Bank index culls customer feedback for PR overhaul

WASHINGTON, DC: The American Bank Association has developed a new index to measure the overall satisfaction of banking customers.

WASHINGTON, DC: The American Bank Association has developed a new index to measure the overall satisfaction of banking customers.

WASHINGTON, DC: The American Bank Association has developed a new

index to measure the overall satisfaction of banking customers.



The Financial Client Satisfaction Index (FCSI), which will be unveiled

formally to PR executives at the October 23 - 27 meeting of the Bank

Marketing Association (an ABA affiliate), will provide a standardized

means of measuring a bank’s performance against local and national

norms.



’Just as banks review their financial numbers every quarter, we think

they should review their customer satisfaction index,’ said ABA director

of marketing Jerry Hergen-roeder. While comparisons with specific banks

will not be available, large banks will be able to measure the

performance of their branches.



The new index arrives at a crucial time for the banking industry, which

has traditionally been perceived as indifferent to its public image.

While consumers still must use banks for checking and savings accounts,

they have more investment options than ever before. Over the last two

decades, banks have experienced greater competition from the securities

industry, forcing them to work harder to secure customer loyalty and

dollars.



To compile the index, consumers will be asked to complete a standardized

questionnaire either online, in person or through an ATM machine. The

questions gauge the customer’s opinion of the bank’s service, locations,

products and overall performance.



Though banks often conduct customer satisfaction surveys, Hergenroeder

said few have attempted to pit their performance against others. ’Our

hope is to have banks a little more balanced on what they’re doing and

to have the industry more focused on non-bank competition,’ he said.



The ABA has set a goal of 300 banks using the FCSI by August 2000. Eight

banks are already running preliminary tests of the system.



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