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Customer loyalty? Don’t bank on it!

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Latest user experience research shows that UK banks have a long way to go if they’re going to regain the trust of consumers. The 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer shows that only 54% of us have any faith in our bank – and there are plenty more surveys to back this up.

According to The Payment Council, nearly 60,000 of us walked away from just four big name banks – Lloyds, HSBC, Barclays and The Co-operative Bank – in the second quarter of 2014. However hard these guys try, it seems that brand loyalty remains a distant memory from a time before we all knew who the Lehman brothers were.

Come on, it can’t all be bad news can it?

Not at all – do you really think I’d start your weekend on a downer? We might not trust them but the good news for banks is that we all need their services. This means that customers making the ultimate withdrawal from one bank must be taking their business elsewhere. Last year over a million of us did just that – and the outright victor in the switching wars is…Santander.

In the latest figures from The Payment Council, this relative newcomer to the UK market won 24% of all customer switches – and that makes for nearly 60,000 new customers in just three months. Quick quiz: How many customers left those big name banks I mentioned? Just checking…

It might be too soon to talk about brand loyalty, but Santander have shown that it’s not impossible for a bank to see those good times come rolling back in. The question is, how did they do it? Don’t worry, I’ll answer this one for you.

They understood what keeps us up at night.

That’s right. And they know that it isn’t a lack of shiny promotions or fleeting offers that are depriving us of our well-earned zees. What worries us most is not having enough money – and not being able to save or pay our bills are the main culprits.

So those clever bods at Santander devised an account that gives 3% interest on balances between £3,000 and £20,000 – and up to 3% cashback on household bills. Now that’s talking their customers’ language – and we listened in droves. 93% of all customers switching to Santander chose this account.

They make it look as easy as 1-2-3…

It can be, if you really understand what your customers value the most. Is it ethical business practices? Maybe it’s crystal clear communication? It might be the free jelly beans on your service counter.

You won’t know until you ask – and if you get it wrong, your customers won’t get you anymore. It’s that moment when you arrive at a dinner party and realise it wasn’t fancy dress after all. Awkward – and very lonely.

The Monachie Project’s user experience services ask the right questions to keep you ahead of the competition. Click here to find out more.

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