EY - Global Consumer Banking Survey 2014: Winning through customer experience

Global Consumer Banking Survey 2014

Winning through customer experience

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Our third Global Consumer Banking Survey looks at banking through the lens of the customer. How do customers perceive their banks? What services do they expect their banks to provide? How well do their banks deliver on promises?

These questions are at the core of this year’s survey, which includes responses from more than 32,000 retail banking customers across 43 countries. The survey data reveals eight unique types of consumers, each with its own set of values, attitudes and needs. This segmentation of the survey audience underscores that customer experience is the key to winning, growing and retaining customers in an increasingly competitive banking environment.

Customer experience is the key

In many ways, consumer banking is like other types of consumer activity. But banking customers expect more than an excellent mix of products: they are looking for superior customer experiences that fulfill basic expectations while providing added value.

In our survey, customers selected “the way I am treated” as the second most important reason for trusting their banking provider, trailing only the predictable “financial stability” of their bank. Customer experience is also the most common reason for opening and closing accounts, more so than fees, rates, locations and convenience.

This idea of trust is what transforms customers from static sources of revenue into advocates for their banks. In an era where social and digital media enable consumers to immediately share their experiences, customers who trust their bank will drive the most referrals and be more willing to consolidate their banking needs with a single financial services provider. This makes them the growth engines of any bank.

Creating customized banking

Each of the eight customer segments shares common behaviors and expectations when it comes to their banking experience. By focusing on the type of customer rather than the number of customers, banks can build a reputation for excellent customer service.

Although crafting common strategies can be more efficient, banks that approach each customer the same way risk offering individual customers the wrong products, services and advice across less-effective channels. To optimize investments in customer experience, banks should deploy segment-based strategies that take advantage of these inherent similarities – but also their differences.

Competition from all sides

The good news is that consumer confidence in the banking industry is on the rise, with 93% of survey respondents reporting moderate or complete trust in their banks. Likewise, 77% of customers are satisfied enough with their banking relationship to recommend their primary provider. The global economic recovery appears to be taking hold, and banks are among the beneficiaries.

The challenge, however, is that an increasing number of financial service providers are competing for the same customers. Emerging technology and the increasing use of mobile devices for both banking and payments are making it easier for new entrants to exploit areas of dissatisfaction and underinvestment. Customers have more options than ever and do not view banks as having significant advantage over newer types of banks and technology companies – even when it comes to financial advice.

The opportunity cost of falling behind the competition is extreme. More than half of all customers opened or closed an account in 2013, and 40% plan to do so in 2014. Each of these customers represents a new business opportunity for a competing bank or financial service provider.

Explore the survey data

For more information about our Global Consumer Banking Survey 2014, select the chapter options to the left, or download the complete survey.



Take the first step toward delivering better customer service by understanding your 8 customer segments.