The Institute of Customer Service has said the retail banking and insurance sector need to focus on customer service as a strategic business initiative to improve business performance.
The report, ‘A Question of Trust: The Business Impact of Customer Service in the Finance Sector,' notes loss of trust in UK financial services companies is a threat to its pivotal status in the economy.
The study reinforce results of the UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI), a biannual survey conducted by the Institute of Customer Service.
Companies that scored higher for the quality of their customer service in the latest UKCSI report have the most loyal customers.
Corporate reputation, it said, is influenced by a number of different factors, including ethical standards, environmental record, financial performance and share price. On a personal level, however, consumers judge an organisation according to their own direct experience and what they have heard from others - whether this is a conversation with a friend, an article in the media, a social media discussion or an online review.
Jo Causon, CEO of the Institute of Customer Service, said: "Customers' trust in financial institutions has been eroded considerably since the financial crisis. Though banks and insurance firms have improved their customer satisfaction in recent years, the rate of improvement has not matched that in most of the rest of the private sector."
"Individual organisations can only do so much to counteract the damage to the finance sector done by the financial crisis and its repercussions. But reputation is a fragile asset, and in an era of increased competition, failure to deliver consistent customer service means an increased risk of losing customers."
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