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  • February 4, 2019

Customer Satisfaction With Banks Up Slightly

CFI Group's 2018 year-end Bank Satisfaction Barometer (BSB) is 80 on a 100-point scale, up one point from 79 the previous year. The BSB measures customer satisfaction with retail banks and is calculated based on feedback from a panel of 1,009 respondents.

Bank satisfaction historically has run several points lower than the Credit Union Satisfaction Index (CUSI). Banks closed the gap to 2 points in 2016, but the gap continued to widen again to 6 points at the end of 2018.

However, when it comes to resolving customer problems, banks might have an advantage. Banks received a score of 82 for handling customer problems, compared to the 74 credit unions received from their members. The study also showed that while 13 percent of bank customers have experienced issues with their service in the past 60 days, customer satisfaction levels among bank customers who experienced a problem is just as high as the satisfaction for bank customers who did not experience a problem.

"In CX circles we often joke that if you want to improve customer satisfaction scores, create problems you know you can solve," said Rodger Park, CFI Group's director of analytics, in a statement. "Our most recent survey suggests this might literally be the case (sometimes, anyway) for major retail banks.

"Our results underscore the broader point that major banking brands benefit from nearly any opportunity for personal interaction with their customers, including fixing issues, as customers may not expect much from them in this regard. By contrast, credit unions don't appear to have as much leverage to make hay out of customer issues, perhaps because a higher-touch service expectation may be baked into their value proposition."

CFI Group models the bank customer experience using a patented, customized version of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Applying this cause and effect methodology, seven drivers are identified that make up the bank customer experience.

Most driver scores across the retail bank experience moved up from 2017 to 2018. The branch experience score improved the most, going up 2 points from last year, with scores for most other drivers up a point. Online banking and mobile applications remain steady at 87 and 86, respectively. These scores are unchanged from last year but remain high, demonstrating the strong customer appreciation for the mobile tools made available by banks.

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