JD Power: Banks can help customers in financial difficulty

Digital transformation and rising inflation have created a new set of customer engagement challenges for US retail banks, according to new research from JD Power.

According to the JD Power 2022 US Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, most banks are “missing the mark” on making customers feel supported as more US consumers report that their financial stress has increased. With nearly half of customers shifting to primarily digital-centric relationships, banks have also struggled to meet customer expectations for personalization, JD Power said in a statement.

“A customer’s definition of what their retail banking support looks like is rapidly changing as we enter a new economic cycle and move up the digital adoption curve,” said Jennifer White, Principal Intelligence Consultant banking at JD Power, in the press release. “It’s no longer primarily about being fast, efficient or convenient. The predominant performance indicator with the greatest influence on customer satisfaction is “supporting the customer during difficult times”, which means that customers expect a personalized mix of financial advice, practical help in resolving issues and tips on how to make their money work. »

The study found that bank customers seek help in times of economic hardship. Overall customer satisfaction with retail banks is 155 points higher (on a 1,000-point scale) when customers say their bank supports them during tough economic times, according to the statement. The study found that 63% of customers say they will definitely not switch banks, and 78% say they will definitely use their bank again when it provides this assistance.

But JD Power said that despite its effect on customer satisfaction, only 44% of banks meet this indicator.

The study also found that while banks perform particularly well on traditional customer engagement metrics such as people, digital channels, and overall trust, satisfaction scores are lowest when it comes to to help retail banking customers save time or money. JD Power said this has become a key priority for customers.

Other findings include that 61% of customers didn’t know or weren’t sure if their bank had made any changes to their overdraft fee policy. Additionally, when asked how they would like their bank to personalize their banking experience, 46% of customers said they wanted help avoiding fees and 37% said they wanted to receive alerts. of account.

The study was based on responses from 101,587 retail banking customers of the largest US banks regarding their experiences with their retail bank. It was conducted from April 2021 to January 2022. The study was divided into 15 geographic regions, and Bangor Savings Bank and Rockland Trust tied for the top ranked banks in the North East region with a score of 722 on a 1000 point scale.

“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by JD Power and our customers for our quality of customer satisfaction,” said Robert Cozzone, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Personal and Commercial Banking at Rockland. Trust, in a statement. “We have worked especially hard over the past two years to provide stability, guidance and care to our clients in the difficult circumstances we have endured together as a community. This recognition is a testament to the strong relationships our colleagues have built with the individuals and families we are fortunate to serve. “

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