This statistic is both good & bad for credit unions

by. Joe Swatek

Survey results released in October show 51% of consumers switched service providers due to poor service the previous 12 months.

During that time, retail financial institutions was one of three categories of companies that experienced the most customer switching.

What does that mean for financial institutions? Three opportunities to improve business.

The 51% statistic comes from the ninth annual Accenture Global Consumer Pulse Survey conducted by Accenture, a worldwide consulting company.

So how can your financial institution improve your business and avoid this high attrition statistic?

First, customer service is one of the most important aspects of your operations. As a marketing professional, you don’t have much to say about training and the performance of branch and back-office staffs. But it’s a good topic to raise in staff meetings and during coffee with the executives. After all, poor customer service negates all your good marketing efforts.

The same survey found 81% of U.S. consumers who switched their business elsewhere said the original company could have prevented them from making the change. But the companies didn’t try. (It’s cheaper to keep a customer than to recruit a new one.)

Closer to your own interest, the 51% statistic means a large number of consumers are on the lookout for new places to bank. The banking industry’s long-used statistical estimate says 18% to 24% of checking customers are ready to switch at any time, depending on the particular market. Add to that number the people who move, change jobs, or have other life-changing events and it shows there are many opportunities to gain new customers.

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