Banks made progress with overall customer satisfaction in the past year despite declining satisfaction with fees, J.D. Power and Associates said in a recent report.
According to the results of J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, released this month, overall customer satisfaction in retail banking increased slightly year-over-year to an average of 753 on a 1,000-point scale.
This is the seventh year of the study that measures customer satisfaction with: account activities, account information, bank facilities; bank fees; problem resolution and banking product offerings.
One of the largest yearly increases in satisfaction dealt with ATM machines. According to JD Power, customer satisfaction with the reliability and ease of using ATM machines increased from 795 in 2011 to 815 in 2012.
“Satisfaction with ATMs is driven by the increased reliability, user friendliness and functionality found in the newer generation of ATMs in which many banks have invested the past few years,” Michael Beird, director of banking services at J.D. Power and Associates, said in a statement.
Despite the overall customer satisfaction increases seen, satisfaction with bank fees declined year-over-year – to 609 (of 1,000) from 625 in 2011 and from 656 in 2010. Monthly maintenance fees had the largest negative impact on satisfaction in this latest data, JD Power said.
“The negative reaction to fees reflects customers’ irritation about paying for something they didn’t have to pay for in the past,” Beird said. “It also reflects a lack of their complete understanding about what they’re getting for those fees. Customers understand why they’re being charged for ATM and debit card use, but are not clear on what they’re getting for monthly maintenance fees, which drives the bigger drop in satisfaction with those fees.”
See also: Ten sneaky fees your bank may impose