A Few Post Halloween Banking Tips &Treats

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 supportEnjoy!

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

Download the full webcast

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?

Download the full whitepaper

Using Voice of the Customer Information to Improve Business Performance: 5 Keys to Success

This presentation explores how clients use J.D. Power and Associates and other Voice of the Customer data with ROI or other business metrics to analyze under-performance to drive improvement.

Download the full presentation Continue reading ›

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Jim Miller Joins the J.D. Power Financial Services Team

We are very pleased to announce that Jim Miller has joined our Financial Services practice as Senior Director of Banking. In this role, Jim will focus on developing and delivering high-quality insights, recommendations, and presentations for the banking practice.

Jim brings to the position expertise in both banking and customer experience that make . . . Continue Reading Jim Miller Joins the J.D. Power Financial Services Team

How Banks Charge Fees Without Jeopardizing Customer Satisfaction

As banks continue to explore ways to manage the sensitivity around charging fees while minimizing the impact associated with charging those fees, it’s important to focus on the following three areas:

1.  Stability

The data from our 2012 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study shows that fee structure changes not only have a significant impact on customer satisfaction, but they also lead to an increase in problem incidence and intended attrition.  The following are some best practices banks should consider when making changes to fee structures:

  • When changes are necessary, focus on limiting the number of changes customers are forces to accept. For example, making two or three changes to fee structures per year may be more confusing and less satisfying than making multiple changes at one time.
  • When fee changes are necessary, it is critical to communicate the changes well in advance so that customers are not caught by surprise.
  • While communication of fees is mandatory, there are some other ways for financial institutions to help ensure customers are aware of changes—e.g., communicating changes more than once and preferably via multiple channels, such as mailed letter and online notification.
Source:  J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Banking Satisfaction Study

2.  Communication

The impact of communication on the fee experience goes far beyond simply providing advance notice of any changes to the fee structure. There are other best practices that banks can follow to provide their customers with more information regarding fees or information on other product pricing options available:

Account initiation: Starting with account initiation, it’s vital that representatives perform a detailed needs assessment and identify the products that meets customers’ needs. Performing a detailed needs assessment during account initiation provides a big lift in fee understanding (22 percentage point difference for “completely” identified needs) , while also providing a significant lift in satisfaction.

Online account information: It goes without saying that providing customers with clear and concise access to account information and other pertinent information via the bank’s website is crucial. Clarity of account information and Clarity of information provided on the website provide considerable lifts in Fees satisfaction, while also improving fee understanding by 16 percentage points.

Outbound communication: Proactively contacting customers three or four times per year regarding banking products and services enhances satisfaction and understanding of both fees and product offerings, without creating information overload. Study findings show that satisfaction and understanding both begin to decline when customers receive five or more proactive contacts per year. This also includes performing account reviews to ensure customers have the right products. Empowering branch tellers and call center representatives to proactively review customer accounts and make recommendations for alternative products and pricing options provides lifts in Fees satisfaction and understanding and significantly improves the bank’s Brand Image rating for being Customer driven. Continue reading ›

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Big Banks Improving in Reducing Number of Problems Experienced and in Problem Resolution

Facilities and Routine Interactions Offset Decreasing Satisfaction with Fees

Highlights from our 2012 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study(SM)

  • Overall retail banking customer satisfaction has improved by one index point in 2012 to an average of 753 (on a 1,000-point scale) from 2011.
  • When looking at banks in aggregate by relative size, satisfaction with big banks is 743, a two-point increase from 2011, while satisfaction with midsized banks is up four points to 781. Regional banks experience a slight dip in overall satisfaction, to 759 from 760 in 2011.
“Big banks continue to lag the other banks in overall satisfaction, but they have made significant improvements in reducing the number of problems customers experience and in problem resolution, specifically resolving problems on first contact,” said Michael Beird, director of banking services at J.D. Power and Associates.
  • While consumers are growing increasingly dissatisfied with fees, banks are able to offset it with higher satisfaction in other areas, such as banking facilities, account activities and problem resolution.

Fees:

  • Satisfaction with fees has declined to 609, down significantly from 625 in 2011 and from 656 in 2010.
  • Monthly maintenance fees have the most significant negative impact on fees satisfaction this year—more so than in the 2011 and 2010 studies—while fees assessed for ATMs and debit cards have less negative impacts on fees satisfaction.
“The negative reaction to fees reflects customers’ irritation about paying for something they didn’t have to pay for in the past,” said Beird. “It also reflects a lack of their complete understanding about what they’re getting for those fees. Customers understand why they’re being charged for ATM and debit card use, but are not clear on what they’re getting for monthly maintenance fees, which drives the bigger drop in satisfaction with those fees.”

Banking Facilities:

  • Customer satisfaction with bank facilities—branch and ATM locations, appearance and hours of operation—has improved this year to 779, compared with 771 in 2011 and 765 in 2010.
  • One behavior helping increase satisfaction with the branch is that 76 percent of customers say they are greeted by a bank employee when they enter the bank, an increase from 68 percent in the 2010 study.
  • Customer satisfaction with the reliability and ease of using ATM machines has increased to 815 from 795 in 2011.
The study measures satisfaction among banks in 11 regions. Study results by region are: Continue reading ›
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It’s Time to Change Your Social Media Story – Part 2

By Mark Zmarzly, VP of Financial Services at ACTON Marketing

In the previous post It’s Time to Change Your Social Media Story – Part 1 , I made a brilliant argument for the end of the Internet.  Actually, I wrote about how Facebook’s timeline changes should give all financial institutions reason to reconsider their social media strategies, but I think you could read between the lines.  The time for reinvention is here, as is the road map below.

If you have the guts (and resources) to reinvent your narrative, here are the things to think about as you redesign and redefine your story:

  • You are not the main character in your story…
  • Your story (updates, cover photos, apps, etc) needs to reflect your customers, not your bank
  • People identify with those like them (more accurately: with people slightly better than themselves), not with their bank

Who are the main characters in the stories below?  Which story would you rather read?

Your voice needs to be authentic

Every time I see a scripted wall post that’s repeated over and over “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Please contact us at customerservice@anybank.com so we can look into your issue and work with you to resolve it.” I want to jump right into my laptop screen onto the Information Super Highway and drive down to a town I like to call Shoot Myself. Yes, discussions about personal account level data need to be taken offline but this voice is your narrator and he/she is inauthentic and not engaging. Amber Farley from Financial Marketing Solutions adds, “Not only does the voice of the bank need to be authentic and relevant, but it needs to be reflective of the bank’s overall brand. Banks shouldn’t jump into social media pretending to be something they aren’t.”

Continue reading ›

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It’s Time to Change Your Social Media Story – Part 1

By Mark Zmarzly, VP of Financial Services at ACTON Marketing

Here’s something most of you don’t know about me: before I entered the financial services industry, I was an English teacher and fiction writer. Why you don’t know this about me can be chalked up to one of these reasons:

We have a virtual . . . Continue Reading It’s Time to Change Your Social Media Story – Part 1

What Was the Outcome of Bank Transfer Day?

A Credit Union National Association (CUNA) surveyed 1,100 Credit unions about the impact of Bank Transfer Day

…AND THE SURVEY SAID.…

Credit unions brought in 40,000 in new members Credit unions added $80 million in new savings account funds Nearly 700,000 new credit union members joined the movement Around 80% of larger credit unions . . . Continue Reading What Was the Outcome of Bank Transfer Day?