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1 In 3 Consumers Experienced a Problem at Their Bank That Was Not Resolved

According to findings released today from Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group (CG,, a management and technology consulting firm serving the financial services industry, 65% percent of consumers say their primary financial institution is not as good as or much weaker than great customer service companies.

In September 2013, CG surveyed 1,002 U.S. consumers online, conducted qualitative phone interviews with 20 financial services executives at the top 10 U.S. financial institutions, and evaluated best-in-breed customer service organizations, including Zappos, Amazon, Apple, Disney and Southwest Airlines, to uncover the important drivers for financial institutions to be successful in managing customer complaints.

Key Study Findings

  • 1 out of 3 consumers experienced a problem at their bank that was not completely resolved. 62% of problems were resolved. Of those resolved, 72% of problems required two or more interactions
  • Core banking products are frustrating consumers most. 38% of complaints focused on personal checking, 14% credit cards, 12% mortgage and 12% debit cards
  • Major issues not resolved during consumer’s first interaction with the financial institution, include:
    • Mortgage
      • 88% of mortgage problems required 2 or more interactions
      • Top issues were loan modification and loan servicing
    • Credit Card
      • 72% of credit card problems required 2 or more interactions
      • Top issues were fraud and disputed transaction
    • Debit Card
      • 66% of debit card problems required 2 or more interactions
      • Top issues were fraud and frozen card
    • Personal Checking
      • 64% of personal checking problems required 2 or more interactions
      • Top issues were erroneous fees and missing or misapplied payments
  • There is a direct correlation between bad experiences and the future banking relationship
    • First call resolution can often lead to more business. 22% of consumers said they would do more business with the bank when their issue is resolved with one interaction
    • However, 2 or more interactions, or not addressing customer concerns can lead to high levels of dissatisfaction. 24% of consumers said they would do less business or end the relationship if their issue was not resolved, and 1 in 4 said they would do less business with the bank
  • Two calls are too many in the eyes of the consumer. Banks have one shot to earn customer trust and confidence
    • 51% of consumers stated they felt like a valued customer when their issue was resolved in one interaction and their confidence in the financial institution was increased by 38%
    • However, confidence dropped to 17% and trust dropped to 10% when their problem required two or more interactions to be resolved

“Financial institutions have a long way to go to become great customer service organizations,” said Patricia Sahm, Ph.D., CG’s Customer Experience and Channels Practice Lead. “In today’s world of instant gratification, consumer expectations are being shaped by experiences outside of the financial services industry where content, interactions and features are richer, delivering a more engaging and rewarding experience for the consumer.”

To request a copy of CG’s research report on customer complaint management available in early 2014, email

View CG’s research on SlideShare:

About Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group

Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group (CG) is a management and technology consulting firm that delivers large-scale, complex technology solutions for the world’s leading financial services organizations. We help our clients solve their most critical business and technology problems. Headquartered in Charlotte, NC, CG is inspired to help our stakeholders succeed – from clients to employees to the communities in which we live and work. For more information, visit

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