This blog is by Helen Staniszewski, business development director at Teleperformance UK with responsibility for banking and financial services.
The Guardian recently focused attention on the customer service provided by all the major banks in the UK. They compared the complaints received by their Money editor to banking surveys by MoneySavingExpert and Which? to try creating a blended survey.
The most interesting observation from the Guardian analysis is that if great customer service is your priority then it seems that the bigger high street banks are all lower down the list. First Direct and the Cooperative – including their online Smile bank – offer the best customer service and receive the fewest complaints.
But size and ubiquity on the high street surely cannot be correlated with poor service?
Santander comes in third place in the Guardian analysis and the analysis suggests that only two or three years ago the paper would never have recommended that anyone banks with Santander, such was their reputation then for poor service. So even one of the big high street players can change and improve if they apply a focus to improving service.
And this focus will have an effect on business. People in general don’t like changing their bank account so customer service has often been way down the list of priorities. Now that the UK banks are offering a very simple way to switch from one to another they all need to consider that poor service can mean a wave of customers quickly moving to a competitor.
It’s likely that these surveys focused on customer service, rather than interest rates, are going to become more important in future and much more of a guide for customers considering which bank they want to offer their business to.
Photo by Alex Guibord licensed under Creative Commons