||Banks Have Work to Do in Strengthening Customer Relationships
Consumers' relationship with their banks is as tenuous as it's ever been, and the notion of adding fees for what had once been basic services such as debit card use, checking accounts and other in-branch services, could make it even worse.
According to a survey of more than 1,000 consumers by the CMO Council, nearly a third categorized themselves as "concerned" or "on the fence" about their banking relationships. Among those who have changed banks in the past year, respondents said they were either seeking out more options or services (32%), lower rates (27%) or to get away from surcharges and fees (25%).
"Everyone's kind of upset about hidden fees and increasing costs without an increase in service," Lee Gallagher, director of precision marketing and research at Ricoh, who headed up the study, told Marketing Daily. "There is a lot of concern now, and this increase in fees is just igniting this wave of emotion."
While a third of consumers (32%) said their relationships with banks have remained unchanged through the recession, a fifth (20%) has said they've had to avoid collection calls during the recession. And though banks continue to introduce new features such as mobile and remote deposit, mobile banking and person-to-person payment, many people want more advice and help in managing their finances.
Yet, the banks are not as focused on providing this information, Graham says. According to the CMO Council (which also surveyed 126 bank marketers in addition to the consumers), only 13% of marketers feel educating customers and providing relevant content are priorities in the coming months. Only a quarter (25%) believe the delivery of programs that assist customers in managing their personal finances will impact marketing operations.
"They clearly understand these customer concerns, but only (a small percentage) are interested in addressing these concerns," Gallagher says. "They're focusing on technological improvements and digital engagement."
(Source: Marketing Daily, 10/07/11)