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Dwindling Customer Satisfaction In U.K. Hampers Banks' Ability To Cross-Sell

Accenture survey shows a drop in customer satisfaction and a growing willingness for customers to shop at other banks for new financial services.

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The ability to cross-sell financial products to existing customers is a much more difficult task when those customers are dissatisfied with their bank.

An Accenture survey of U.K. and Irish bank customers found that only 46 percent would likely purchase their next financial product from their current bank. Comparatively, in 2007 about 66 percent indicated they would buy their next financial product from their existing bank. Overall bank customer satisfaction among the British has fallen from 84 percent to 73 percent in that timespan, and those who would recommend their current bank to others dropped from 64 percent to 58 percent. Loyalty was lower among younger generations, who appeared more likely to shop around.

"These results provide further evidence that even several years since the financial crisis hit, the relationship between banks and their customers continues to decline," said Peter Kirk, senior executive in Accenture’s Financial Services practice, and author of the research. "It appears that this is now influencing consumer behavior, with only a bare majority of high street customers likely to recommend their provider and customer defections continuing apace."

Accenture's survey also indicated that self-service is the dominant form of banking in the U.K. and Ireland. About 69 percent of Accenture's 2,524 respondents, access their bank daily via Internet. Only about 19 percent use branches, while 7 percent use mobile.

"To help rebuild customer trust and loyalty, reduce churn and improve retention, banks must enhance their online and mobile services, better integrate channels that their customers use most --like branches and websites -- and focus on handling complaints properly the first time,” Kirk said.

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