Retail Banks Overtake Credit Unions in Customer Satisfaction

January 9, 2020

This article is included in these additional categories:

Customer Experience | Customer Satisfaction | Customer Service | Customer-Centric | Financial Services | Industries

ACSI Customer Sat Banks Credit Unions 2008 2019 Jan2020For years credit unions have enjoyed a higher level of customer satisfaction than retail banks in the US. This trend changed in 2019 when, according to customer satisfaction data [download page] from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), retail banks surpassed credit unions for the first time.

Measured on a scale of 0 to 100, the ACSI – which bases its findings on customer surveys – discovered that retail banks garnered a score of 80 compared to credit unions’ score of 79. Customer satisfaction ratings for banks and credit unions have inched closer to one another in recent years, finally reaching parity in 2018.

Among the various types of retail banks, regional and community banks scored highest for customer satisfaction with a score of 83 (-1 point from 2018), followed by super regional banks at 78 (-1 point) and national banks at 78 (-1 point).

Citibank (+2 points to 81) surpassed Chase (-1 point to 79) in customer satisfaction despite Chase being named the top bank brand for word-of-mouth in 2018 and the #1 bank for brand health in 2019. Wells Fargo, meanwhile, experienced a 3% rise in customer satisfaction from 2018 to reach a score of 76.

BB&T tops the list of super regional banks, gaining a point over 2018 to reach a score of 80, followed by Capital One (-1 point to 79). SunTrust Bank sunk to the bottom of the list after losing 5 customer satisfaction points for a score of 76.

Retail bank customers still rate courtesy and helpfulness of tellers and other staff highest (87). They are also pleased with the speed of financial transactions in the branch (85), the quality of mobile apps (85) and websites (85). However, convenience and accessibility present a concern as customers are less happy with the number and location of ATMs (73) and branches (71).

Although credit unions rate high in the same areas, customers aren’t as satisfied as they were in the previous year. In 2018, credit union customers scored staff courtesy and helpfulness an impressive 89, yet in 2019 the score fell to 87. Similar drops occurred with speed of in-branch financial transactions (-3 points to 85), website satisfaction (-2 points to 84) and quality of mobile apps (-2 points to 83).

The full report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: Figures are based on the ACSI’s 100-point scare and are derived in 2019 from surveys of 30,413 customers contacted via email between 10/8/2018 and 9/20/2019.

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