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Customers prefer branches - IBT market survey

05 October 2004  |  1141 views  |  0 Source: IBT

A Market Pulse Survey conducted by IBT shows that although the Internet and new technology make it easy and convenient for consumers to conduct their banking without ever visiting their financial institution, they continue to patronize their local branch.

In fact, the Market Pulse Survey shows average consumers go into their primary branch 2.4 times a month and that 86% of all consumers visit their branch at least once a month.

GO INTO A BRANCH LOBBY 86%
ATM AT PRIMARY BRANCH 66%
DRIVE THRU 61%
USE INTERNET BANKING 36%
COMPUTER IN BRANCH 5%


The survey reveals that when asked which method of banking customers prefer most, the traditional branch ranked #1 with one-third (34%) of all consumers saying they prefer to go inside their local branch. The results confirm that Internet, ATM and telephone usage have not supplanted the branch, but are used to complement the traditional branch experience. Consumers have adopted the Internet and use it frequently to conduct banking (3.8 times per month), but still visit the branch for check transactions, to withdraw money and ask about their accounts.

GO INSIDE TRADITIONAL 34%
DRIVE THRU 24%
ATM AT BRANCH 21%
INTERNET 17%
INSIDE GROCERY STORE 4%


The preference of banking near home rather than work is dramatic. Almost nine in ten (86%) consumers saying they prefer to open a new account at a branch near their home. Similarly, the majority (78%) prefer to do their everyday banking near home.

Aside from the traditional brick and mortar branch, the grocery store was named by 61% as the most convenient place to bank, while discount retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target ranked second at 16%.

A big opportunity for banks and credit unions lies in more effectively delivering product information. Nearly half (46%) of all surveyed said they want information on new products, services and special promotions. Yet an overwhelming 83% of them report that they did not learn about any new products or services during their last visit inside their branch. In fact, less than half (46%) are very satisfied with the ease of finding product information at their branch.

In general, consumers aresfied with the ease of finding product information at their branch.

In general, consumers are satisfied with their banks. In fact, 75% said they enjoy banking at their primary branch, but 10% were very dissatisfied and said they would switch their financial institution if it were easier to do so.

When asked what they like the most about their primary branch, consumers' top responses were ...

- Friendly service (50%),
- Quick service (37%).
- Helpful employees (24%).
- Personalized service (18%).
- Knowledgeable employees (14%).

Their desire for friendly and efficient banking services is validated when consumers share what they like most about their favorite retailers. Asked to identify and describe a place where they have a positive shopping experience, consumers named their grocery store and discount retailers, both receiving 34% of responses. Forty-two percent said that it is the friendly and courteous service they receive while shopping at the retailer that makes it a positive experience.

About the Market Pulse Survey

The survey, completed in August 2004, interviewed 400 random consumers responsible for financial decisions in 6 regional SMSA markets, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and Seattle. The Market Pulse Survey highlights the design and operational "issues" that please and annoy banking customers. It provides feedback to IBT bank clients about channel delivery and customer service features that most influence the overall perceptions of the customers. IBT uses the results to inform and shape its market assessment and design products.

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