Credit Unions And SunTrust Lead Banks In Customer Experience

Forrester’s 2010 Customer Experience Index (CxPi) ranks 133 firms across 14 industries. I recently published the bank analysis which examines the 13 banks in the CxPi. Here are the overall results:

As a group, the banks were in the middle of the pack of industries with an “okay” average rating of 66%. But banks had the largest drop of any industry, down five percentage points from the 2008 CxPi. Here are some insights from looking at the banking results:

  • The best bank customer experience. Credit unions and SunTrust Bank up well above the other 11 banks on the list.
  • The worst bank customer experience. At the bottom of the list, three banks ended up with “very poor” ratings: Washington Mutual, Bank of America, and Capital One.
  • Most banks declined. Of the 11 banks that were also ranked in 2008, only three of them improved: SunTrust Bank, Wachovia, and U.S. Bancorp. Going in the other direction, Bank of America, Washington Mutual, and Wells Fargo had double-digit declines.
  • Capital One and Bank Of America and Citibank aren’t enjoyable. The CxPi has three underlying components: 1) meeting needs, 2) being easy to work with, and 3) enjoyability. Three banks tied for the bottom of the “enjoyability” ratings: Bank of America, Capital One, and Citibank.

The bottom line: Banks headed in the wrong direction in 2009

About Bruce Temkin, CCXP
I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and Emeritus Chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

7 Responses to Credit Unions And SunTrust Lead Banks In Customer Experience

  1. Hi Bruce, I am not surprised about Credit Unions. In addition to everything else I do, I run a continuing education program called The FoodPreneur. We are finding Credit Unions that partially sponsor the program. The incentive for them is to provide a service to their customers that the big banks do not provide… Customer Delight. They are very pro-active as business entities. But they are also attuned to getting close to their customers and I believe they intuitively feel that they can garner small business clients in this environment.

    They are very smart because the big banks are too interested in making money on the spread between what they can borrow from the Fed, at almost zero percent and investing in relatively safe securities. So the spread profits are easier than evaluating loans as a profit strategy. However that is not a long term success strategy because money will not be at this level indefinitely.

    Hmmm… are the Credit Uniions listening to the customer, seeing the market gap and responding? Sounds like one of my MBA courses in marketing!

    Although my response here is a bit flip… apparently the large banks are tone deaf with respect to the power of Social Media…, we are all talking about them and it is not positive. Guess they don’t subscribe to your research or blog. Oh well… welcome to the market place!

    All the best!

  2. Pingback: Forrester Research: Credit Unions lead banks in annual Customer Experience Index « BMI Federal Credit Union Blog

  3. Channing Stowell says:

    These sure fit for me…I am surprised Bank america was as high as it was….the have real problems providing truthful, solid customer service across product lines and across media…I tried to order checks on line for a line of credit three weeks ago, was told 5-7 business days for delivery…correct address was confirmed one day after order….checked after 10 days……never heard anything …today received word that order had never been sent through! How’s that for lies….if they had been good, they would have at least called me and tried to mitigate…..instead, they suggested in the email three alternatives…teo of which I had already found out were not available…take me to the nearest credit union, puhleez!!

  4. Prop Betting says:

    Interesting that BOA and WaMu stand at the bottom as they are two of the 4 biggest problem banks as of late. Perhaps it is due to the mass size of the banks and incredibly hard to connect to phone support. It will be interesting to see how well JPM and Jamie Dimon due in terms of absorbing all of the WaMu branches and keeping up John Pierpoints model of great customer relations.

  5. I’d suggest you split your bank analysis into two – National Banks and Regional Banks/Credit Unions. It’s my experience that National Banks spend more time on ads talking about what they will do for me than they actually do anything for me. My local banks don’t spend any time telling me what they are going to do for me, because they are closer to the community, they know what needs done.

    I split my banking between a 100% online only bank for convenience and a local bank for things like getting a notary signiture and my kids account to deposit babysitting money.

    Until the National Banks can blend the two, thier ratings will always be low.

  6. Kyle LaMalfa says:

    Allegiance conducts an ongoing pulse of the banking industry too. We measure customer relationships using the metrics of emotional engagement (a different perspective than customer experience). Our national benchmarking study (from 2009) suggests a strong correlation (.58) of emotional engagement with the CxPi. Like the CxPi, credit unions come out on top, with one exception. In our list, USAA always comes out on top.

    Allegiance uses random sampling to estimate the portion of a company’s customer base that experiences emotional engagement. Emotionally engaged customers behave differently towards an organization: they purchase more, they stay longer, they tell friends about their experience. Here’s our list for 2009 as it compares to the CxPi:

    Primary Bank % Engaged CxPi
    USAA 59%
    Credit Unions 51% 85%
    Fifth Third Bank 37% 79%
    Citizens Bank 32% 64%
    SunTrust Bank 30% 84%
    Citibank 30% 57%
    Wachovia Bank/Wells Fargo Bank 26% 70%
    Chase 26% 57%
    Wells Fargo Bank 22% 59%
    Capital One 22% 55%
    National City Bank 21% 69%
    Bank of America 19% 53%
    Washington Mutual Bank/JPMorgan Chase Bank 18% 57%
    U.S. Bank 16% 76%

    Over the course of 2009 both credit unions and banks took an engagement beating. In the end, credit unions actually fared worse than banks! We know that earlier in 2009, some credit unions took engagement weakness from the mega-banks and turned it into new market share. Towards the end of the year however, credit unions had limited their lending in similar ways to mega-banks. The backlash from members created an unexpected loss in engagement for credit unions.

  7. Pingback: Customer Experience in 2009 – did any banks deliver? | Beyond Philosophy

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