When it comes to satisfaction, bank customer service has not always been leading industries — but it seems that banks are finally listening to customers and trying to meet their needs.
Large, institutional banks have experienced the biggest movement in positive reviews over the past year, according to findings in J.D. Power & Associates’ 2013 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study. While retail banks overall saw an increase in bank customer service ratings of 10 points in 2013 over 2012, big banks saw an even bigger margin with increased satisfaction of 16 points.
Bank Customer Service Making Up for Fees
Things have improved in large part because bank fees have stabilized with new financial regulations, and customers better understand how the new fees impacted their individual transactions. But banks are still looking for ways to make more money with new products and services, as new financial regulations have made traditional banking products less profitable, according to a Business Insider report.
One way banks are making new fees more palatable is to give patrons the best customer service possible. By giving their customers top-notch service, banks can make up for other drawbacks.
Our Top 5 Picks for the Best Bank Customer Service
Go Banking Rates would like to let you know that customer service is alive and well. Here are five banks that provide rave-worthy customer service:
#1. Ally Bank
As an online bank, Ally’s primary appeal is convenience and higher savings account rates. However, the bank takes its service to the next level by ensuring customers are well taken care of through personal and technologically advanced service. Earlier this year, Ally Bank won two Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service: the Innovation in Customer Service Award and the e-Commerce Customer Service Award.
Additionally, blogger for top personal finance blog Moneyning.com, who reviews banks for the site, says he is a fan of Ally and has been a customer for more than two years.
Similarly, reviews on CreditKarma.com are glowing — one reviewer writes, “I have recently signed up with Ally and have gotten nothing but the greatest of service, be if from calling in to their online chat. They have the best rates out there for savings and checking as well as the lowest fees if you have to early terminate a cd/money market account in comparison to my prior bank Wach-over-ya/Unwells Fargo. Keep up the great work Ally.”
#2. Capital One 360
Capital One 360 is another institution spotlighted by MyBankTracker for great bank customer service. With four out of five stars in the “Overall” category, user Mike37909 gave Capital One 360 kudos for top-notch customer service: “Customer Support is amazing. Kid Friendly.”
“Kids and Teen Accounts: This is one area that capital one 360 really shines,” he says of the online bank’s commitment to teach children financial literacy. “Their accounts for kids and teens give the parents 100% control over the account while also teaching the young ones how to manage money. Your kids will even have their own login information.”
Located in Paramus, NJ, this bank scored an astounding 812 out of 1,000 points in the J. D. Power & Associates’ study. MyBankTracker user Sallijane recommends this bank’s customer service for peace of mind: “Helpful; traditional bank, not involved in all the tbtf [too big to fail] -style problems.”
This may not all be “traditional” customer service, but according to U.S. News & World Reports, all deposits in a too big to fail bank likely will not be available during a bank failure. Deposit security is a sign of bank customer satisfaction echoed by this user.
Jan Jahosky, a representative for the bank, explains what separates SmarterBank from the rest: “SmarterBank is straightforward and transparent about their fees.” The SmarterBank staff fully explains bank fees to customers so they know what to expect, and will even show customers how they can bank to minimize or completely avoid them.
This effort to provide the best customer service experience possible felt on the customer’s end, too. “SmarterBank is always trying to improve their service as well by asking their customers what they want and then putting together an action plan to make it happen,” says customer Heather Dino. She refers to multiple checking account deposit options as her favorite features: ATM, external checking to deposit money from a single account, mailing in a check, and using a Smartphone app to deposit checks from anywhere.
SmarterBank also offers a plethora of rewards and customer-only benefits. Members of the banks enjoy exclusive shopping offers, purchase-based rewards and even an easy way to help indebted students pay off loans.
Consistency is key in bank customer satisfaction. Jdibella, a MyBankTracker user, had a positive experience with EverBank from the first contact. From the bank’s online chat feature, to having an informed and business-friendly staff member detailing all of Everbank’s features, everything Jdibella experienced was fast, friendly and efficient.
“Every phone call has ended in a resolution to a problem,” says Jdibella. “The online banking layout and smartphone app gets the job done.” With little to complain about, this customer had no problem recommending this bank to anyone looking to escape other banks’ fees.
While no bank is perfect, there are still many banks that have rave-worthy banking customer service!