How’s your bank’s customer service? Study suggests it could be better.


J.D. Power reports customers are losing patience with their banks

If your satisfaction with your bank has gone down lately, you may be in the majority. The latest J.D. Power customer satisfaction study of U.S. banks shows consumer trust in retail banks has declined significantly during the past two years.

One complaint is unexpected fees, a trend we recently noted. But the other point of contention is poor customer service. J.D. Power’s survey found that 13% of bank customers say they are likely to switch institutions in the next 12 months.

“Retail bank customers interact with their bank every three days, on average, across a combination of digital, phone and in-branch channels, and the tenor of those interactions has a massive influence on customer satisfaction and overall levels of trust,” said Jennifer White, senior director of banking and payments intelligence at J.D. Power. 

‘Missing the mark’

“Despite widespread efforts to improve the customer experience, many banks are missing the mark on critical customer touch points by treating customers like numbers. To retain deposits and build customer loyalty and trust, banks need to do a better job of focusing on fundamental interactions, proactively solving problems and delivering personalized advice.”

ConsumerAffairs reviewers couldn’t agree more. A sample of ConsumerAffairs reviews of national banks found complaints about customer service to be a recurring theme.

Lila, a Capital One customer in Denver, told us she had been a longtime customer with mostly good experiences, until lately.

“While trying to order a new card on the app I accidentally deactivated my card,” Lila wrote in a ConsumerAffairs review. “I called customer service immediately, spent 10 min going through their voice response system and finally got to a rep who said they couldn’t void or reverse the deactivation. She refused to transfer me to anyone else or give me another phone number or email to contact a manager. Someone has to be able to reverse a deactivation.”

John, of Acworth, Ga., was a Wells Fargo customer. He claim’s his bank’s customer service leaves a lot to be desired.

‘Don’t expect any help’

“If need questions answered or seek resolution with issues, this bank isn't for you,” he told us. “When dealing with customer service online, don't expect any help, period. You'll hear ‘I don't know’ for any and all inquiries.”

Clifford, of New Cumberland, Pa., is a Bank of America customer. He claims the bank’s customer service “stinks.”

“Try to get someone on the phone – good luck, he wrote in a ConsumerAffairs review. “We are going to change to Citi-Bank. One hundred percent better customer service. We were on hold for 55 minutes before they hung up.”

Overall, ConsumerAffairs reviewers give Capital One and Bank of America a rating of 1.6 out of 5 stars and Wells Fargo a rating of 1.8 stars. 

According to the J.D. Power study, regional banks tended to be ranked highest by customers. Among the national banks, Capital One score well in the Mid-Atlantic region and JPMorgan Chase was popular in the South Central region.

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