New Account Opening Surveys at Banks and Credit Unions

New Account Opening Survey

As a financial institution, when you bring on a new account customer or member it is crucial to understand how the experience went. 

The first experience when opening a new account with a bank or credit union will likely set the tone for the entire banking relationship. You only get one chance to make a good first impression and with financial institutions, it is no different.

In this blog, our financial services market research company will explain what new account opening surveys are, their process, and example questions to consider.

What Are New Account Opening Surveys?

New account opening surveys are questionnaires used by financial institutions to gather feedback from customers or members who have recently opened new accounts. This could span across both personal and commercial customers (B2C and B2B). 

Examples might include a person taking the following actions…

  • Opening a new checking or savings account
  • Applying for a home equity loan
  • Refinancing a mortgage
  • Applying for a business loan 

This type of bank and credit union market research typically aims to understand the customer experience during the account opening process, identify any pain points, and gather insights for improving services.

Importance of Surveying New Account Customers and Members

New account openings are critical touchpoints in a customer journey at a bank or credit union. As someone opens a new account with a financial institution it will likely set the table for initial perceptions and loyalty. 

In many cases this customer had experiences at other financial institutions and may have even switched away from a competitor because of poor customer service.

Therefore, it's important to measure, track, and trend these experiences so a financial institution can understand what needs to be improved for future dealings with new customers.

Recommended Reading: Strategies to Grow Customers at a Bank or Credit Union

KPIs Measured in New Account Opening Surveys

Our market research company recommends measuring several different Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in your new account opening surveys. The true goal of the process is to measure the experience.

This can be accomplished through the following customer satisfaction metrics.

  • CSAT: Measures customers' overall satisfaction with the account opening process on a scale (e.g., 1 to 5 or 1 to 10).

  • NPS: Measures the likelihood of customers recommending the institution to others. This is usually assessed with the question, "How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?" rated on a scale from 0 to 10.

  • CES: Measures how easy customers found the account opening process. This might be assessed with a question like, "How easy was it to open your account with us?" rated on a scale from "Very Easy" to "Very Difficult."

Likert scale example


Although many institutions allow customers to start the new account opening process online, there are cases where people work with bank representatives face-to-face.

If there was some person-to-person engagement, your bank or credit union should measure general KPIs such as professionalism, responsiveness, the ability of the representative to answer questions, turn-around time to open the account, etc.

These types of questions will help determine and identify areas of improvement and places to focus training.

Recommended Reading: Measuring Your Bank or Credit Union's NPS

Types of New Account Opening Surveys

Several options exist for new account surveys. The most popular methodologies are email, mail, and telephone or a hybrid market research approach.

Email Surveys 📧

If you collect email addresses of new account holders at your bank or credit union we highly recommend this option. That’s because no methodology offers better peripherals. 

Online surveys are cost-effective, offer a short-turnaround, and if constructed well, produce quality data. Better yet, they offer the best ROI in the industry. 

Mail Surveys 📬

Mail surveys are another common form of market research for new account openings. Mail surveys take a bit more time to set up, format, and prepare but offer a strong response rate. 

Some financial institutions like this approach because it feels a little more personal than an email. 

Keep in mind, the quality of data is strong here but the cost is much higher and the turn-around time is longer. The costs quickly add up when you review prep time, postage, printing, and data entry.

Phone Surveys 📞

Phone surveys work well as a mixed-mode approach with email surveys. 

Many of our bank and credit union clients take advantage of the ROI and cost savings with email surveys as a first step. If the response rate falls below expectations, reminder phone calls are scheduled as a step 2.

We talk about the importance of using a third-party for your market research and this is a reason why. 

If the mortgage lender representative called the customer 48 hours after opening an account and asked them to rate himself or herself on things like friendliness, professionalism, and responsiveness, do you think the customer could be honest?

Steps to Conducting New Account Opening Surveys

The new account survey process is broken down into several key components of a market research project.

It's important to note unlike other ad hoc market research studies, new account surveys should be longitudinal and ongoing. 

The value of continually reaching out and benchmarking performance is a must. It doesn't make much sense to do this for one month and stop.

Online survey process

Step 1: Determining Your Objectives

A necessary first step is setting your goals and objectives for the research. This will involve discussions around KPIs and what questions you want to ask in the survey. 

Your banking market research partner, such as Drive Research, will recommend several question options as well as listen to your needs and feedback during a kickoff meeting. 

The outcome of the kickoff meeting is to design a well-structured survey and lay out a timeline of next steps. 

Step 2: Survey Design and Set up

We recommend the survey include between 8 and 15 questions. That’s because shorter surveys produce higher response rates and fewer drop-offs. 

The goal of the new account surveys is to quickly measure the customer experience, not gain 30-minutes worth of feedback on a new account opening process that may have taken only 5 minutes.

Once the survey is drafted and approved, our team will work to program the questionnaire and get it ready for fieldwork.

Step 3: Fieldwork

The question you'll want to answer here is how frequently should you survey customers and members. 

In our experience, the sooner the better. The sooner you can follow-up on an experience the more accurate the recall will be. 

Another benefit of email surveys is they are much easier to turn-around and survey every week. 

When it comes to mailings, you have to prepare a list, print, stuff, and send surveys. In a best case scenario you're likely looking at every 2 weeks.

Step 4: Reporting

The idea here is to continually build on your reporting. This can be structured in several ways.

Clients can opt into a monthly report, quarterly report, semi-annual report, and/or annual report. These reports range from dashboards to in-depth PowerPoint reports.

The levels of these reports can be customized and timed according to the bank or credit union's budget.

It's important to have access to real-time data so benchmarks and metrics can be measured continually. You'll also want to create a closed-loop process for your customer experience (CX) feedback.

Reporting options for new account opening surveys

Example New Account Opening Survey Questions

Here are some example questions that can be included in a new account opening survey.

These questions cover various aspects of the account opening process, from overall satisfaction to specific elements like staff interaction and digital experience.

  1. On a scale from 1 to 10, how satisfied are you with the overall account opening process?
  2. How likely are you to recommend our bank to a friend or colleague?
  3. How easy was it to open your account with us? 
  4. How long did it take to complete the account opening process?
  5. How would you rate the professionalism of the staff who assisted you?
  6. How would you rate the friendliness of the staff who assisted you?
  7. Did the staff have adequate knowledge to assist you with your account opening? 
  8. Were any issues you encountered during the account opening process resolved to your satisfaction?
  9. How would you rate the usability of our website or mobile app for opening an account? 
  10. Did you encounter any technical issues while opening your account online?
  11. Were the online instructions clear and easy to follow?
  12. Did you receive timely follow-up communication after opening your account? (Yes/No)
  13. How satisfied are you with the communication received during the account opening process? 
  14. Did you encounter any pain points or challenges during the account opening process?
  15. Do you have any suggestions for improving our account opening process?

Options are endless, but again, you'll want to keep the script to 8 to 15 questions maximum.

​Contact Our FI Market Research Company

Are you a bank or credit union interested in new account opening surveys? Drive Research is a market research firm who works with financial institutions across the country.

Have questions about how to get started or need a custom quote? Contact us today.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

Author Bio George Kuhn

George Kuhn

George is the Owner & President of Drive Research. He has consulted for hundreds of regional, national, and global organizations over the past 15 years. He is a CX-certified VoC professional with a focus on innovation and new product management.

Learn more about George, here.

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