it may be that customers are calling to discuss a problem or issue – this is still a big opportunity for banks to build better relationships
(PRWEB UK) 9 January 2013
A study on customer loyalty towards banks, conducted by leading market research agency, Maritz Research, reveals customers who are regular users of their bank’s online banking system are the most loyal, whilst regular users of the call centre are the least loyal. Maritz asked a nationally representative sample of 1,322 retail bank customers to share how they interact with their main financial service provider.
Each customer was asked to identify their main bank as being the one they hold their current account with. Maritz explored four aspects of the customer-bank relationship.
1. How frequently do customers interact with different channels of their main bank (i.e. branches, online banking and call centres)?
2. How does channel usage relate to perceptions of the overall customer experience at their main bank?
3. How does channel usage relate to customer loyalty to their bank?
4. What stands out as most memorable about their channel experiences?
Dr Jeremy Griffiths, Director, Business Services at Maritz said: “Four key findings were unearthed during the study, and they are all useful indicators of how banks can reach out to customers in their preferred contact channel, resolve any issues and cement loyalty by increasing satisfaction at those touch points. While it may not be surprising that use of call centres indicates least loyalty – it may be that customers are calling to discuss a problem or issue – this is still a big opportunity for banks to build better relationships.”
Most customers choose online banking for their regular banking needs. 60% of customers claim to access their online bank account regularly (i.e. once a week or more often). Customers are less likely to use branches for regular banking needs. Only 38% of customers say they visit their branch regularly (i.e. once or twice each month or more often). Only 10% of customers contact the call centre on a regular basis (i.e. once or twice each month or more often).
What the data also showed was that regular users of online banking systems are the most likely to the stay with their main bank (54% would continue using their main bank) whilst regular users of the call centre are the least likely to stay (41% would continue using their main bank). However, surprisingly, customers who regularly use both branches and online banking systems were no more loyal that those who solely use branches or online banking regularly suggesting multichannel customers are no more loyal than single channel customers.
Jeremy Griffiths commented; “The difference (36% versus 31%) in satisfaction between best and worst contact channels gives the banks immediate areas of opportunity to work on”.
Customers told Maritz what stands out as most memorable about their experiences:
- For branch experiences 47% of customers state the friendliness of staff, 35% state staff competence and 30% state staff communicating clearly as most memorably good (top 3 items – customers could select more than one item from a list of 12).
- For online banking systems 48% of customers state speed of account access, 45% stated conducting the transaction I want and 42% stated website security as the most memorably good (top 3 items – customers could select more than one item from a list of 10).
- For call centres customers state speed of getting through to a real person, 6% of customers state ability of the first person I speak with to help me and 5% of customers state ability to completely resolve my issue as memorably bad (top 3 items – customers could select more than one item from a list of 12).
“There is no magic wand to wave over all contact channels,” Jeremy Griffiths summarised, “In our experience most organisations have pockets of excellence, where customers do get great service. The big challenge for banks is to achieve a level of consistency so that every interaction is remembered for the right reasons. Maybe that is one factor why customers of online systems have the greatest loyalty. They know what they want to achieve with each visit and they know they can do it quickly, easily and securely on each occasion. If you want your customers to love you, you need to deliver consistently great experiences no matter how they choose to contact you. With mobile banking and social media channels that challenge just gets tougher”.
Maritz surveyed 1,322 retail bank customers from an online panel provided by Respondi. The panel was comprised of a nationally representative sample of retail bank customers.