While plenty of consumers have been complaining about the banking industry, it looks like banks are working to quiet their voices.
A new study from Ath Power Consulting highlights an increase in the number of customers who are happy with where they park their money. In 2012, the number of customers who are satisfied with their banking institutions rose to 41 percent, a 4-point climb from 2011.
While credit union members reported higher satisfaction rates than customers at large regional and national banks, the study shows that some big banks are making strides in delivering a positive customer experience. At the nation's biggest bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co., the percentage of satisfied customers jumped 14 points in 2012.
New services overshadow new fees
Many customers have been frustrated by rising bank fees, but Michael McEvoy, managing director of ath Power, says that the banking industry is overcoming much of the negative public sentiment that surrounded financial institutions over the past few years.
"While banks have looked to replace lost revenue as they adapt their business models to the new environment, they have also added new services and leveraged new opportunities for reaching out to their customers," McEvoy says.
If banks continue to deliver innovative tools like mobile banking and offer interaction via social media channels, McEvoy predicts that banks have opportunities to reach a new level of satisfaction.
"Banks have leveraged technologies to improve effectiveness, and if they continue on this path, I expect that they will get closer to wowing their customers in much the same way that Amazon and Apple do today," McEvoy says.
However, don't expect big banks to win any awards just yet. The study shows that customers of the biggest 20 banks in the U.S. are three times more likely to switch banks than credit union members.
What do you think of the results? Have you been more satisfied with your bank or credit union this year?