When It Comes to Customer Satisfaction, Is Bigger Better?

May 12, 2014 at 8:07 am Leave a comment

According to JD Powers, customer satisfaction with their banks has sky rocketed.  As described in this press release “despite ongoing public scrutiny, customer satisfaction with banks is at a record high as banks improve experiences for their customers, reduce problems and create a better understanding of fees.”  Objectively speaking, the rise is quite remarkable, growing from a satisfaction level of 763 to 785 on a 1000 point scale. 

But not all the news is good for our banking brethren.  So called mid-sized banks. which the survey defines as FDIC-insured institutions with between $2 billion and $33 billion in assets, are failing to meet the needs of millennials and minorities, particularly when it comes to online and mobile banking.  Here are some of my takeaways, for what they are worth.

  • As an industry we love to highlight the cooperative, not-for-profit structure of credit unions, but if the American public is willing to forgive the banks for their misdeed this quickly, then we are fooling ourselves if we think most people care.  For the vast majority of members, it comes down to a value proposition and they will go to the institution that provides them the best service whether it’s a for-profit bank, prepaid debit card provider, or credit union. 
  • The findings pointing to millennials and minority dissatisfaction are consistent with mounting research showing that for the younger generations, as well as the underbanked and immigrant populations, the banking experience is defined through the cell phone.  If banks with up to $33 billion in assets are having a tough time keeping up with technological demands, then it shows you how tough a job small credit unions face in attracting the next generation of customers. 
  • Which brings me to my last point, which is that the preeminence of technology is yet one more reason why we are seeing so many mergers within the credit union industry.  Virtually every aspect of the business now requires a baseline of economy of scale and sophistication that only larger or, at the very least, growing institutions can provide. 


Entry filed under: Advocacy, Economy. Tags: , , .

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Authored By:

Henry Meier, Esq., General Counsel, New York Credit Union Association.

The views Henry expresses are Henry’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Association.

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