Survey Finds Consumers Say Banks Better Than CUs At One Practice

ANN ARBOR, Mich.–Consumer satisfaction with banks has risen—albeit just slightly–and continues to lag that of credit unions, although the analysis suggests banks are better at solving problems than CUs.

CFI Group reported its 2018 year-end Bank Satisfaction Barometer (BSB) stood at 80, as measured on a 0-100 scale, up one point from 79 in 2017. The BSB measures the level of satisfaction customers have with retail banks and is calculated based on feedback from a panel of 1,009 respondents who have a current financial relationship with a bank, according to the company.

BSB said bank satisfaction historically has run several points lower than the Credit Union Satisfaction Index (CUSI), with banks having closed the gap to two points in 2016, but the gap continues to widen again to six points at the end of 2018.

“However, when it comes to resolving customer problems, banks may have an advantage,” BSB said in its analysis. “Banks received a score of 82 from their customers for handling customer problems, compared to the 74 credit unions received from their members.”

Problem? No Problem

The study also showed that while 13% of bank customers have experienced a specific issue or problem with an aspect of their service in the past 60 days, customer satisfaction levels among those bank customers who experienced a problem is just as high as the satisfaction for bank customers who did not experience a problem, BSB reported.

"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 Director of Analytics. "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,” Park continued. “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."

Other Findings

Most driver scores across the retail bank experience moved up from 2017 to 2018, BSB said. The Branch Experience score improved the most, rising two 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,” according to the Bank Satisfaction Barometer report.

CFI Group Infographic
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Copyright Year: 2019
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