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Customers Looking for Banks to Go Big on Technology


Customers Looking for Banks to Go Big on Technology

While overall satisfaction with retail banks improved slightly, five points higher than last year, according to the recently released J.D. Power’s 2015 Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, there’s still work to be done.

The 10th annual customer satisfaction study asked some 80,000 people to weigh in on their banking experience in areas like account information, channel activities (ATM, branch, call center, IVR, mobile and website), facility, fees, problem resolution and product offerings.

The survey unveiled a shift. "We are seeing larger banks like Citi, Chase and Bank of America narrowing the gap with mid-size banks in terms of customer satisfaction. Mid-size banks, those with 500+ branches traditionally were seen as offering better service," says Rocky Clancy, vice president banking services for J.D. Power. He says that big banks sometimes have better mobile and online services. "Branches that have self serve kiosks and tablets in the branches you see higher satisfaction. Some mid-size banks aren’t keeping up in the digital space," says Clancy.

His message to mid-size banks, "You have to pay attention to the realities of the market, what’s important to the customer. You need to spend more money on digital. Don’t rest on your laurel. That age old notion that you offer better service than big banks is diminishing."

As for all banks, while tech bells and whistles matter, when there is personal interaction, high touch counts. "People might think that Gen Z chooses a bank because of some new app or social media, the number one reason they choose a bank is because it is a bank their family used. Personal connection counts. Every transaction can’t be DIY, so when they need help they want someone to be there," says Clancy.

People might think that Gen Z chooses a bank because of some new app or social media, the number one reason they choose a bank is because it is a bank their family used.

Clancy says that the uptick in customer satisfaction is due in part to the fact that through regulatory and public pressure, the environment has stabilized and the number of people switching banks is lower. But he says banks should not feel a false sense of security. Clancy warns there is also a certain amount inertia, people may not be happy with their bank, but are willing to put up with a low grade of irritation.

Some of that dissatisfaction is likely tied to technology. Mobile satisfaction, which has increased each year since it was included in the study in 2012, declined by three points. For big banks, this decline is largely attributed to a 6-point drop in mobile scores, based on lower customer ratings in clarity of information and ease of navigation. Despite increasing functionality offered in mobile, satisfaction dropped as fewer customers said they fully understand the technology.

Although people said they have more ATM features now than last year, they aren’t thrilled with the range of services the ATM can perform and with the ease of use of ATMs. Customer expectation may be outpacing technology improvements.

A survey from Kasisto, which offers conversational artificial intelligence technology through branded virtual personal assistants, found that when presented with the option of adding a conversational personal assistant to their mobile banking app, 75 percent said they would use the app more frequently and 79 percent said they would leverage the added technical functionality to support more complicated inquires, thus relying less on more costly channels.

In a prepared statement, Zor Gorelov, co-founder and CEO of Kasisto said, "The rise of virtual personal assistants has changed consumers’ expectations for how they interact with mobile devices, and there is a clear opportunity for banks to use conversational artificial intelligence to extend feature sets and simplify usability within their mobile apps."

The bottom line, there’s no putting the tech genie back in the bottle. Play big or go home. Says Clancy, "People don’t have to settle."

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dont trust citi
dont trust citi   |     |   Comment #1
part is also due to some credit unions starting to charge fees like big banks and nickle and diming everyone.  Surprised citi is on the list showing improvement they have by far the worst service and play pass the buck within departments when there is an issue
paoli2   |     |   Comment #2
One of our local credit unions is opening a new branch here but it will only have kiosks for customers.  I think they will keep one human to help those like myself who may need assistance with using machines especially in the early days.  I expect some of our local  banks will be following suit in the near future.  I prefer doing banking the "old fashion" way but we have to change with the new times.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #3
paoli2,  you're really banking the "old fashion" way.  I got my first ATM card 45 years ago!
paoli2   |     |   Comment #4
#3  I have "never" used an American ATM card or ATM and hope I never have to.  At least the kiosks are inside so maybe I can adjust better.
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #5
I use only one ATM with an ATM card and it is located inside of the bank so I do feel safe using it. It is within 10 feet from the 4 desk people. The desk people  also will do the transactions. I use it for depositing checks only. The ATM card can only be used at their ATM's. It is not a debit card. I have never taken money out with the card and never have any cash on me unless it is from bottle returns. The only checks that I receive are from rebates, or from recycling. Everything else I receive is direct deposited. All of bills
are automatically put on my cash back credit card. Only a few bills like Comcast, or my car or house insurance do I use the phone and charge it with their computer system. 

We have a credit union in  town that has no windows inside the branch with a person. They have a lot of stations with windows but they are like a drive in. You can talk to a person, do transactions of any kind but never see a person. If you need a loan or have to open an account you tell the person in the walk up window through their system and have a seat and a person will come out from a locked area. This is in a safe part of  town and  the lobby has beautiful sofas, chandeliers, flowers, coffee, tea, hot chocolate etc. They even have handicapped windows with seats and also windows that a wheelchair would fit under.  
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #7
I read a report that Wells Fargo will be doing this in the future.  One person in the branch to help.  I went into the bank for the second time in 6 years to get a cashiers check. I use the ATM to get cash and deposit checks.  It does save time as I do not have to fill out a deposit slip and can go anytime I wish.  I recently traveled to China and when I came back you had to go to a Kiosk and swipe your passport and have your picture taken before going through INS.  The technology was poor (as most of the goverments is) but the next time it will be ewasier. 
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #6
Were bank executives the target audience of this article?  I can't see why any other demographic would care about this content.
elianamarya   |     |   Comment #8
In this technology era, all the Customers are looking for all banks to go with the high technology beacuse with the help of the uses of technology for efficiency doing things Wright in the least amount of time, with the fewest number of errors. The high technology have given banks a potential they could only dream about and have given bank customers high expectations. The main advantages of this technology for the Facility for logging into specified self-inquiry terminals at the branch to inquire and view the transactions in the accounts and as well as customers also because due to high technology customers can easily connected to the respective branch through a modem, enabling the customer to make inquiries regarding his accounts, on-line, without having to move from his office.