2012 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study Results
Dissatisfaction with retail bank fees continues to rise, according to the just-released J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study. Conversely, public opinion of banks' facilities and general services is also trending higher. Apparently the pluses and minuses have offset each other, as overall customer satisfaction with the retail banking experience is virtually unchanged from 2011.
On the one hand, the study indicates, customers object to paying monthly maintenance fees on their accounts, in addition to the fees they're sometimes charged for use of debit cards and ATMs. On the other hand, bank customers appear to appreciate the augmented levels of service that many banks offer nowadays, such as more branch locations, longer hours, and being greeted by a bank employee immediately upon entry.
Thus, while customer satisfaction with fees has declined by 2.6% in the past year, and by 7.2% in the past two years, their satisfaction with bank facilities has increased by about one percent in the past year.
Overall retail banking customer satisfaction has improved by one index point in 2012 to an average of 753 (on a 1,000-point scale) from 2011. The study, now in its seventh year, is based on information gathered from 52,000 retail bank customers. Customers are asked to rate their satisfaction with account activities, account information, the bank's physical facilities, fees, problem resolution, and product offerings.
In general, smaller banks tend to outperform larger ones in customer satisfaction, particularly with regard to first-contact interactions. The study shows that banking via smartphone is on the rise, and the use of ATMs to make deposits has doubled in the past 4 years: Today, 40% of all deposits are made at ATMs, the study indicates.