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The Five Myths of Customer Service Satisfaction

Banks are struggling to address the problem of customer experience and what it means in the market today. There is a lot of turmoil as customer expectations and perceptions shift about the relationships they have with their banks.

In the conference session recording below, Jim Eckenrode from Tower Group presents research based on responses from banking customers and Mike Clarkin, VP of Marketing at Sykes, Inc. identifies five myths of conventional customer service wisdom and contrasts them with the realities found in real banking scenarios.

Tower Group has developed a hierarchy of needs for retail banking customers based on consistent attributes and expectations gathered from those customers in response to today’s constantly changing market environment. The below points fill the pyramid from the bottom up.

  • Trust – Can I trust you to protect me and my money?
  • Value – are your charges and fees reasonable?
  • Simplicity – are you easy to do business with?
  • Product – do they meet my needs?
  • Advice – can you provide quality advice and insights?

Unfortunately, when reviewing bank priorities, the top two are focused on growing deposits and customer acquisition, rather than addressing the needs customers have identified as most important to them.

Consequently, failure to meet customer expectations is actually inhibiting bank’s top priority: growth.

In trying to correct this issue, banks that follow conventional wisdom may actually find themselves trapped in a process that derails their service delivery objectives. It’s also important to recognize that focusing on only one approach is not likely to make everything better in relation to the banks goals or customer needs.

The disconnect between banks and their customers has resulted in a lack of confidence in their bank’s integrity and values which leaves customers unwilling to recommend their banks. Customers surveyed by Tower Group found that they still want to deal with their banks by phone, not self-service channels. It’s still a person-to-person business in many respects. By dispelling the myths of customer service satisfaction, banks can begin to shift their service delivery to positively impact the attitude and behavior of their customers.

Watch this 26 minute video session to gain insights into research, understand the 5 myths, and takeaway practical examples to help you explore new opportunities to evolve your call center service delivery:

Not to give away the value of the video session, but let’s briefly debunk two of the five myths.

Myth 1 – Squeaky wheel gets the grease. This myth dictates that bank call centers deal with complaining customers first.

The reality is that it’s good to address the complaints of your best customers, but complainers generally represent less than 10% of all responses. Banks with this focus can end up spending a lot of resources to address a very small market. As an alternative, consider addressing the middle 70 percent of customers. Moving their satisfaction higher can provide more impact than focusing solely on the customers with the bottom box scores.

Myth 5 – Satisfaction causes loyalty. This myth dictates that a reported level of satisfaction will have a positive impact on the banks business goals.

However, this may not be true depending on the banks’ priority objectives. The reality is that satisfaction is an attitude where loyalty is a set of behaviors—an action in response to their attitude. There is a huge difference in passive happiness and actively recommending the bank and expanding their product portfolio. Those activities are representative of loyalty that drives value for the bank.

Retail banking customer needs are changing. Banks have more than ample opportunities to align with customer needs and preferences through the improvement of service delivery in the call center.

If you haven’t read it yet, you may also be interested in downloading the 5 Myths white paper.