Customer satisfaction in retail banking is down slightly on 2013 levels, research by Capgemini and Efma shows. Although the average remains relatively stable, particularly European institutions have seen an increase, by 6.8%, in unsatisfied customers. In terms of top of the charts, Canada has the most satisfied customers, while Norway saw its rank drop from 13th to 28th since 2013. The survey further highlights that banks are not doing enough to please Gen Y, whose satisfaction in the US remains 5.1% behind that of other demographics.
In the ‘Voice of the Customer Survey’, Capgemini and Efma examine the satisfaction customers have with their bank. The survey involved more than 16,000 respondents across 32 countries in six geographies. These customers provided input for a ‘Customer Experience Index’ (CEI) on their experiences across 80 different retail banking touch points spanning the full range of products, lifecycles and channels.
This year’s report finds that retail banks around the globe have witnessed stagnation in their ability to improve the customer experience. Across the board, customer satisfaction dropped from 72.9 in 2013 to 72.7 in 2015, and while the change in average customer satisfaction remained relatively stagnant across the countries surveyed, individual contributions show considerable variation in outliers.
Countries that saw significant improvement in customer satisfaction include Spain and Russia, with both increasing 4.8 points in the past year. Turkey and the Czech Republic also saw improvement, with 3.9 points and 3.5 points respectively. The other extremes involve countries like United Arab Emirates which saw a decrease of 8.3 points. Three countries in Western Europe saw lower customer satisfaction relative to a year earlier, with Norway dropping 5.9 points, while Belgium and Germany fell 5.0 points. Regionally, Central Europe saw the largest gains, with an increase of 2.8 points over 2013, while Latin America saw small gains of 1.4 points. The region with the largest drop was the Middle East & Africa, recording a drop of 4.0 points. The US too had more disappointed customer experiences, dropping 2.6 points since 2013.
In terms of the best performing countries, Canada came out on top – keeping its 2013 number one position – with a score of 78.9, well above the average. The Czech Republic came in second, with an index score of 77.5. The US and Australia have had a troubled two years, dropping from number two and three respectively, to number five and six. Turkey jumped from number 24 to number 9, while Russia charged in from number 30 to number 10. On the lower end of satisfaction come Norway, dropping from number 13 to number 28, and Belgium, which fell from 16 to 27. The rest of the poor performers saw modest change, with Chinese banks increasing slightly in rank, whereas Japan fell to last place.
The level of positive and negative experience, by region, sees interesting variation from 2014. Central Europe is well ahead of the rest of the regions in terms of an increase in positive experience, jumping from 38.2% to 54.7% - with only a small 1.6% increase in negative experience.
In terms of negative experience, Western Europe is out on top – for the first time surpassing Asia-Pacific. Negative customer experience increased from 4.9% in 2014 to 11.7% in 2015, compared to the Asia-Pacific’s 3.7% increase. Five European countries see increases in negative experiences of more than 10%, which includes Denmark (11.0%), Germany (10.9%), Netherlands (10.5%), Belgium (10.2%) and Sweden (10.0%).
Interestingly, the satisfaction of customers also varies significantly across generations – with the Millennials or Gen Y, a segment of society that is consistently disappointed by banking institutions’ experiences. As example, in the US, the CEI for Gen Y was 72.2, compared to 80.1 for customers of other ages within the region. Similarly, Latin American Gen Ys had a CEI of 70.8, compared to 77.2 for all other Latin Americans.
The Gen Y group is, according to the authors, “accustomed to instant access and seamless transactions in most aspects of their social and professional lives, Gen Y brings very high expectations to their banking interactions,” which continues to make pleasing them difficult – with little change in their low satisfaction measured between surveys.