Banks offsetting customer dissatisfaction with fees

A recent J.D. Power and Associates study revealed that consumers are happier with their financial institutions this year despite increased bank fees.

A recent J.D. Power and Associates study revealed that consumers are happier with their financial institutions this year despite increased bank fees. Dissatisfaction with fees was offset by higher satisfaction with facilities, account activities and problem resolution.

Overall satisfaction with banks increased by one point on a 1,000 point scale since last year, despite a drop in ratings regarding fees. Customer satisfaction with fees dropped to 609 this year, down from 625 in 2011 and 656 in 2010. The study found that consumers are generally unhappy when they are asked to pay for something they haven't had to in the past. It recommends banks explain the new charges and tell customers what they will be getting for their money.

Banks can boost customer satisfaction and loyalty by gaining a better understanding of what their clients are looking for and finding ways to meet those needs, PBS reports. A user experience study found that most customers in the financial services industry fall within three categories - those who prefer online banking, those who like convenience and prefer a nearby branch and those who prefer having a more personal relationship with their banker.

When banks understand which demographic they are serving, they can decide how to leverage their services and costs to keep those clients satisfied.