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Moving beyond satisfaction to achieve trust and loyalty through optimized customer service experiences
Accenture’s 2011 survey of personal current account customers in the UK and Ireland confirms that banks’ efforts to become more customer-centric —as highlighted in our previous 2010 survey—are delivering results. Service delivery scores are up across nearly all dimensions, and overall satisfaction with the service experience delivered by banks has risen. Meanwhile, rates of switching and complaints have both declined. However, there is still compelling evidence that banks have much more to do.
Accenture conducted online interviews with 3,873 current account customers in the UK and Ireland in October 2011, probing the perceptions and behaviours governing their banking relationships, switching and complaints activity, levels of satisfaction with service experiences, and the factors that influence provider selection.
In the last year, banks’ service delivery scores rose across nearly all dimensions. Overall customer satisfaction has risen too, uptake of mobile banking has surged, and switching and complaints are both down. However, the proportion of customers who would recommend their bank has fallen sharply since 2010, and despite a slightly larger proportion claiming they would consider their bank for their next financial purchase, fewer customers bought a financial product from their bank in the last year.
Meanwhile, perception scores remain stubbornly low, with banks still regarded as unethical and untrustworthy by many consumers. While switching has fallen, many more customers say they would switch if they were not concerned about the time and hassle involved. And there is evidence of a creeping disengagement from banks, with the importance placed by customers on the service they receive shrinking over the past year.
We believe our findings point to a new chapter in the relationship between banks and customers.
To drive profitable, more enduring relationships with customers, we believe banks must focus on three key priorities:
Those that implement these actions successfully will be tomorrow’s winners.
Banks find themselves at a critical and defining moment in their relationship with customers, whose expectations and behaviours are changing rapidly. More demanding and less trusting, we are harder to reach, engage, impress, predict, target, and please as customers. Banks must respond to these challenges positively, playing across the service spectrum to balance cost-to-serve with evolving customer needs. Through the use of marketing analytics, to target differentiated services where they are needed most, innovative direct and self-serve capabilities, more use of straight-through processing to improve efficiency, with mobile and social media integration and more branch staff devoted to advice, this aim is achievable.
Our research confirms that banks are making real progress on customer service. But while this is boosting satisfaction, it is not yet driving trust and loyalty. Hence, banks must maintain their focus on service, going further to build deeper, more durable and more profitable relationships.
June 26, 2012
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