Banks rank second top vertical for customer service

The UK banking sector features in the top three UK sectors for customer service – but it could be better!

Today’s consumers are increasingly accustomed to swift query response across multiple channels and their customer service expectations are on the rise.

The majority of UK industry verticals are falling well short of providing ‘excellent’ contactability to their customers and prospects, but the banking sector is one of the stronger performers.. 

Research commissioned by Yonder Digital Group canvassed 2,000 UK consumers, asking whether they felt that companies in a range of sectors were easy to get in touch with and efficient at getting queries resolved rapidly and effectively.

Even though the bank industry featured in the top three, the research results show that this sector still has a lot of space for improvement.

It emerged that bank firms are the best of a bad bunch with 34% of consumers rating the ease of contact standard as ‘good’ but only 24% as excellent and 15% as poor.  This is a potentially worrying result considering that previous Yonder research showed that 81% of consumers simply take their business elsewhere if their queries aren't answered quickly and effectively by a company. For this reason it’s risky for the bank sector to continue overlooking their levels of ‘contactability’.

Chris Robinson, Yonder Digital Group CEO, comments, “Customers have individual preferences for contacting companies, which is why businesses lose out when they don’t offer a range of touch points.

At crucial moments in the journey to purchase, many customers will look for a live agent, particularly for urgent or non-standard queries. Businesses that fail to provide support at these critical stages risk losing customers to competitors with superior support services. As the results show, a large proportion of companies are still falling well below the mark, suggesting there is a long way to go for UK industries to catch up with modern expectations.

In a separate report released in January, the 2018 UK Customer Satisfaction Index by the Institute of Customer Service, banks and building societies performance improved compared with a year ago.

The ranking of 50 leading UK brands features four financial services firms ranking in the top 8 with first direct 2nd ahead of Yorkshire Bank 3rd; Marks and Spencer Bank and Nationwide Building Society rank joint seventh.

Yorkshire Bank is the most improved organisation in the UKCSI compared to a year ago posting a 10 percentage point rise in its UKCSI score to 85.3 from 75.3 last year.

Outside the top 50, TSB also scores strongly with a UKCSI of 83; Halifax, Santander, NatWest and The Cooperative Bank were the only other lenders with a score in excess of 80.

The UKCSI is a national measure of customer satisfaction which The Institute has published twice a year since 2008. This UKCSI is based on 46,500 responses from an online panel which is geographically and demographically representative of the UK population.

Ranked by industry vertical, banking ranks fifth of 13 sectors up from 79.5% a year ago to 79.8%.