Report: 75% of Bank Customers Still Visit Branches for Complaints

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Obinna Chima

The 2017 KPMG Nigeria’s Banking Industry Customer Satisfaction Survey (BICSS) has shown that 75% of banks customers today still visit their branches to make official complaints about their transactions or accounts.

But the report stressed that the above-mentioned set of persons are also open to using digital or non-physical channels such as the contact centre, video and social media that still afford some form of human interaction.
According to the report obtained Monday, this year’s survey showed that Nigerian banks continued to make progress in delivering better customer experience.

It noted that compared to the prior year, the year under review recorded increased in satisfaction levels in the retail segment.
This, it said reflected the continued investment and focus on this segment across the industry over the last few years.

“However, customers still have major pain points such as clarity of charges, branch queues and response time. The digital dilemma Digital is the new normal for many customers.

“Compared to 2015, there has been a spike in the proportion of customers using internet and mobile banking from 22 per cent and 20 per cent, to 41 per cent and 48 per centrespectively,” it added.

Furthermore, it pointed out that having a mobile strategy is no longer a choice for banks but a necessity; not only in the business-to-customer (B2C) context, but also in business-to-business (B2B) relationships.
“The latter is becoming increasingly necessary as corporate customers are demanding the same types of experiences obtained from their B2C relationships with their banks.

“The Nigerian market remains very diverse and dynamic presenting a dilemma for banks on how to keep pace with sophisticated customer demands on one hand and a very traditional group of customers on the other hand.“Sophisticated customers, typically belonging (but not limited) to a younger customer demographic are bringing the same levels ofexpectations forged by experiences with leading technology brands into banking.

“Notably, customers under 30 were the least satisfied customer group and more likely than any other to switch banks.

“At the same time, banks still have to deal with a significant group of customers who are either late adopters or not keen to use digital channels,” it stated.

According to the survey, some of the most common reasons given by the customers included lack of awareness, complex onboarding processes and lack of trust and confidence in the security of these channels.
“But there is hope four-in-ten customers who do not use either mobile or internet banking today say they will like to use them in the future, if these barriers are addressed.

“Despite the progress made on the digital front, human interaction continues to remain integral to the customer experience, particularly at key experience points such as seeking financial advice and making complaints.
“For corporates, success still lies in the strength of relationships with their banks with the relationship manager playing a vital role.

“Nearly half of corporates scored their relationship managers high on the level of knowledge of their business but banks fell short on proactive engagement and turnaround time,” it added.

It noted that SME customer experience wasstill lagging as the business operators rated banks lower than both retail and corporate customers generally, due to a perceived lack of understanding of the segment of the market.
According to the report, only three-in-ten SMEs were very satisfied with their bank’s knowledge of their businesses compared to half for larger corporates.

“This segment also continues to remain underserved by banks as the survey indicates that only one-in-ten SMEs have accessed bank credit in the past year.
“Getting the customer experience right what is clear is that the banks that will win are those that obsess about customers with a view to meeting and exceeding their expectations.

“Investing in understanding the customer and their interactions with the bank across all touch points will be a major lever for driving customer-focused change and improvements,” it added.

This year’s survey covered about 27,500 retail customers, 3,500 SMEs and 490 corporate/ commercial organisations. Customer selection in the wholesale banking segment was driven by a need to ensure inclusion of organisations in each major business sector.

Retail respondents were selected to reflect the country’s demographic and geographic diversity.