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RBC customers are the most satisfied with their bank

Everyone is unhappy with their bank from time to time, but it certainly seems that some are happier than others.

In the annual J.D. Power Canadian Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, customers of the Big 5 banks were found to be happiest at RBC Royal Bank, scoring 788 out of a 1,000-point scale. Scotiabank ranked the lowest of the Big 5, scoring 762.

Canadians were most satisfied with RBC, and least satisfied with Scotiabank, according to the J.D. Power study. (Graphic courtesy J.D. Power’s 2018 Canadian Retail Banking Satisfaction Study)

Customer satisfaction rankings were based on six factors: channel activities (like assisted online service, ABMs, call centres, mobile and online banking), communication and advice, new account opening, problem resolution and products & fees.

The satisfaction with midsize banks ranged more widely, but also saw higher satisfaction for the top banks.

Moving into a digital age

Digitization of the banking process has been a double-edged sword when it comes to customer satisfaction. Curiously, those customers who choose to bank online more often were less satisfied with their banks.

“Canadian banks have made significant commutments to technological investments by digitizing their services and channels in recent years,” said Bob Neuhaus, Financial Services Consultant at J.D. Power. “Digital channels give banks an enormous opportunity to reduce costs, but the risk is that those cost savings come with lower levels of customer engagement.

However not all digital-focused banks suffered for customer satisfaction. Tangerine, which is owned by Scotiabank, came out on top of midsize banks for customer satisfaction, scoring 829 out of 1,000. 93 per cent of all of Tangerines customers are digital only customers.

For midsize banks, Canadians were most satisfied with Scotiabank-owned Tangerine and least satisfied with Laurentian Bank of Canada, according to the J.D. Power study. (Graphic courtesy J.D. Power’s 2018 Canadian Retail Banking Satisfaction Study)

The biggest gap most consumers found was in communication. The preferred method of communication from banks by consumers was through email, however only about one in five of the last communications customers received was via email.

Overall, Canadians were found to be more self-service oriented than U.S. banking customers, preferring to control their own banking through digital means.

“But to be successful, banks should put emphases on best practices for highly personalized digital interactions along with branch transformation efforts that serve the needs of both digital-centric and branch-dependent customers.”