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New survey CUs on top in customer satisfaction
MADISON, Wis. (12/8/10)--Credit unions and small banks lead their larger rivals in customer satisfaction and loyalty, according to the Prime Performance 2010 Bank and Credit Union Satisfaction Survey released Tuesday. The results from the survey of more than 6,000 U.S. bank and credit union customers indicate customer satisfaction is highest at credit unions and small banks. The report, issued today, analyzes results for credit unions, small banks, large banks and megabanks, including Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo (PRWeb Dec. 7). “The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is not surprised at the finding, because this confirms what study after study have found,” Bill Cheney, CUNA president/CEO, told News Now. “It’s fine to be included with ‘small banks’ in a survey such as this. However, it’s also important to note the very real and fundamental difference between banks and credit unions, regardless of size: Credit unions’ not-for-profit, cooperative structure. “Ultimately, that’s what separates all credit unions from the rest, and drives their passion to provide the best service to their members, rather than amass profits,” he added. For big banks, the study revealed that customers question where bank’s loyalties really lie. When responding to the statement “My bank does what’s best for me, not the bank’s bottom line,” 16% of big bank customers responded that the bank’s interest came first. The percentages of negative answers were even higher for three of the best-known names in American banking. Twenty-three percent of Chase and Bank America customers believe their interests came second to the banks. At Wells Fargo, the number was 18%. Only 9% of small-bank customers believe that their bankers place the bank’s interests ahead of those of their customers. Survey findings included:
* Credit unions and small banks rate highest in meeting their customers’ needs; * Customers believe smaller institutions have the friendliest personnel and Chase the least friendly; *Customers at credit unions and small banks are far more likely to recommend others use their bank than customers at big banks and mega-banks; * Customers at credit unions and small banks are far more apt to believe employees want to help them than customers at big banks and mega-banks; and * Customers at credit unions and small banks are more apt to believe employees enjoy their jobs than customers at big banks and megabanks.
“In short, the study suggests that small banks and credit unions have a huge competitive advantage when it comes to giving customers an experience that meets their financial and emotional needs. Given the current vulnerability of larger institutions, we’d advise small banks and credit unions to hone their service skills a bit more and to go after depositors who want the environment and experience they offer,” said Jim S. Miller, president of Prime Performance. Survey data also shows that failure to say “thank you” significantly degrades the client experience. When employees thank customers, satisfaction rises at all financial institutions. The survey indicates:
* Roughly 18% of large banks customers rate their experience “unsatisfactory.” Only 2% do so when “thank you” is said. * About 11% of small bank customers rate their experience “unsatisfactory.” Only 1% does so when “thank you” is said. * Only 5% of credit union members rate their experience “unsatisfactory.” Only 1% does so when “thank you” is said.
Based in Denver, Prime Performance specializes in helping financial institutions enhance the banking experience they deliver to customers.


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