Banks have done more than any other sector to improve their image over the last few years according to service design consultancy Engine.
Complaint numbers are down and the proportion of customers saying banking was among the worst sectors for customer service has fallen from 29% to 21% in the past three years.
This eight percentage point fall was the biggest among the 14 sectors covered in the study by quite some margin – the next largest drop was three points for both utilities and public services.
Consequently, banking has dropped from fourth to seventh in terms of having the worst customer experience. Public transport and utilities are regarded as having the worst, while broadband/pay-TV firms had the biggest rise in being cited as the worst (up seven percentage points).
Joe Heapy, co-founder of Engine said: “Customer satisfaction with banks is on the rise for various reasons.
“From a service point of view, mobile and digital offerings have improved which has allowed banks to gather more data to offer a more personalised service. This has then been matched by more engaging personal interactions online, in-branch and with call centres.
“Banks have also deepened their customer segmentation abilities, enabling them to respond to differing consumer needs in a way that makes sense to customers individually. Consequently, customers simply feel more heard by their bank.”
Heapy points out how vital it is that banks continually improve the customer experience “Outside of the ‘big 3’ service industries – restaurants, hotels and retail – banking is the sector in which the choice of provider is most strongly influenced by the quality of service and customer experience.”
However, he concluded with reassuring words about meeting customers’ expectations: “People aren’t asking the earth. The three things they value most when dealing with a company are honesty, efficiency and reliability – and it’s been these three consistently for the last four years of the study.”