Improving Affluent Customer Satisfaction to Increase Loyalty

Data from the 2013 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study finds that satisfaction and loyalty metrics among Affluent customers are lagging those of Non-Affluent customers. In turn, financial institutions are jeopardizing their ability to deepen the share-of-wallet they hold with their most valuable segment of customers.

Contrary to findings within the retail banking segment, data from the 2013 Full Service Investor Study finds that Affluent investors are significantly more satisfied than Non-Affluent Investors (818 vs. 785, respectively), leading to lower levels of intended attrition.  Therefore, financial institutions have an opportunity to identify the drivers of Affluent customer satisfaction from the wealth management experience and translate them into the retail banking experience.

For example, Affluent customers are considerably more satisfied with the Fees and Product Offerings associated with their investment relationship, as opposed to the Fees and Product Offerings associated with their retail banking relationship. Successful communication, often driven by the presence of an account manager, helps raise pricing-related satisfaction within the wealth management industry. Additionally, financial institutions may want to consider revisions to their lineup of retail banking products/services to better align with the specific needs of Affluent customers, which tend to be more complex.

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Financial Impact of Reducing Problems among Credit Card Customers

Problem prevention should be a focus area for all credit card issuers. Analysis of data from the 2013 Credit Card Satisfaction Study finds that when customers experience a problem, overall satisfaction and customer retention metrics decline significantly.

Preventing the occurrence of problems may also help reduce operational costs. For every 1-percentage-point reduction in problem incidence, issuers may be able to save nearly $230,000 for every 1 million cardholders.

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Issuers should consider the implementation of a problem tracking or problem management systems. Problem tracking provides continual analysis of problem-related customer contacts, potentially helping issuers identify and prioritize processes that can minimize the occurrence of problems. Problem management may include multiple inputs, such as problem contact data, survey data and employee feedback, and is designed to guide issuers on the development of systems to both prevent problems from occurring, and to maximize the effectiveness of resolving problems that do occur.

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‘Big Banks’ more attractive to Gen Y customers?

Data from J.D. Power’s retail banking study finds that 34% of Big Bank customers are within the Generation Y age segment, which is significantly higher than the percentage of Generation Y customers at Regional/Midsize/Community Banks.

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And while the Generation Y segment is currently less-affluent than other segments, they do present potential bottom-line growth as their income levels increase and they enter the market for mortgages, education plans for children, loans, etc.

The ability of Big Banks to provide functional ‘digital banking technology’ (website, mobile, advanced ATMs) is attractive to tech-savvy younger customers, and smaller institutions need to be competitive in this space in order to ‘steal’ younger customers from Big Banks.

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Managing Staff Turnover

There was an article in American Banker last week titled “Big Ideas for Banks in 2014”, and one of the topics focused on the importance of retaining talented employees at bank branches. The article mentioned that high levels of employee turnover can hurt the ‘relationship’ between customers and the bank, which in turn can impact the bank’s ability to retain accounts.

This theme was also very evident in JD Power’s 2013 Small Business Banking Study (released in October 2013). Analysis of study data found that 43% of small business customers had their account manager changed during the past 12 months, and of those, 13% report that their account manager changed two or more times.The impact on satisfaction is significant, as shown in the chart below.

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More importantly, turnover of small business account managers can also have a significant impact on financial performance. Study data clearly shows that small business customers who experience account manager turnover report lower levels of intended loyalty and share of wallet held with the institution. Turnover of account managers also drives an increase in reported problems, which can also be costly for financial institutions through the allocation of valuable resources and labor time associated with problem resolution.

But while an ideal scenario is for financial institutions to keep account manager assignments stable over time, in reality, changes will occur for a variety of reasons. In those cases, there are some best practices that financial institutions can follow that may mitigate the negative impact of account manager changes:

First, it is important that institutions act quickly when account management changes. Customers who are affected by a change should be notified as soon as possible and introduced to their new account manager. Delaying the notification can ultimately have a negative impact on customers’ overall banking experience, especially customers who attempt to contact their account manager and learn they are no longer there.

Second, it is critical that newly assigned account managers reach out to their customers and schedule a time to meet with them. During this meeting, it is important for the new account manager to establish an understanding of the customer’s needs and expectations (e.g., how often customers want to meet, what communication method customers prefer).

Third, new account managers must ensure they are providing the most appropriate solutions based on the customer’s business needs. They must be responsive to customer contacts, responding on the same day of the contact, if possible, and proactively reaching out to customers at least once every three months.

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Improving Satisfaction Among Credit Card Customers

opportunitiesAlthough credit card satisfaction continues to improve, a large percentage of customers indicate they do not fully understand their card’s terms, benefits and rewards program, according to our  J.D. Power 2013 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction StudySM released today. 

