Good Customer Service Makes Banking Consumers Feel Financially Confident

According to a survey by TD Bank, 60% of consumers who are happy with their bank say they they have low- or no financial stress, and more than half are optimistic about their financial future. Moreover, consumers who define themselves as happy with their bank spend 72 minutes less (7.3 hours vs. 8.5 hours) each week worrying about their financial situation compared to those who say they are not happy with their bank.

“All banks are not the same when it comes to the service they provide. Research shows those who feel valued by their bank are more likely to be happy with their financial state,” said Ryan Bailey, EVP/Head of Deposit Products at TD Bank.

TD Bank surveyed more than 1,500 consumers all along the east coast — from Maine to Florida — to better understand consumers’ banking experiences, their financial stress, as well as their financial outlook.

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • Three-out-of-four respondents aged 18-34 noted friendly service as a key characteristic to an ideal banking relationship compared to 82% of ages 35-54 and 89% of those 55+.
  • When examining the nature of banking interactions, the majority of consumers are using bank branches (73%) followed by phone (30%) and online (13%)
  • Not surprisingly, those 18-34 are most likely to go online, however 65% still use bank branches.
  • Top financial goals among those polled included saving (56%) followed by paying off debt (38%) and planning for retirement (36%).
  • Among those aged 35-54, saving and investing more (63%) and planning for retirement (49%) were top priorities.

Based on the survey, Bailey concluded that “fast and simple” customer service is the key to influencing customer feelings of satisfaction. For customers to feel valued by their financial institution, the most critical components most often cited include friendly service (82%), knowledgeable advice (62%) and being a reliable financial resource (60%).

Bailey says banks have an opportunity to improve customers’ financial lives beyond the functional aspects of transactions. He says consumers will have positive brand associations with their primary financial provider if banks and credit unions would help them make banking easier.

Financial marketers should seek to establish a positive connection with consumers and foster trust, because people’s feelings of satisfaction towards their bank can give them a solid foundation to build a more confident and secure financial future, Baily explains.

The study was conducted from January 23-28, 2013. The sample size of 1,520 has a margin of error of +/- 2.5%. The survey was hosted by global research company Angus Reid Public Opinion.

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