For all of their talk about safety, security and higher interest rates, banks may want to remember that they're also in the service industry, and put greater focus on how their customers feel when they leave the building.
According to a survey from Boulder, Colo. research company Market Force Information, 83% of consumers say they're satisfied with the service they get from their primary bank. However, only 43% say they're "delighted" with the service, and 17% said they were dissatisfied. At the same time, nearly 40% of consumers -- despite the fact that 83% said they were satisfied -- either switched banks or considered switching in the last year.
"I take the 'I'm happy' with a slight grain of salt, because when we asked the second question, we saw a high consideration [for switching]," Janet Eden-Harris, chief marketing officer for Market Force Information, tells Marketing Daily.
The most common reasons cited for switching banks: dissatisfied with the service (32%) and that the bank implemented new fees (30%). The two factors go hand in hand, according to the research. While half of the consumers surveyed said they felt their bank was the best available in their area and would recommend it to others, 68% said they would consider switching if higher fees are not offset by better service. (Better returns for money was cited only 27% of the time.)
Given consumer focus on service and fees, convenience and free checking were the top two reasons for consumers choosing their primary banks, cited as a primary driver 46% percent of the time. Easy online banking came in third, cited 44% of the time, followed by personalized service (43% percent). Financial security was only cited 30% of the time.