day resonating with customers who are already dissatisfied with their existing banks.
So what do you think? Did Bank Transfer Day make enough of an impact among customers and banks to make a difference? Was Bedford Falls’ Building and Loan able to get new customers because they told everyone to switch from the big bank? We will clearly know more in the weeks and months ahead.