Poor customer service costing banks accounts

17th Jul 2017

Slow customer service in the banking sector has cost some of the UK’s biggest banks over 9,000 customers.

That’s according to the latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI), published by The Institute of Customer Service.

Furthermore, those that offered the best customer service gained over 20,000 new accounts.

Nationwide, TSB, Santander, Halifax and NatWest had the highest levels of customer satisfaction and accounted for 67% of all current accounts opened in Q3 2016.

Institute analysis has shown that banks are failing to match customer priorities in 23 out of 27 areas measured by the UKCSI.  ‘Ease of getting through’ is ranked as highly important (with a score of 8.5 out of 10), but customers’ actual experience is only 7.8.  They also value ‘on time delivery’ (scoring 8.3 out of 10 for importance), but suggest the reality is different from expectation with a score of 7.8.

However, customers are happier when it comes to finding the information they need or engaging with their bank via webchat or social media.  Both measures score higher for actual experience than for the priority given.

Jo Causon, chief executive of The Institute of Customer Service, says: “There are clear signs that banks are improving some aspects of the service they provide and making the sort of inroads that they need to drive up trust and higher levels of customer engagement. However, there is clearly still room for improvement and in a very competitive sector, with new entrants challenging the status quo, this should spur banks into action, as a failure to act will only lead to greater customer churn.”

Causon adds: “The latest data paints a clear picture for UK plc.  Customers should be at the heart of business strategy and where they are not, organisations risk losing out in the battle for customer retention and recommendation.  We are living in uncertain economic times, but now is the time for organisations to be brave, to drive the customer experience agenda harder, if they want to ensure long-term survival.”

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