Satisfaction in each factor has increased, as have ratings for Brand Image. However, it is important to note that opportunities for further improvements remain. Recommendations for additional focus areas for credit card issuers include:

Deepening customer awareness and understanding of terms, benefits, and rewards, potentially through proactive communication campaigns. Issuers should use consistent messages via all available channels to deepen understanding and awareness of offerings.

Continuing to invest in functionality of self-service interaction channels. Given the continued shift toward digital interaction channels, customers areconsistently looking for advancements in technology. Therefore, websites need to be maintained and upgraded as necessary to ensure easy navigation and availability of clear and concise information. Mobile apps are becoming more widely used; thus, the focus on improving functionality will become increasingly important going forward. Finally, clear processes for handling customer questions/requests submitted via email or online chat must be developed. Issuers must provide the same level of service courtesy and knowledge that is delivered through personal channels, such as the branch and call center.

Maintaining focus on delivering a high level of service during every interaction, given the importance of call center. Although customer contact via this channel is infrequent, every interaction carries a larger weight in overall satisfaction compared to the other interaction methods. Issuers must implement a customer experience framework that addresses customers’ needs and expectations by focusing on employee recruitment, training, coaching, and recognition in order to achieve the desired experience levels.

Preventing problems, as well as eliminating barriers for resolution. Analysis of problem data and determination of problem root causes may help banks adjust policies and procedures.

The 2013 Credit Card Satisfaction Study includes responses from more than 14,000 credit card customers and was fielded from May through June 2013
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Is Mobile Catching on Fast In Canada?

canadaRetail banking customers in Canada have high expectations when it comes to using technology to conduct their banking business. Banks may not be meeting these expectations, especially in mobile, which may be driving the lower ratings for innovation provided by customers. According to our J.D. Power & Associates 2013 Canadian Retail Banking Customer Satisfaction StudySM, in 2013, 58 percent of customers perceive their bank as being technologically innovative, down from 66 percent in 2012.

While mobile penetration is not catching on as fast in Canada, compared with the United States (8% vs. 18%, respectively) banks could help raise mobile banking penetration and customer satisfaction by improving their mobile offerings. Providing a mobile banking option is critical in migrating routine transactions, especially deposits, out of the branch, helping to reduce bank costs while providing convenience for customers.

According to our study, during the past 12 months, mobile banking customers in Canada have used mobile to conduct a banking transaction 33 times, on average, compared with 51 times in the United States. Transactions may include making a deposit, transferring money from one account to another, finding a location, checking an account balance or paying a bill, depending upon the services offered by the bank.

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Social Media Isn’t Just for Servicing

cut up debit cardIn addition to servicing, social media is an important forum for regular communication and marketing….especially among those customers looking to switch banks.

According to our J.D. Power and Associates 2013 Social Media Benchmarking StudySM, after interacting with a bank’s social media site (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube), 45% of customers had a more positive impression of their bank, while just 4% had a more negative impression. Banks should be cognizant of the negative effects their social marketing efforts (or lack there of) may have on consumers’ perceptions of the brand, and also on the bank’s bottom line.  

Did You Know that……

Of the customers that are using social media during the shopping process, 75% are comparing multiple brands while only 25% are considering a new account with their primary bank?   

20% of all switchers are more likely to use social media info to drive their overall selection?

In the study, we also asked respondents “How did social media impact your decision to open a new account/product with your primary bank?  Below are some verbatim responses we collected:

  •  “Social media gave me an outlet to look at recommendations from my friends for other financial institutions that I normally would not have considered.” - Community Bank customer
  • “Gave a new perspective on what people liked/did not like about their local branches” - Large Bank customer
  • “My bank has offers on Facebook, it not offers just information about their services.” - Large Bank customer
  • “Good comments from friends on Facebook and good comments in blogs about my bank convinced me to try them.” - Large Bank customer 
  • “I tried to reach out to the bank through this channel and they promptly responded to my question- Community Bank Customer
Want to learn more about our J.D. Power and Associates 2013 Social Media Benchmark Study,SM  including banking and credit card brand performance? 
Contact Karen Licker at karen_licker1@jdpa.com
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Looking Ahead: Retail Banking in 2014

As the retail banking landscape continues to evolve, banking organizations need to always be tuned in to what customers expect from their bank and how they can provide them with a more satisfying banking experience.

As our J.D. Power Retail Banking Satisfaction Study moves to quarterly fielding and reporting for the 2014 study, banks are now better able to track their success with satisfying customers throughout the entire year!

The first quarterly wave of the 2014 Retail Banking Satisfaction Study was fielded in April 2013 and will be published on Tuesday, July 23rd.

We invite you to join us for a complimentary webcast during which we will discuss key findings from this study and address the following topics:

  • How customers are interacting with their bank
  • Trends in customer satisfaction and loyalty
  • Changes we are seeing since the publication of the 2013 results

Webcast Details

Date:  Wednesday, July 24

Time:  2:00 – 3:00 PM ET

Register-Now-

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