Are you being served?

Bookmark and Share

Published:
26/04/2010
Topic:
Press Release

Research from Britain's number one comparison site, moneysupermarket.com shows that banks and building societies are viewed as two of the worst service providers of any industry we regularly use.

  • Banks amongst the worst customer service providers
  • Banks should look to hairdressers for tips on customer service
  • Consumers expect a better service from traditional banks than from 'supermarket banks'


Whilst energy suppliers and estate agents are bottom of the pile, banks were next up, followed by mobile/broadband suppliers and then building societies. Consumers feel they get the best service from hairdressers and hotels.

2010 Industry service rankings

1

Hairdressers

2

Hotels

3

Beauty salons

4

Restaurants/coffee shops

5

Garden centres/florists

6

Supermarkets

7

Department stores

8

Clothes stores

9

Entertainment centres (e.g. cinema/bowling)

10

Travel agents

11

Gyms

12

Building societies

13

Mobile/broadband companies

14

Banks

15

Energy companies

16

Estate agents

Kevin Mountford, head of banking at moneysupermarket.com said: "It is a shame to see financial service providers, like banks and building societies, fairing so poorly when it comes to service. Whilst banks and building societies have taken a beating due to the economic downturn this isn't any excuse for poor service.

"Providing a top quality service to customers is something far too many providers fail to see the benefit of. Yet a reputation for bad service can be difficult to shake off, and many more consumers are feeling empowered enough to switch providers if they have a bad experience. The main problem stems from the fact that the industry has gone down the automated route and as a result has lost some personality. However to bring service back in play could see an increase in cost and indirectly consumers may suffer as a result of reduced rates.

"The world of hairdressing may seem far removed from personal banking, but providers shouldn't dismiss their place at the top of these rankings. Hairdressers are well known for being friendly, chatty and personable - which can't be said for many banks, and yet it is not something that would be impossible for them to achieve. The art of good customer service need not be so tricky, simply by moving off the script and talking to customers in a more personal, sympathetic way, banks could do a lot to improve the way they are perceived."

Additional research into the service offered by supermarket banks shows that consumers will not be expecting the likes of Tesco Bank and M&S Money to offer a better service than the traditional high street banking brands, despite supermarkets featuring higher up the service league table. Just 10 per cent said they felt supermarket banks would offer a better service than high street banks, with 20 per cent claiming the reverse.

Kevin Mountford added: "The growth of brands such as Virgin Money and Tesco Bank will leave some of the traditional names a little concerned. However, despite consumers rating their supermarket service far higher than their banking service, it is clear that not many people expect the likes of Tesco Bank and Virgin Money to be able to transfer their customer service skills across to the realm of personal finance.

"The introduction of Metro Bank to the high street, a provider we expect to compete strongly on quality service, may force some of the old guard into a rethink."

A look at similar research undertaken one year ago*** indicates that banks and building societies are going backwards against other industries in terms of customer service. 

2009 Industry service rankings

1

Hairdressers

2

Restaurants/coffee shops

3

Supermarkets

4

Hotels

5

Clothes stores

6

Gyms

7

Building societies

8

Mobile/broadband companies

9

Travel agents

10

Night clubs / bars

11

Car dealers

12

Estate agents

13

Banks

14

Energy companies

15

Train companies

Kevin Mountford concluded: "Hopefully the next year or so will see a step change in banks' attitude towards customer service. For the consumers' part, handling personal finances can be an extremely stressful task, especially as often our interaction with banks occurs at difficult times, such as when we need to extend an overdraft, report a stolen card or arrange a mortgage. Banks should take heed of this research and invest a little time in improving the relationship they have with their customers."  
 
-ENDS-

Notes to editors:

* Opinium Research carried out an online poll of 2009 British adults from 26th January 2010 - 28th January 2010. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.

** Opinium Research carried out an online poll of 2012 British adults from 14th October 2009 - 16th October 2009. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.

*** Opinium Research carried out an online poll of 1994 British adults from 3rd March 2009 - 5th March 2009. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.

Download This Press Release

Download as RTF

Related Links

Related Resouces

Bookmark and Share

Media contacts

Paul Lawler - PR Manager (Financial Services)
07872 379545
01244 370317
paul.lawler@moneysupermarket.com

 

Nicola Parry - PR Officer (Financial Services)
07872 379549
01244 370318
nicola.parry@moneysupermarket.com

 

Emma Morris - PR Manager (Travel & Shopping)
Travelsupermarket.com
Moneysupermarket Shopping

07775 941689
01244 220671
emma.morris@moneysupermarket.com

 

Clare Francis
Head of Content

07595 067818
01244 220650
clare.francis@moneysupermarket.com

 

Kate Murphy
Media
Communications Executive
01244 221978
kate.murphy@moneysupermarket.com