Thought leadership

 Financial services providers have been rated the worst for offering the highest standards of customer service, against a list of 13 groups of different organisation types, according to new research into consumer satisfaction with service providers.

 The new study, conducted by contact centre software provider, Aspect Software, which looked into the views and expectations of consumers, found that on average, under a fifth (17 per cent) of consumers regard banks, building societies, credit card providers, insurance companies and loan providers to offer the highest levels of customer experience.


Only one per cent of consumers can recall a particularly good customer service with their loan providers over the past year, whilst 13 per cent can recall a particularly good service from a bank or building society. When combining the interactions had over the past 12 months with banks/building societies, insurance providers, loan providers and credit card providers, only a quarter (26 per cent) can recall a particularly good experience that stands out.


Mark King, Senior VP Europe and Africa at Aspect commented: “With pressure on consumers’ wallets and the bottom line, both providers and customers want to get more, for less, especially within the financial services sector. The key to achieving this lies in maintaining consistently high levels of customer satisfaction, and loyalty.”


The research also found that 1 in 3 respondents (33 per cent) stated that one bad experience would lead to them switching insurance provider, and 30 per cent would switch their credit card provider after one bad experience. However, only a quarter (25 per cent) stated this for their bank/building society, which was the second lowest number, after subscription television provider (23 per cent).


King added: “This demonstrates that consumers are still incredibly unlikely to switch their bank.” Of those who did receive bad service, very few actually complained about that service, with only 9 per cent complaining about a service received from their bank/building society, 3 per cent with their credit card provider, 2 per cent with their insurance company and only 1 per cent with their loan provider. However, when we consider that consumers are most likely to switch these providers, (other than their bank) it is perhaps the case that they will switch provider instead of making a complaint.


King concluded: “With such a sensitive topic as personal finance to conquer with every customer, keeping satisfaction levels high can be a strain on workforce skills and resources. 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.”


Other key findings:

  • Of those who are interested in contacting organisations through social media, 11 per cent stated that they would not use social media to contact their bank/building society, the least likely organisation to be contacted through this method

  • 3 per cent stated that they wouldn’t contact their loan provider through social media

  • For banks/building societies, insurance companies and credit card providers, security worries are the biggest concern around using social media with 68 per cent, 61 per cent and 64 per cent stating this respectively


To download Aspect’s Banking on customer service in the financial services sector 2013 paper, click here.

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