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Voice of the Customer

A recent Grass Roots Group survey has revealed that three quarters of customers feel their bank doesn’t understand them as an individual.

The survey of 2,300 UK consumers highlighted how they view the retail banking industry, with particular focus on what irritates them most about their bank.

Eighty per cent per cent said they would be annoyed if they experienced a poor attitude from staff towards them either in branch or when dialling a call centre, which is second only to a bank charging them for going slightly overdrawn.

The third thing respondents find most irksome is if a bank makes an error on their account.

The research conducted by The Grass Roots Group’s Customer Engagement division, also found that three quarters of customers felt that their bank doesn’t understand them as an individual. The problem is exacerbated by customers feeling they can no longer see a local bank manager that understands them due to the widespread closure of so many high street banks over the past few years.

According to recent figures from the Campaign for Community Banking, a total of more than 500 further branches are expected to close during the course of this year. This would break the record of 479 set last year, compared to just 195 in 2013.

Banks who scored well on employing the most knowledgeable staff – namely Santander, First Direct and Nationwide – all received favourable scoring on the occurrence of the main three frustrations of charging for going slightly overdrawn, poor staff attitude and errors on customers’ accounts.

“Experience and insight has shown us that successful employee engagement produces strong customer satisfaction, creating a culture of brand advocacy that delivers long-term customer retention, attracts new customers and fends off fierce competition to recruit the most elite talent,” says Adam Goran, Divisional Director for Customer Engagement at Grass Roots Group.

“Our research found that good service reputation is a factor influencing the choice of the 2015 customer, with 85 per cent of customers who receive a very good service stating that their current bank is their first choice for new products.

“This goes to show that employee knowledge and engagement has a direct link to an organisation’s continued success and growth,” adds Goran.

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