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UK Customer Satisfaction Index proves UK banks still behind the times

The Institute of Customer Service recently released the latest edition of the UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI), collating customer satisfaction data from more than 10,000 UK consumers surveyed. While Amazon retained top spot, the banking industry was found to be one of poorest performing industries, and the only sector failing to improve its rating for customer satisfaction since this time last year.

According to the report, only “two banks improved by more than two points from last year, with five banks receiving a lower score.” The only bank that has consistently remained in the top 50 of the organisational rankings since 2011 is First Direct. The report found that the main reasons for customer complaints were staff competence, followed by the quality and reliability of the service and staff attitude.

Unfortunately for banks, such a large data set means that - good and bad - every company got the score it deserved. The brands we associate with speed and innovation quite rightly came out on top, whereas companies which have been too slow to adopt to the demands of modern consumers have found their service, satisfaction and score wanting. 

The latest UKCSI report should be a warning to banks to improve their customer service or risk losing customers as a result. Once again, banks were among the worst performing sectors. Banks have always been notorious for poor service and customer dissatisfaction, wholly unable and unwilling to move with the times. According to the report, “banks whose average customer satisfaction was higher than the sector average were more successful in gaining accounts, with 20,000 new accounts on average.” However, banks “with lower than average customer satisfaction suffered an average loss of 9,663 customer accounts in the same period”.

Run by an older generation and reliant on old technology, their failure to innovate and adopt new services to help improve customer service and communications is one of the reasons why Fintech companies are taking a huge chunk out of their market. These are nimble companies unencumbered by legacy infrastructure and processes, providing services people actually want, however they want them.

Retailers, on the other hand, continue to be a shining light for customer satisfaction in Britain. The sector had an overall customer satisfaction rating of 82.1 out of 100 – 0.5 points higher than its July 2015 score and the highest of any sector surveyed. Competition is fierce and retailers know that, if they don’t offer a perfect service, customers will just go elsewhere.

More so than ever, customers want instant communication, response and resolution – regardless of time, device and location. This is the challenge of the internet era, but one which businesses increasingly need to solve or risk losing customers.





Comments: (1)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 15 August, 2016, 14:00Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

How sad. UK banks do FPS, PayM, contactless and other innovative things but find themselves at the bottom of the CX table. Whereas, US banks don't do any such thing but manage to take the top position on CX (Source: FORRESTER)!

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