I recently published a report called What Consumers Want From Financial Institutions which examines what US consumers think is most important when doing business with banks, credit card providers, investment firms, mortgage providers, and educational loan providers.
We asked nearly 5,000 US consumers to select one of the following six options that they thought was most important when dealing with each of those institutions: nearby locations, good service, product/service quality, good reputation, product/service variety, low prices, or none of these. And then we analyzed the responses across 5 different generations: Gen Y (18-27 year olds), Gen X (28-41 year olds), Younger Boomers (52-62 year olds), Older Boomers (53-62 year olds), and Seniors (63+ year olds).
Here’s what consumers want from different financial institutions:
- Banks: Nearby locations and good service. Nearby locations and good service were picked more that twice as frequently as any other characteristic for banks. It turns out that Seniors are the most interested in service and Gen Xers showed the most interest in nearby locations.
- Credit card providers: good service. Good service was the most important characteristic that consumers selected for their credit card providers, and it was especially important for older consumers. But Gen Xers were most frequently looking for low prices.
- Investment firms: good reputation. Consumers most frequently selected good reputation, followed closely by good service and product/service quality when it came to investment firms. Older Boomers were the most likely to pick a good reputation, while Seniors most frequently selected good service.
- Mortgage providers: low prices. Consumers most frequently were looking for low prices from their mortgage providers, this was particularly true for Gen X and Younger Boomers.
- Educational loan providers: low prices. Many consumers did not find the most important characteristic for educational loan providers on our list, but low prices was picked more than twice as often as any other characteristic. Gen Y and Gen X were the most price sensitive.
The bottom line: Banks and credit card companies REALLY need to examine their service experiences.