Banking customer service predictions for 2015
Next year could see many banks focusing on customer service as a way of ensuring they maximise business over the next 12 months.
The Daily Telegraph reports that it has been a mixed year for the UK’s banks in terms of customer service.
First Direct continues to be the most popular company, with the majority of its customers pleased with the level of service provided.
However, a recent MoneySavingExpert poll revealed that Barclays, NatWest, HSBC, RBS and Lloyds Bank were voted the five worst banks in terms of service. Just 38 per cent of Barclays’ customers rated it as ‘great’, while 26 per cent of its customers rated it “poor.”
According to the Telegraph, 2015 will see Santander, TSB and The Co-operative Bank outperform other high street banks.
Figures from the Payments Council show Santander is currently attracting more new customers than any other bank. It is thought Santander’s 123 current account is proving very popular with consumers because it offers three per cent cashback on utility bills and up to three per cent on balances up to £20,000.
Santander is also managing to improve its customer service reputation. Defaqto, an independent financial research company, recently showed many customers felt it has improved substantially over the past four years.
A spokesman for Santander explained it plans to continue improvements in 2015, with a makeover of its branches, the introduction of a new smartphone banking app and a range of new products.
It could also be a good year for TSB, even though the bank only split from Lloyds recently, it has seen a strong rise in customers. October figures show one in every ten new current accounts opened over summer were with the bank.
Paul Pester, TSB’s chief executive, confirmed 9.7 per cent of new personal current account openings between May and July was significantly ahead of expectations.
Many of the new customers have been attracted by TSB’s Current Plus account, which pays one of the highest interest rates on the market at present, while Defaqto recently gave TSB’s Platinum current account four out of five stars.
TSB has also introduced a number of new initiatives to improve customer service lately, such as extending opening hours and scrapping 0845 contact numbers.
The Co-operative Bank has seen a number of problems in recent months, including failing this month’s Bank of England stress test. However, its £125 cash incentive to switch banks is proving popular with consumers.
Its customer service has also been rated highly. MoneySavingExpert’s research put the bank at number five out of 14 in terms of the level of service provided.
Liam Coleman, director of retail and commercial at the Co-operative Bank, said: “We’re investing in new digital channels to increase choice and convenience for customers in the ways they manage their finances. We’re also working hard to introduce new products, built on customer research and feedback, that reflect our ethical approach.
“Our updated ethical policy will also launch early in the new year. Based on the views of over 74,000 customers and wider stakeholders, it will reaffirm how we will and will not use their money and go further by addressing customers’ desire to see how values and ethics can be embedded in the way the bank goes about its business.”