Home // Blog

Bank Customer Satisfaction Big Picture: True or False?

Customer satisfaction scores are the Holy Grail for retail banks. Consumers are fickle and demanding, making it even more challenging to build and maintain high customer satisfaction scores. A customer satisfaction score is useful for many reasons, but when was the last time you stopped to consider how well your customer satisfaction score represents your entire customer base? And, if it doesn’t, do you know how much risk could your financial institution be facing? Or, the probability that your new product launch won’t inspire high adoption or revenue streams?

Customer satisfaction scores are usually determined by surveys provided after an assisted customer experience. This often occurs at the conclusion of a phone call to the bank’s contact center. With CEB Tower Group reporting that only 31percent of U.S. banking customers’ prefer to use the contact center to resolve issues, one risk is leaving more than two-thirds of your customer base not reflected in your customer satisfaction scoring.

Basing a customer satisfaction score on such a limited view of your customers overlooks a variety of factors that could increase a bank’s risk. With the increasing options available for customer interaction and the flattening of growth options for revenue streams, banks will be well-served to perform a self-risk assessment in the contact center regularly to identify and mitigate any issues that have missed attention.

Another reason to consider a self-risk assessment is due to the timing of the questions in a customer satisfaction survey. Here, they are representative of a moment in time (a customer service call), rather than the entire relationship the customer has with the bank.

To reduce risk, consider the following questions:

  • How well do the survey respondents represent the overall structure of the bank’s customer base? Are all segments represented?
  • Based on the issues resolved, do contact center processes provide enough information to help a consumer truly make the right decision for their individual financial needs and circumstances? Or are you providing only the bare minimal that could leave them vulnerable in their decision making?
  • Do you have alternative ways of collecting customer feedback and sentiment? If so, how are you incorporating that information into the improvement of customer experiences provided by the contact center?
  • What processes do you have in place to enable every CSR to own risk and serve as the first line of defense for your bank? And how is this done without detrimental impact to the customer experience?
  • What types of call monitoring is being done and how does your contact center implement those findings with coaching for customer service reps (CSRs)? Is root cause addressed?
  • If you consider different channels supported by your CSRs, how do satisfaction ratings differ from phone to email to online chat?

Recently much attention has also been given to “customer effort” – the amount of effort a customer much exert to conduct business or get service from a company.  This too is an important measure of overall customer satisfaction and must be included in any accurate assessment of customer experience.  As Oracle notes:

“Traditional measures such as customer satisfaction, net promoter score and first contact resolution have long been the measures used to evaluate the customer’s perception of the support they receive.  Although these measures are excellent indicators of the customer experience, they fail to address an important aspect of the overall customer experience, namely customer effort.”

Oracle further notes that:

“To manage this important aspect of the customer experience it is paramount that companies understand how to develop a program that measures customer effort, identifies the friction points that create customer effort, and eliminate the process and procedures that lead to high customer effort.”

These frameworks can—and should—be applied specifically to the continuous process improvement program designed to evolve customer experiences created through the contact center. By being able to tie data back to specific experiences and implement change and adaptation accordingly, it is more likely that your customer satisfaction scores will be more reflective of the true sentiment of your customer base.