Study indicates small businesses feel unappreciated by banks
A study by J.D. Power in late 2018 indicates credit unions may have an opportunity to make consumers feel more appreciated than the banks where they currently do business. According to the 2018 U.S. Small Business Banking Satisfaction Study, just 37% of small business banking customers say their bank appreciates their business and just 32% say their bank understands their business.
Following are some key findings of the 2018 study:
- Small business banking satisfaction higher, but still lackluster: Overall small business bank customer satisfaction is 800 (on a 1,000-point scale) in 2018, which is lower than the overall satisfaction scores found in the J.D. Power 2018 Retail Banking Satisfaction Study and the J.D. Power 2018 Credit Card Satisfaction Study.
- Banks fall short of showing appreciation, specialization for small businesses: Just 37% of small business customers feel their bank appreciates their business and 32% feel their bank understands their business. Worse, just 28% of customers say their bank specializes in small business banking and 23% say their bank anticipates changes in their banking needs.
- Majority of small businesses still branch-dependent, slow to adopt mobile: Among small business banking customers, 61% are classified as branch-dependent and are much less likely than retail bank customers to fall into the digital-centric or digital-only category. Mobile app use is low among small business banking customers, with 47% saying they do not use mobile offerings. The most commonly cited reason for not using mobile is that it provides no additional value.
- Account managers can play major role as trusted advisor in relationship: Overall satisfaction is 112 points higher among small business customers who have been assigned an account manager who they say is a “trusted advisor” (876) than among those who do not have an account manager (764). However, customers who indicate having an account manager who is not a trusted advisor are even less satisfied (690) than those who have no account manager at all.
- Customer perception of trust is closely aligned with overall satisfaction: The 2018 U.S. Small Business Banking Satisfaction Study introduces a Trust Index score, which evaluates customer satisfaction across four trust attributes: ability to fulfill service expectations; ability to take responsibility and resolve mistakes; puts interests of customers first; and provides useful guidance and/or advice. No bank included in the study achieves above-average levels of satisfaction without also having an above-average Trust Index.