J.D. Power survey: Customer satisfaction driven by support in tough times

As customers increasingly face tough economic challenges, retail banks’ ability to offer support plays a critical role in satisfaction, according to J.D. Power’s annual retail banking satisfaction survey released today. Overall satisfaction levels rose 155 points (on a 1,000 point scale) among customers who say their bank provides that kind of support. Additionally, 63% of customers who feel supported by their bank said that they “definitely will not switch banks,” while 78% said they would continue to use their bank.

However, the survey showed that banks have room for improvement in this area, as the survey also found that only 44% of banks were delivering on successfully providing that support. Bank customers also said banks have room for improvement when it comes to helping them save time or money—which they flagged as key priorities. In spite of that, a majority of customers (61%) said they were unaware or unsure of whether their bank had made any changes to fee policies.

The study—which is based on responses from 101,000 retail banking customers of the largest banks in the country—identified the highest-scoring institutions in 15 U.S. regions. These included: U.S. Bank (California); Birmingham, Alabama-based Regions Bank (Florida); Rosemont, Illinois-based Wintrust Community Bank (Illinois); Lees Summit, Missouri-based Central Bank of the Midwest (lower Midwest region); Pittsburgh-based PNC (mid-Atlantic region); Bangor, Maine-based Bangor Savings Bank and Rockland, Massachusetts-based Rockland Trust (tied in New England); Charleston, West Virginia-based City National Bank (north central region); Walla Walla, Washington-based Banner Bank (northwest region); Westbury, New York-based New York Community Bank (New York tri-state region); Indiana, Pennsylvania-based S&T Bank (Pennsylvania); Gulfport, Mississippi-based Hancock Whitney (south central region); Blairsville, Georgia-based United Community Bank (southeast region); Lakewood, Colorado-based FirstBank (southwest region); San Antonio-based Frost Bank (Texas); and Chase Bank (upper Midwest region).