Banks are working hard to become more “friendly,” but is it working? Reputation.com’s recently released 2019 Retail Banking Reputation Report is a reminder of how banking still has quite a ways to go to address the customer dissatisfaction that’s impacting their Reputations Scores.
Many banks are now just catching up to the reality that retail customers rely increasingly on information in online reviews and social media to decide where to bank. Research has shown that 86% of consumers read reviews of local businesses. And more than half won’t use a business with a rating lower than four stars. For many banks, this is not good news; historically, they’ve paid little attention to reviews of their brick-and-mortar branches.
Reputation.com performed an in-depth analysis of text from reviews, listings, social media, search results and customer engagements for retail banking locations representing 23 major U.S. banking institutions. The results are not all pretty. But there is a huge opportunity for improvement. Much of the customer frustration is due to the perception of poor customer service, long wait times or not getting to the right person who can help – all of which can be addressed immediately in most banking locations.
Here are some key findings from the report that show how solutions from Engageware can directly impact the customer experience:
- “An increase in searches for ‘banks near me’ indicates that, while consumers may be embracing online banking, visits to local branches continue.”
Banks that can offer the right person with experience, at a convenient time, at a local branch can provide a better customer experience, resulting in positive reviews and higher Reputation Scores. Banking branches continue to provide a value for consumers, and ensuring the “best and highest” use of branches and staff is critical.
- “Long lines seem to be an Achilles’ heel at the branches in our sample … Most [banks] score in the two-star range.”
Banks that can offer pre-arranged appointments can bypass the frustration of customers who need the right person to help them. In addition, lobby management can have a direct impact on increasing customer satisfaction. When customers are aware of the option of making an appointment (even in a branch), this also can relieve stress and allow them make an appointment on the spot, then return later to be served without waiting.
- “Understandably, bank customers want the most qualified people handling their hard-earned money. But low all-around ratings in this category suggest dissatisfaction with the level of competence of bank personnel. While [some banks] reel in the highest ratings, others on the list again clock in with ratings in the two-star range.”
Again, with appointment scheduling, a customer can be routed to the right person with the experience the customer needs, for example, financial reviews, retirement planning, loans or mortgages. As these are some of the highest-value interactions, pairing the customer with the right person will improve the experience and potentially increase revenue.