Excellence in Operations: regaining trust

In order to differentiate themselves, banks have to focus first on the basic services that customers expect. People want new accounts opened quickly and efficiently without complications when making payment instructions. This is according to recent EY research,* of 28,560 banking customers in 35 countries.

Banks should aim to recruit their satisfied customers as advocates.

Excellence in Operations can only be achieved when operations are linked with the basic services customers expect. This approach will address some of the basic banking processes that matter most to customers, creating a foundation for more strategic improvements that will also allow more innovative changes thereby achieving greater benefits.

Failing to get the basics right will lead to more complaints and loss of revenue from customers who switch banks. Indeed, a study by EY with the Economist Intelligence Unit** shows that nearly a quarter of European banks lose over 10% of their customers. Additional EY research reveals that over 60% of customers in Europe, who have switched their main bank recently, quoted poor service quality as a reason. This was far more of an issue than price.

Globally, the number of people looking to change banks has increased from 7% to 12%
since 2011. People want more than a better deal, they want their bank to provide basic
services correctly and consistently via all chosen channels.

The challenge for banks is to retain customers in a market filled with alternatives. Regulation and new payment platforms such as the Single Euro Payments Area, which simplifies cross-border bank transfers by allowing individuals and businesses to make and receive card payments across the Eurozone, will give people even more banking options.

It is essential that banks are able to identify the best and worst aspects of their products and services. This will help to address any shortcomings. To aid banks in carrying out a maturity assessment, we have developed a new tool, the MAP10, that can help banks improve in the areas that are most important to their customers. This boosts confidence and reduces the number of frustrated people who might consider leaving.

At a time when people are giving short shrift to financial institutes, banks simply cannot afford to lose sight of the basics. Get those right and they will be in a strong position to not only retain customers, but also attract new ones from other banks that fail to deliver.

*   Global Consumer Banking Survey, EY, 2012.
** European Retail Banking Survey, Economist Intelligence Unit and EY, 2011.

The complete article was written by:

  • Robert-Jan Hagens
    Partner, EMEIA Financial Services, EY, Netherlands
  • Ulrich Trinkaus
    Partner, EMEIA Financial Services, EY, Germany
  • Armin Eiber
    Director, EMEIA Financial Services, EY, UK & Ireland

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