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Financial service providers branded worst for customer service

14th Aug 2013
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Whether it’s impersonal service, failure to identify customers’ previous interactions or long waiting times, customers are fed up with financial services’ customer service – ranking them worse than any other sector.

According to Aspect’s survey of 1,000 UK consumers, undertaken by Vanson Bourne, just 17% of consumers believe banks, building societies, credit card providers, insurance companies and loan providers offer the highest levels of customer experience.

Specifically, only a staggering 1% of those surveyed can recall an exceptionally good customer experience with their loan provider and 13% can recall a good instance of service from their bank or building society.

So what effect does this have on customer loyalty? The survey showed that one in three consumers would switch insurance provider after having a bad experience and 30% would switch their credit card provider. However, just 25% would swap their bank or building society if they were served poor customer service – although this may signify entrapment more than loyalty, given the complicated switching process for consumer bank accounts.

Of those consumers that did receive poor service very few complained with only 9% doing so about a bad experience with their bank/building society, 3% about their credit card provider, 2% of their insurance company and only 1% about their loan provider

Aspect’s Mark King said: “An essential attribute of any perfect customer is high levels of loyalty. With such competitive markets and the ease at which consumers can change providers, it is absolutely essential that organisations - in any sector, but especially the financial sector - establish loyalty within customers.”

Interestingly, the survey also showed that consumers are no longer shying away from using social media to contact their financial services provider. The figures showed that just 11% said that they would not use social media to contact their bank/building society whilst 3% wouldn’t use social to contact their loan provider.

An earlier survey of UK consumers by customer experience company [24]7 found that more than half would rather resolve issues with their financial provider privately than over social media.

And the same was shown to be true of banks, which are equally as unwilling to converse with their customers over social channels. Ovum previously reported that European banks, fearful of data security issues, are reluctant to sell their products and service over the social channel – missing out on increased sales and better customer service as a result.

The DMA also recently claimed that banks’ marketers are failing to capitalise on financial product cross-selling opportunities with existing customers.

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