Australian consumers have thrown their support behind the non-major banks with results showing lenders are still far behind when it comes to building positive customer-staff relationships.
These results come from the annual J.D. Power 2017 Australia Retail Banking Satisfaction Study
which also showed a significant difference between satisfaction levels at the major and non-major banks.
The non-major bank that performed the best was Heritage Bank, which received a score of 827 out of 1,000 from consumers. This was followed by People’s Choice Credit Union (822), CUA (796), Bendigo Bank (790), and Bank of Queensland
Commonwealth Bank of Australia scored the highest of the majors at 747, followed by National Australia Bank (745), Westpac (738) and ANZ (732).
The average of the non-majors surveyed was 767 while the average of the majors was lower at 741.
The survey also found that while 89% of banking customers had opted for a digital channel when using their primary bank, face-to-face interaction was still preferred. In fact, 86% of those surveyed said they preferred to visit a branch or speak with someone over the phone if they had a problem while 73% said they would do the same if they had a question.
“With most customers choosing to raise a problem or question with a bank representative directly either at a branch or on the phone, closing bank branches and driving a digital agenda is not going to address this pain point,” said Anthony Chiam, J.D. Power practice leader service industry.
While the branch still has a role to play, banks should also fix pain points in their online portals and banking apps especially if they want more people to transfer to these channels, he added.
“Ultimately, if banks do want to transition to digital, they need to make sure their customers are ready to follow.”
The study found that 32% of customers said they had experienced a problem accessing their online bank account while 34% had difficulties accessing their mobile banking app. Banks seem to be failing in person too with 48% of customers saying they were not welcomed at the branch.
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