Banks and credit unions are financial institutions are located in each and every city across the United States. Banks and credit unions rely on customers and members in order to be profitable. Banks and credit unions can profit from account holder fees, service fees, investments, or loan fees.
Due to the fact banks and credit unions profit from providing services to their customers, it becomes important to retain current customers and members. We've all heard the old adage that it costs 10 times as much to acquire a new customer than it takes to retain a current customer.
Retention is vital to the success of a financial institution. Conducting market research in the form of an account closed survey would provide valuable insight to the financial institution, and allow the organization to adjust factors which drive dissatisfaction. Keeping customers and members satisfied and loyal creates more profit for the institution.
Customers and members can and will change financial institutions. A few reasons include expensive fees, poor customer service, or lack of services. Developing a survey for customers and members that have closed their account can identify why they chose to close the account, what the specific issue was, and identify areas for improvement.
Are customers or members leaving your financial institution? Find out why and how you can stop it in the future with closed account surveys.
Uncovering the Root Cause
Uncovering the root cause of a decline in customer retention involves specifically designed questions and persistence by the market research analyst.
For example, during a phone interview, a simple survey question could be, “Why did you choose to take your financial business elsewhere?”
A participant response of, “I wasn’t happy,” provides vague insight about the reason they made that decision.
A market researcher will continually ask, “Why?” Then, “What do you mean by that?” Then, “Why?” again. A market researcher continually asks why to get to the root cause.
- “Why were you unhappy?”
- “Every time I call customer service I am on hold forever and then the representative is rude on top of that.”
- This participant response provides a deeper level of understanding, but implementing customer service training may not solve the problem. The survey will go deeper.
- “Why are you calling customer service?”
- “I am always getting charged ridiculous fees, so I call to try to get them removed from my account.”
Now, by digging deeper, the root cause could be identified as the expensive fees. In this example, problems with customer service were identified, but also the customer has issues with expensive fees. Implementing customer service training would fail to eliminate the real problem of expensive fees.
Ultimately, closed account surveys can identify the root cause of why customers are closing their accounts.
Lack of Services
As discussed earlier, another reason a customer will leave a bank or credit union is for lack of services. A closed account survey can be utilized to identify if this is an issue a customer is experiencing.
According to survey in 2016, 111 million people access mobile banking services through their phones, and that number has steadily increased in the last decade. If mobile banking is rising in value to the customer, it would be beneficial for the financial institution to be aware if this is a reason they are losing customers.
Discovering the UX (user experience) and if the mobile banking option provides the user with the services they need would be key factors to identify. Understanding the customer experience and satisfaction related to mobile banking might provide valuable insight into why customers are closing accounts at the institution. This is another example of how a closed account survey would benefit a bank or credit union.
Some reasons people close accounts cannot be prevented. For example, if a customer moves to another state, they may simply desire to relocate their finances to local bank. This is not a situation that the financial institution can prevent, since it is not due to an unsatisfied customer and merely due to demographics.
However, there are several reasons that customers choose to leave a bank or credit union that can be prevented. Using closed account surveys can identify why a customer or member chose to leave, discover the root cause (real reason), create opportunities for improvements, and prevent future customer loss.
Drive Research is a financial institution market research company in New York. Our team works with banks and credit unions across the country to assist with closed account surveys, member and customer satisfaction, and new branch feasibility studies.
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