What frustrates us most about banks – and why we switch

What would frustrate South Africans enough to switch banks?

A new report shows that it is not benefits, or rewards, or a cheaper alternative that would make them move – but rather impolite, rude or uninterested staff.

A customer loyalty study commissioned by Verint found that although consumers globally trusted banks more than other service providers, only 24 percent of the 18,000 consumers surveyed in 9 countries indicated that their bank delivered good service.

And when consumers were asked what would frustrate them enough to switch banks, there were two ‘leaders’: impolite, rude or uninterested staff, or too many mistakes – both with 22% globally.

In South Africa, customer service and price were particularly important for banks; impolite, rude or uninterested staff (23%) was seen as more important than finding a cheaper alternative (19%) as a reason for switching from banking brand.

The cheaper alternative was far more important when it came to brands for supermarkets, grocery stores and clothes shops, however, with 37% of the more than 2,000 locals interviewed saying that finding a cheaper alternative would be the biggest driver in their choice to switch.

Consumers in the UK were even more aggressive with 28% saying that they would change banks because of impolite, rude or uninterested staff and 25% because of too many mistakes. In the USA, 31% said they’d change banks if there were too many mistakes.

“Customer habits are changing with the explosive growth of mobile banking, and fewer customers are visiting branches as a result, getting it right is more critical than ever,’’ says Jenni Palocsik, director, solutions marketing for Verint Systems.

“Whether your financial institution is large or small—and prides itself on its community involvement or providing great financial services solutions—you are likely assessing market demographics to decide what branch changes to make to support operational efficiency and meet revenue goals.

“Branch transformation will not be the same for each organization. Done well, it can serve as a competitive advantage for those that ‘get it right’ for their customers,” said Palocsik.

Here’s a breakdown of what causes customers to switch across various industries, including banking.

Frustrations to switch Found a cheaper alternative Impolite, rude, or uninterested staff Having to make too much effort to get what I need Not getting responses quickly enough
Insurance company 27% 17% 14% 13%
Mobile phone company 29% 19% 17% 13%
Landline / Broadband company 22% 14% 11% 10%
Banking 19% 23% 18% 13%
Credit card company 14% 13% 11% 9%
Grocery store / Clothing store 37% 33% 11% 6%
Online retailer 21% 9% 8% 8%
Average 24% 18% 13% 10%

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What frustrates us most about banks – and why we switch