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Impersonal experiences make financial service customers dissatisfied



People expect financial services firms to remember key details about them, with a number considering switching to other providers because of impersonal customer service, new research has shown.

A survey by customer experience company [24]7 found that more than a quarter (26%) of UK customers have thought about changing their providers after growing dissatisfied with the service they receive from financial firms.

The most frustrating thing for the people interviewed was the fact they have to remind their providers of previous conversations or about their financial history, with many providers not remembering crucial customer details.

Mike Hughes, European managing director at [24]7 said, “Consumers now expect financial services firms to use data from previous interactions to deliver an easy and intuitive experience.

“The fact that so many consumers have considered swapping banks or insurers shows that customer service is an issue financial services providers can’t afford to ignore.

Consumer expectations are changing and they expect a swift resolution to issues, based on an understanding of who they are and previous contact they have had.”

Half of interviewees said they felt frustrated when they realised that providers did not remember them, even though they had talked a number of times previously.

Hughes added, “The service they receive should not differ whichever channel that happens to be and it is clear that consumers do not want to waste time repeating details each time they interact.

The public have shown they will take action so FS firms will ignore that at their peril.”

As the infographic showed in our Guide to Sustainable Banking 2012 [], Santander and Barclays registered the highest number of complaints in the 2011/12 financial year.

While the [24]7 survey shows a distinct dissatisfaction among customers of mainstream financial services firms, the industry won’t change unless people actually make the switch to more ethical and responsible providers.  Sustainable banks have grown in numbers in recent years, to the point where many are now considered more than credible alternatives to high street options.

However, there is still a huge gap in the market for the alternative industry to step its game up and enter the day-to-day banking arena.

Further reading:

Small is beautiful: why alternative banks need to step up to the mark

Conference calls for diversity in UK financial system

Poll shows 33% of customers are dissatisfied with their banks

Swimming against the tide: ethical banks as countermovement

The Guide to Sustainable Banking 2012