One reason banks have been less proactive about customer service than they might have been is that they could count on customer complacency. Switching banks was fairly rare.
That may be changing. In our latest European Credit Risk Survey, performed with Efma, 41% of bankers said customers are more likely than before to switch their savings account to a different bank, and 42% said the same for current accounts. By contrast, just 14 percent said customers were more likely than before to open a new account at their current bank.
These customers aren’t just walking the walk — they are also talking the talk, as long as it’s negative. While 54% of respondents said customers are more likely than before to complain to a regulator, just 18% said customers were more likely to refer their bank to a friend. In related news, the UK's Financial Ombudsman Service reported this week that consumer complaints about financial products rose 179% in the first quarter of the financial year.
Banks aren’t taking this customer revolution lying down. Increasingly, they’re using NPS (net promoter scores) and similar measures to track and improve customer satisfaction. In fact, the new European Credit Risk Outlook includes interviews with three European banks, all of which are dead serious about understanding and delighting their customers. It’s well worth reading, even if you bank beyond Europe.