Friday, February 5, 2010

Consumer Trust in Banks Continues to Challenge Bank Marketers

While not approaching the high levels experienced before the financial crisis, Americans are slowly starting to show trust in their financial institutions and believe they have their best interests in mind, according to Forrester Research, Inc. But the positive sentiment is not evenly distributed.

Perennial customer experience leaders like USAA and American Family Insurance continued to top the list and bounced back higher than banks and investment firms. Customer experience ratings for super-regional banks like PNC Bank, U.S. Bank, and BB&T also improved significantly from last year
while the largest banks in the US, such as Chase and Citibank, fell to the bottom of the rankings. As can be expected, investment firms and wealth management firms as a group got the worst customer advocacy ratings overall.

So what does this mean for bank marketers? Many banks would be well served to set their brand apart from the industry as a whole and to emphasize ways your bank has your customer's best interest in mind. This can be done through customer advocacy programs and integrated into every communication to consumers. This is especially important as we move towards the communication of Reg E to customers and try to position 'opting in' as a beneficial option for some customer segments as opposed to a way to generate revenues for our banks.

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